Organic Rich

boot camp grad
Last night when I was young

Hello fellow organic growers, particularly marijuana advocates, my name is Rich, the veteran behind this blog, I am a former active duty member of the United States Marine Corps, I served honorably from 1968 to 1972 and did a year-long combat tour in Vietnam, 1969. In 2006, after years of suffering from depression and bad dreams I swallowed my pride and turned to the Veterans Administration for help. After extensive testing and lengthy interviews about my experiences in Vietnam I was diagnosed at the Phoenix Veterans Administration Hospital with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and was eventually awarded a 70% disability rating.

In 2010 my state legalized medical marijuana. I consulted a physician outside of the VA, explained my disability and I obtained the green card which allowed me to purchase marijuana products legally. For a period of 7 years I experimented with different forms of treatment for my PTSD related symptoms, smoking different strains of marijuana, vaping, oils, wax, edibles and others. I found most of the products helped me relax and kept me focused on the present. The best effect was being able to get a few continuous hours of sleep again.

download (4)I became interested in growing marijuana  organically after having experienced what the medical marijuana dispensaries offered. I have purchased medical pot in various strains and forms in Oregon, California, Colorado, Nevada and Arizona. Quality products for sure but I found the whole proposition expensive. Pay the doctor for the exam, pay the state yearly for the card, then pay the dispensary for weed that I knew little about, how or where it was grown and absorbing the high taxes passed on to the consumer. I consumed black market marijuana over the last 40 years, enough to know good pot when I smoked it. Simple economics drove me to grow it myself because of a dispensary bill of $150. – $200. per month.

Just Say No In the USMC

077It’s kind of ironic really,  this change in my attitude about marijuana. I somehow managed to avoid ALL drugs in Vietnam despite pressure to get high from fellow marines. I discovered marijuana when I was discharged and my mind was a bit more open about it plus no one was shooting at me. I smoked my first joint at a Vietnam Veterans Against The War gathering on the campus of my college, the one I was attending on the GI Bill. They were a harmless group of folks who talked about wanting to see the war end but were reluctant to really do any real demonstrating. They didn’t want to be shot at by National Guard Troops while doing their thing.

Best thing ever for my PTSD

The euphoric feeling I got from marijuana helped to take the edge off of those bad war memories and to be honest, I enjoyed the high, getting stoned with friends, listening to Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd on the headphones, crashed in a bean bag chair, laughing my head off. The fact that it was illegal as hell back in those 70’s days didn’t seem to bother us much. The only advocates for weed back then was NORML the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Fast forward to the present, 2018, where marijuana is now legal in 13 US states and the pressure is on Washington to de-classify it as a schedule 1 drug, which at this point seems patently ridiculous.

images (3)A really smooth hybrid strain of weed, heavy on the Indica side and a long soak in a hot tub works wonders for the symptoms of my particular brand of PTSD and also eases the everyday pains attributable to my age (68 and holding). It’s legal now, prescribed by a physician and I still listen to Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, just no longer on vinyl!

UPDATE: In March of 2018 I decided to relocate to a state in the midwest where I was born and raised. I got a VA loan to buy a house and my wife and I, our two cats and a loaded Uhaul headed east. Unfortunately the state I relocated to has not yet legalized marijuana. So to grow it at this time would be illegal. But I can prepare my grow space, research strains and talk to other organic gardeners about growing it until I can safely grow my own. Until then I can tell some interesting and sometimes hilarious pot stories from the past and share what I have learned from others like me.

images (2)I have learned the hard way that growing quality marijuana is a tad more complicated than throwing a couple of seeds into a pot, setting it in a sunny window and watering occasionally. After all , it is a weed isn’t it?! Of course it is not that simple, something as good as organically grown marijuana SHOULD be complex. It has become almost an art form with serious organic growers concocting their own versions of “magic” soil mixes with such exotic (to me) ingredients, things like crab meal, greensand, molasses, worm casings, bat guano and a multitude of others I never would think of adding to a bag of organic potting mix. The object being to create a living soil environment for the plant, just as in nature.


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