Tales from the Memory Dank
Currency is simply the medium of exchange of goods and services. What this means is that anything can be currency if enough people value “something”. Something like cannabis for example could easily be used as a form of currency with a market value in fiat currency. In other words, you know how much a gram of cannabis costs in dollars – which means that these days you could literally substitute all of your money for cannabis and could still technically get by without a problem.
When I was younger, I lived for about three months without using fiat currency because I had a few kilos of some prime weed (for the times) in my apartment. At the time, I was living with my brother and a friend of mine and we were buying weed in bulk because we discovered a distribution point. This was in the early 2000s when cannabis was still very illegal all over the place and prohibition was fully erect, ready to fuck you over any chance it got. The three of us were adventurous stoners who would experiment with an assortment of drugs ranging from psychedelics such as LSD, mushrooms, peyote to pretty much anything we could find.
It wasn’t the most “responsible” time of my life and if I would have to do it all over again – I probably still would do it the same way – but would probably have not experimented with pharmaceutical drugs such as benzos. That shit will kill you!
Anyhow, being young and fresh out of high school – there wasn’t a lot of capital in my bank account. However, what we lacked in money we made up for in value, which was that we knew the people who brought weed into the state and got insane discounts on bulk purchases.
It was my brother who met the guy at a party one day and hit it off. A few months later, he would invite us to one of the seediest parts of town where we stuck out like a sore thumb in the neighborhood. I can still feel my heart beat in my throat just thinking about the uncertainty of every moment. I felt like we were being watched from the moment we entered the street he lived on until we left. There were police in pick-up trucks patrolling the neighborhood, which didn’t seem to bother “Cuba” (the guy) too much. Apparently, he had paid them off.
Looking at his “home”, the site was quite uninviting. The concrete windowless house projected a feeling that it knew pain and suffering. However, it also had a pungent odor of cannabis radiating from its core. Being young and already so deep in the belly of the beast, the only logical next step was to go inside – and so we did.
I honestly can’t remember what we were talking about with Cuba because when I entered into the house I saw brick upon brick of some choice cannabis. There was weed in every closet space, stack to the roof. This was the first time I had ever seen this much weed in one place, and I was amazed. It was too bad that at the same time you constantly feel like you should get the fuck out of there before the feds bust down the door and take you to jail for the rest of your life. Nonetheless – we stayed there as long as we had to. Eventually, we paid Cuba $50 for 1.5 Kilos of very good weed.
It was a bit seedy, but compared to the weed circulating in the market at the time – this weed was choice.
When we drove out with the car stinking of a dead skunk, we were smoking cigarettes and avoiding eye contact with anyone while we were driving all the way to the other side of town. Fortunately, we made it back without any incident.
Back home we could appreciate our summer stash and bottled it accordingly. We created three piles, each pile representing a month. It didn’t take long for other people to learn that we had a lot of good weed and so people began showing up. At first, it was a few friends here and there, but eventually our friends brought friends.
Sometimes we’d be smoking and people brought pizzas or beer, almost as an offering to enter into the area. At one point, you would go to sleep with a group of people hanging out in your home, and wake up with an entirely different group of people hanging out in your home. This eternal summer smoke fest cultivated its own atmosphere and my brother, Brian and I were right in the middle of it all. At times, a week or two could go by without even needing to leave the house.
Cannabis became our medium of exchange. People would come hang out and smoke with us, sometimes they would take a joint – yet we explicitly told people that we were not selling weed. However, we would share with those who would add value to the environment. And so, we spent an entire summer eating, drinking, partying and smoking a bunch of weed and didn’t touch “money” for the most part.
Of course, this form of currency isn’t exactly how money works – we rather created some commune that operated on a completely different means of exchange, however Trailer Park Boys did a good job capturing the idea that cannabis can be currency.
If you’ve ever wondered if money grows on trees, cannabis seems to be the closest thing to embodying that saying. In the eternal words of Ricky from Trailer Park Boys, “I don’t need money anymore…money can suck my bleep!”
CANNABIS AND CURRENCY, READ MORE…