I’ve been a black market marijuana grower and seller for much of my adult life. The same is true for most of the others here at Growing Marijuana Perfectly, and for many of our readers.

Are you proud to be a black market marijuana grower and/or seller? You should be–if black market growers hadn’t supplied buds that made marijuana more and more popular, there’d be no cannabis industry, no legalization, dispensaries, licensed, corporate commercial grow ops.

Starting with American marijuana prohibition in 1937, and intensifying with the advent of domestic homegrown marijuana production in the 1960s and 70s to provide an alternative to imported, often-tainted Mexican, Colombian, Jamaican, Panamanian, Afghani, Indian and Thai weed, black market marijuana growers and sellers clandestinely supplied marijuana to tens of millions of people worldwide.

Until 1996, when Dennis Peron’s now-gutted Proposition 215 legalized marijuana growing for any California resident who could get a medical marijuana card, we risked our freedom, safety, families, and lives when we grew marijuana anywhere in the USA.

And even after voters approved Prop. 215, only in California could you legally grow your own cannabis.

For most marijuana consumers, the black market is their only market, and all of us who grow marijuana can take pride in that, because growing black market marijuana takes skill and courage.

Driving While Stoner

It might be hard for those of you younger than 30 to imagine it, but from 1937 until now, the war on marijuana growers and sellers has been an actual war, with injuries and killings, operated by police and military storm troopers.

In most places, anyone who possessed or used cannabis was hunted like a criminal. Police agencies used military and spy tactics to target the marijuana community as a whole, and individually.

When Black Lives Matter activists and others speak of racism and other prejudice targeting people of color, you can also realize that black market marijuana growers’ lives matter too, given that we have suffered a sampling of the same persecutions as people of color.

For example, we all know that “driving while black” can be dangerous. I just read a report of a black Army officer pulled over for no reason, and assaulted by racist police officers in Virginia.

And the almost-unbelievable report of an unarmed young black man, shot dead during a traffic stop, by a 26-year veteran cop who claims she intended to shoot him with her Taser, but made a “mistake” and shot him with her gun…even though weapons experts say there’s no way a sane person with decades of police training could mistake a Taser for a firearm.

We recall that policing in America originated with the “slave patrols” in the 1800s, in which deputized civilians used vicious dogs to hunt escaped or freed black slaves.

Similar highway harassments routinely happen to people who are “driving while stoner.” Back when I used to have long hair and a “hippie van,” I was routinely profiled by police and pulled over.

One officer told me, “Whenever we see them Grateful Dead stickers, we know we gonna find dope.”

I endured illegal vehicle searches that left my vehicle inoperable. Illegal body searches. Attacked by police dogs. Robbed by police. Beaten by police. Having weed or other drugs planted on me or in my vehicle by police. Police lies. Brutally violent police raids.

Arrests and court appearances in which blind prejudice against cannabis and its consumers and growers were made obvious by constant reefer madness slagging, insults, and other abuse from cops, court officials, judges.

Being called a “stupid stoner, doper, loser, weedhead, Cheech and Chong.” Being narked on by neighbors and associates. Living in fear every time a police car was behind me in traffic, or came down my street.

During sentencing for felony cultivation, the trial judge made it clear that the potential outcome of a conviction often means not just prison, but also a lifetime loss of civil rights, along with many other hardships.

The judge said she was surprised to have had me in her courtroom because, “Most marijuana defendants we see here are mentally deficient, addicted, will never amount to anything. Prison, jail or death are the best thing for them.”

Noting I was enrolled in graduate school and had a 4.0 grade point average at the time the cannabis goon squad kicked in my door to ransack my house and bust me, she remarked, “I’m surprised given the amount of marijuana you apparently consumed before your arrest that you could do anything at university other than fail miserably.”

When she sentenced me to probation and drug testing in lieu of the usual five years or more in state prison for the terrible crime of growing plants, she said, “I’m convinced you’ll be raped and die of AIDS if I sentence you to incarceration, so consider this probation an act of mercy that saved your life.”

Just as with discrimination against people of color, landlords, child custody judges, and many other officials and private citizens openly discriminate against marijuana users and growers.

Prejudice against the marijuana community is decreasing, but still pervasive. I wince when I hear someone quip, “what are you smoking,” or “put down the bong,” after a person says something stupid. As if smoking weed automatically makes you dumb and dumber.

My response to those people has always been: “What are you drinking?” or “What Big Pharma chemicals are you taking?” Sometimes I slyly add that cannabis helps the liver, but alcohol and pharmaceuticals destroy it.

600,000 STONERS ARRESTED PER YEAR

Of course, people correctly argue that what has happened to black Americans is far worse than what has happened to members of the marijuana community.

And it’s true that marijuana users were never made into unpaid slaves, pieces of property. Never whipped, raped, beaten, hunted by dogs, lynched, bombed and killed by the hundreds of thousands as was done in America against black people from the early 1800s until just recently.

But let’s not forget that for the past 40 years, at least 600,000 people per year have been arrested for marijuana, just in the United States!

Most of those arrests were for possession, but about 20% were for cultivation and/or “trafficking.” Each arrest took a toll on the arrestee.

More than half of them had to pay big money for lawyers, bail, fines, court fees. Many of them lost their jobs, homes, spouses, children.

Employer drug testing against cannabis users is yet another example of persistent widespread prejudice against the cannabis community.

If you grow and sell marijuana on the black market, most governments view this as an especially heinous crime. Even in The Netherlands, where you can walk in to a cannabis coffee shop and buy grams of weed, marijuana growing is illegal and growers face harsh penalties!

In some countries, you can be put to death for growing or selling cannabis.

One thing that really offends me is seeing reports in business magazines and mainstream, corporate marijuana magazines extolling the virtues of “legalization” and the resultant multi-billion dollar profit potential of the legal cannabis industry.

Vulture capitalists and many other profit-driven greedheads have swooped into Colorado, California, Washington, Arizona, and other legalized states to cash in on legal cannabis cultivation licenses. In most states where marijuana is “legalized,” personal home growing is not.

Or if it is, you can only grow a few plants.

In none of those states is person-to-person unlicensed marijuana selling allowed. You still go to jail for a long time in all 50 states, Canada, and the rest of the world, if you grow and sell marijuana without a government license.

Paul Pro, the founder of the beloved New420Guy marijuana seeds consortium, says the legalized commercial cannabis industry is failing financially in many places, in part because the most desirable cannabis is grown by his home-based marijuana-growing seed customers, not corporate cultivators.

Growing your own marijuana, especially from seeds, gives you choices, highs and other enjoyment you never get if you buy cannabis at a dispensary, Paul notes.

Commenting on news that the Canadian legalized cannabis industry is teetering on collapse due to oversupply of mediocre weed created by people who thought cannabis was a get-rich-quick scheme, Paul said making tons of money is great, but the legal, commercial marijuana industry lacks the passion and expertise in cannabis growing essential for producing super-potent, tasty buds that consumers crave buying.

“The greed in some parts of the legalized marijuana industry is absolutely crazy! All the rich assholes who used to call us stupid stoners are now trying to cash in on the market they so truly hated in the past,” he quipped.

“What’s really worrisome is that Mexico is legalizing, and insiders say they are doing it to create a Mexican corporate cannabis industry that exploits trade laws to flood the USA with cut-rate generic cannabis,” he added.

Paul says there’s one thing he’s sure of–no matter what corporate, Mexican, or other types of legal cannabis are available for retail purchase, tens of thousands of marijuana lovers will continue to grow their own highs. The black market will never surrender.

BLACK MARKET WEED IS BETTER!

When people slag black market marijuana growers, I remind them of the following facts:

All marijuana strains sold by dispensaries derive from unicorn landrace genetics gathered by courageous black market cannabis adventurers from Holland and other countries beginning in the 1960s.

All the most popular and magical marijuana strains have been created by black market growers and sellers.

All marijuana seeds except for a tiny fraction (and most of that fraction are commercial hemp seeds) are created by black market growers and sellers.

Of course, the legalized marijuana industry hasn’t paid a penny in royalties to anyone who created the marijuana strains they’re selling.

I’ve yet to meet a legal, licensed corporate entity that has made a superior marijuana strain. I laugh at the lame “new” weed strains released by so-called celebrities who’ve never grown weed and wouldn’t know how to breed a strain if their lives depended on it. Yes, Mr. Urkle, you’re one of the people I’m talking about.

Indeed, most of the people I’ve met who run the corporate marijuana industry are NOT stoners, and have no clue what killer marijuana really is.

These profit poseurs have never run an indoor grow op, never worried about the goon squad kicking down their doors, like you and I have.

They’re mostly smarmy bankers, investors, attorneys, and even former drug cops–who now see cannabis as a money tree.

They don’t want to experience the cannabis high or “vibe.” They just want to grow the most weed at the lowest cost to sell at the highest price.

Legal, corporate weed sell sucks compared to what I grow and what you grow, but costs consumers a lot more.

We’ve sampled the premium products at the best legal cannabis sellers in the top legalized states, and came away proudly stunned. Why?

Because we as lowly black market home growers produce wayyyyyyy better buds and simple extracts (live resin, rosins, bubble hash, kief, dry sift, etc.) than corporate legal cannabis companies that have botanists, million-dollar grow ops with high-tech fertigation systems and computerized climate, C02, and lighting control.

Our buds are superior. Our retail prices much more fair and reasonable than what you pay at the dispensaries.

Even when commercial cannabis growers grow excellent strains, the mass production aspect of their operations, as well as the degrading effects of storing, shipping, and presenting bud for retail in dispensaries, makes their buds inferior to those grown by connoisseur home growers like you and me.

In most cases, corporate cannabis profiteers are not cannabis connoisseurs. The only “green” they love is the color of money.

I’ve been in the room observing as they sit sipping wine or martinis, discussing how big their offshore bank accounts and yachts are.

They can’t handle marijuana consciousness. They can’t even handle a contact high from second-hand marijuana smoke.

I mistakenly shared Sour Diesel dry sift with one of these suits. Big mistake. He got dizzy, threw up, got aggressive, then weepy like a drunk, then hyper, then passed out, making strange noises, in a closet.

What’s more, the reason so many people want marijuana is because black market marijuana growers have been growing it for them all these years when they couldn’t get it legally, so consumers realize this plant is a miracle, and are loyal to the home grower, perhaps even grateful.

There’s a personal connection between the consumer and the grower that automatically makes a better vibe than buying from legalized cannabis dispensaries.

So when I read in Forbes and marijuana business magazines about massive profits for some corporate growers, sellers, extractors, labs, chain dispensaries, I think “rip-off.”

When I see cannabinoid and terpenoid testing labs claiming black market marijuana is foul, polluted and unhealthy, I laugh at their self-serving lies.

Since 1960, people have been consuming homegrown domestic, unregulated, untested black market buds. If our homegrown weed is so “vile and poisonous,” why has demand for it increased every year?

If black market marijuana is so tainted, how is it I’m a triathlete who consumes several grams a day of black market marijuana?

How do I manage to avoid all the alleged bad health effects of homegrown weed???

WE BUILT THE MARIJUANA INDUSTRY

The simple fact is that you, me, all our marijuana grower friends and the entire black market community built this train, we built the train tracks, we recruited the passengers, we kept the marijuana train running all these years without any government regulations, inspectors, plant patents, genetic testing, lab testing, licensing, taxes, Prop. 64 and other so-called legalization bullshit.

By ourselves, without any formal agricultural union or advocacy group, without scientific botany training, hidden away in fear, hundreds of thousands of clandestine marijuana growers and breeders operating in secret all over the world single-handedly created stable strains that grow, smell, taste and get you high the same today as they did when they were first introduced decades ago.

Cannabis pioneers like Simon from Serious Seeds in The Netherlands, who have endured constant risk and expended much effort to create and maintain legendary strains like AK-47 and Bubble Gum and sell seeds worldwide, are among the valiant people who built the cannabis industry.

And it makes me disgusted that what the profiteers call “legalization” is really just a business plan, as follows…

Get rid of criminal penalties for cannabis use to create more cannabis consumers.

Give lucrative legal, commercial grow op licenses to rich people who can afford them.

Increase penalties for black market growers and sellers.

Goal: To drive cannabis consumers to pay high prices (including exorbitant weed taxes) buying inferior cannabis from legal profiteers.

I would be remiss not to give a pass to the authentic, connoisseur, worker cooperative, family-type cannabis companies that have joined the commercial cannabis industry out of necessity rather than blind greed.

Many seed companies, growers, extractors, and others who used to be wholly black market have been forced by law and economics to play by the rules and participate in the white market…or else they will be raided, shut down, facing criminal charges under so-called legalization laws.

The Black Lives Matter movement is seen by most people as a powerful, necessary response to government violence against the black community.

If it wasn’t so dangerous to come out of the closet as a black market marijuana grower and seller, I’d start another protest organization: Black Market Marijuana Lives Matter.

If you’re growing and selling premium cannabis at home, be proud. You’re part of a persecuted minority, you’re helping people be happier and healthier, you’re engaged in covert resistance against the war on marijuana.

If it wasn’t for you and me, the marijuana plant wouldn’t be a cherished friend and medicine for so many people. Black Market Marijuana Growers Lives Matter too. And don’t let anyone forget it–especially you!