Vice President of Marketing
Great Barrington, MA
Thirty years ago, my dad had a backyard cultivation plot at our house. As a product of the free-love movement, he was an avid cannabis lover and remains one today. This is in stark contrast to his father, my grandfather, who was a World War II veteran from the Greatest Generation with a Ph.D. in psychology. He never entertained the thought of cannabis being anything other than the Devil’s Lettuce. This man was part of the opening theater of the Battle of the Bulge before the 101st showed up. His 20s were very different than my father’s and my own.
His stance on cannabis was a sign of the times, but he was curious about it. During one visit, my dad took him to see the field he’d grown behind our house. He stood in front of the plants and had my dad take his photo. His expression was one of wry amazement. I don’t know what he was thinking at that moment, though I’d like to think he’d realized that it was just a plant, no more than that.
This past July, my wife and I welcomed our firstborn son, River, into the world. During a recent dinner at my parents’ house, my dad led me and River back to his “secret garden” behind our barn to show his plants off as he did with my grandfather. River and I listened to him tell us about his approach this summer — some plants in the ground, some in bags — and the different varietals he was growing. He doesn’t care about the names or genetics.
The crop my grandfather visited of my dad’s was his last until recently, when cannabis was legalized in Massachusetts. In recent years, after each harvest, I’d help my dad with the labels for his jars, which he gives to anyone interested. Two years ago, we called a batch of Laughing Buddha, “Laughing Grandpa,” after his dad. It was right around the time my grandfather would have turned 100 years old (1919-2019).
Four generations later, my son River will never know cannabis as an illicit substance. It may be hard for him to understand what the big deal was. He’ll probably roll his eyes when I recall the early days of legalization and my time in the trenches with Theory Wellness.
To him, it’ll always just be a plant.