By Ed Rosenthal
Since my early youth I had dreamed of becoming a writer and plant scientist. However, during high school and college I was drawn to other matters and studied in a totally different area. Somehow, my natural inclinations broke through. My work as a writer for HIGH TIMES has helped me live a fantasy. I have visited gardens and farms on five continents, and been given the opportunity to experience some interesting, unusual and even extraordinary places.
I visited India in the fall and winter of 1979, when marijuana was still legal there. It was taxed by the government and sold in shops. While traveling on a train through the centrally located state of Madya Pradesh, I noticed fields of ganja. I received permission from authorities in Bhiratpur, the state capital, to visit the fields, located in Khandwa. I arrived in mid-December, just in time for the harvest.
The plants were late-maturing sativas, eight to 10 feet high. I saw several 5 to 10-acre fields. They were all seeded and ripe. They were cut down by hand with machetes, and were brought to the preparation area by animal-drawn cart. Then a circle of women stripped them of all leaf and bud.
During the day the plants were left to dry in piles about 8″ high. At night the piles were covered with large stones. The next day buds were pulled out of the pile. The leaves had desiccated and the buds were tighter. These buds were placed in a pile and again selected the next morning. Within three days the buds turned from green to brown as a result of anaerobic decomposition. All the leaves crumbled and most of the outside glands had rubbed off. Inside some of the THC had degraded to cannibinol. There was a purpose to this. …
Author: High Times / High Times