The room filled with excitement. A sense of accomplishment warmed my body like a hot summer day at Venice beach. All of our hard work was finally paying off. As my team surrounded what we referred to as our “babies”, I saw my past experiences, what lead me up to this point, flash before me. No more talk, just moves from here. The grow room was finally set up and inside was a vision that five people seen as clear as glass. This wasn’t any ordinary vision. This vision was something so complex, small-minded people wouldn’t be able to see. I’m talking about five young souls searching for their purpose in life who put their faith in the hands of medical marijuana.
My interest in the cannabis plant began when I was 16 years old. My older brother always supported, even consumed, medical marijuana. Being around it made me want to learn more about the plant. I came across some seeds and attempted to plant them. I never grew a plant before but I figured it couldn’t be that complicated. I found tutorials on YouTube to help walk me through the process. Day by day, week by week, month by month, I cared for the plants. I found it really appealing to watch them grow. In a way, they were like infants. They needed me to feed and nourish them. I felt like a parent so when I found out the types of strains they were, I was happy like an excited parent would be after finding out the gender of their child. Even though the plants were stolen, I could never forget how excited I was during my first grow. I grew what the kids now a day refer to as “dank” or “fire”. I grew them with just a 40-watt light bulb and some sunlight. I couldn’t even imagine the dankness I could grow with the proper equipment. My first experience growing was like the beginning of a new chapter for me where I felt this urge to keep writing.
A year later I was talking with some of my friends. “Have you guys heard medical marijuana is a billion-dollar operation? Imagine if we invested and started a business in the industry.” “Joe you’re high ha-ha. How could we start a business?” “I’m serious Jose, why not open a dispensary? Drew is almost done with school. Once he gets his business degree we can open a dispensary in his name. I already talked to him and he’s down. If you guys are too, let me know because we’re going to start growing. We already have our REC’s, with that we can legally grow up to six mature or twelve immature plants.” “If you guys are serious then yeah. That sounds really dope.” “What do you think, Richard and Jose?” “I don’t know I have to think about it but yeah, it does sound dope.” “What about you Richard?” …
Me and my friends formed what we called a “team”. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in Proposition 215. Laws were set in stone with the prop. We all had a marijuana recommendation to legally grow cannabis. Although we could not legally sell the product, we decided to try growing it. With the laws changing and prop 64 (Adult Use of Marijuana Act) taking place, it was only a matter of time before the plant would be legal for recreational use. It was like a learning process to us. We wanted to gain as much knowledge on it as we could so when the time was right we could open up a dispensary.
On a quest to see my dreams turn into reality, I found myself picking up books and watching lots of videos. Sitting in Barnes & Noble with my team, a book in my hand, reading all these different books on how to grow marijuana, I was observing everyone indulging in the research. I was proud to call them my team! I valued these people like family so the memories we created, the laughs we shared, was the best part of this journey I was on. If my future was going to be filled with this much happiness I should have considered this as a career a long time ago.
Although the laughs were priceless, the whole process of it all was not so enjoyable. The team wanted to grow indoor so hours were spent building our grown room. Inside a garage, we made two hidden rooms. The team wanted it as discreet as possible. Both of the rooms were essential because marijuana plants go through two stages of life which require different amounts of light. The vegetation room was made for the earlier stages and the flower room was made for when the plants start the budding process. After building the grow room much more was needed. Finding the right equipment was crucial because we wanted our babies as healthy as possible. The hardest part was finding the right strains to grow. “Do we want an indica, or some sativa? How about a hybrid? Do we want to grow clones or feminized seeds?”
The clones finally arrived! (we decided to go with clones) I opened the bag, the sight of the clones in rock wool gave me a rush of excitement. I felt the excitement floating in the room like a paranormal entity. As I began transplanting them into rich nutritious soil, flashbacks of when I first grew those homegrown plants flashed through my head. I went from growing a couple of plants in a five-gallon Home Depot bucket, some cheap soil, under a 40-watt light, and some sunlight to five times that amount of plants under a 400-watt light.
The set-up itself was spectacular. Imagine reflective material all over the walls, fans blowing, a carbon filter, a ballast, grow lights, hoods hanging from the ceiling. Can you picture the ultimate set-up? Well imagine tiny clones under all that equipment with their tiny water leaves blowing under the fans feeding off of light, soil, water, and nutrients. Can you see what I see? I didn’t just see a set-up. I saw a vision which the team saw through a fogged window, where we patiently waited till the fog passed to this very point where we said, “let’s keep going.”
In the end, I gained knowledge on marijuana. I also continued gaining experience with growing marijuana first-hand. I went through a couple of harvests until the last one changed my mind set. I no longer wanted to pursue this as a career. This once fire like passion changed in a blink of an eye. I desired a family, an education, and a degree. I knew that wouldn’t come easy with the lifestyle I was pursuing. As I describe this experience as a mere life changing experience, I do want you to know that growing marijuana was intriguing but after going through many trials and error, I realized this lifestyle was just not for me. I told the team that I no longer desired this and ventured off towards my new goals.
Eventually, I will try to grow again after I finish college, earn my degree, and start a family. I can’t picture my life being revolved around marijuana, so next time around I will grow as a hobby, not a career. I will always be a supporter and believe in the benefits that come from medical marijuana. Sometime in my days of research I came across a quote that to this day really stands out. A founder of High Times Magazine, Edward Rosenthal (considered the “Guru of Ganja”) quotes in his book; Ed Rosenthal’s Marijuana Grower’s Handbook, “WARNING: Although using marijuana may not be addictive, growing it is.” Ed Rosenthal said it and I’m confirming it. Growing marijuana is addictive, so much that my hands are itching for the next fix.
Overall, growing marijuana has taught me many things. I didn’t just learn how to grow. I learned who I was as a person and what I wanted to do with my life. Marijuana saved me from my own stubborn self, who never believed in an education in the school system. I probably wouldn’t even be in college today if it weren’t for my experiences with growing marijuana. So, if you are a firm believer in life after death, then why not believe in life after weed? It felt like I was reborn with this new mind, where my old mindset died and a new mindset was reincarnated. I found this new purpose in life because of marijuana also known as weed. In a way, I found life after weed.
Sudal, Mike. “INDOOR GROW ROOM SETUP.” RosebudMag, RosebudMag.com, 2011, http://www.rosebudmag.com/ask-erik/grower-guru/home-grow-pick-right-spot-for-indoor-garden.
Tony. “How to reprogram your mind.” Life Persuasion, lifepersuasion.com, July 5, 2017, http://lifepersuasion.com/how-to-reprogram-your-mind/