Wanna learn some herbal history? Here’s a few historical people that contributed to the canna-cause, whether or not you knew it. Let’s start with, Alice B Toklas.

I also love you, Alice B. Toklas.

Alice Toklas was the grandmother of space cakes. Seriously. She managed to get the first recipe published for fudge that would eventually lead the way for the edible du jour of the modern stoner crowd. From Wikpedia:

She was born Alice Babette Toklas in San Francisco, California into a middle-class Jewish family and attended schools in both San Francisco and Seattle. For a short time she also studied music at the University of Washington. She met Gertrude Stein in Paris on September 8, 1907 on the first day that she arrived. Together they hosted a salon that attracted expatriate American writers, such as Ernest Hemingway, Paul Bowles, Thornton Wilder and Sherwood Anderson, and avant-garde painters, including Picasso, Matisse and Braque.

After the death of Gertrude Stein, Toklas published her own literary memoir, a 1954 book that mixed reminiscences and recipes under the title The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook. The most famous recipe therein (actually contributed by her friend Brion Gysin) was called “Haschich Fudge,” a mixture of fruit, nuts, spices, and “canibus [sic] sativa,” or marijuana. Her name was later lent to the range of cannabis concoctions called Alice B. Toklas brownies. Some believe that the slang term toke, meaning to inhale marijuana, is derived from her last name, though it is more likely to originate in the Spanish verb tocar, meaning to touch or taste.

Yeah, Alice Toklas was a pretty cool woman. Moving on in the literary world. Let me lay down some rhymes and see if you recognize them. If not, go check out this link after you finish. I said after you finish- dammit, lost ’em… For those of you who LISTENED:

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz…

Does that particular verse send shivers up your spine? Isn’t it just… amazing? It’s one of my PIC’s favorites and one of mine as well. That, is ‘Howl’ by a man named Allen Ginseberg.

Allen Ginsberg was an activist who was a seminole figure in the ‘Beat Generation’. Along with such figures as Neal Cassady, William Burroughs, and the man himself, Jack Kerourac,

****ing. Genius. Cannabis Smoker. Correlation and causation? Who knows?

Ginsberg and friends changed the course of literary history. And they did it while bombed on anything they could get their hands on. Kerouac was rumored to smoke up to 30 joints a day. Cassady introduced pot to a little town called San Francisco just as the hippies were moving in. Ginseberg was moral center of ‘The Beats’. Ginsberg wrote this manifesto about marijuana:

HOW much there is to be revealed about marijuana in this decade in America for the general public! The actual experience of the smoked herb has been clouded by a fog of dirty language perpetrated by a crowd of fakers who have not had the experience and yet insist on downgrading it.

Last one, is one of my heroes. Abbie Hoffman. Abbie Hoffman was an activist who’s career spanned over three decades. Once again, from my old standard for good footnotes, Wikipedia:

Abbot Howard “Abbie” Hoffman (November 30, 1936 – April 12, 1989) was an American social and political activist who co-founded the Youth International Party (“Yippies”).

Yeah, it does take balls to wear an American flag shirt. But that was Abbie Hoffman...

Hoffman was arrested and tried for conspiracy and inciting to riot as a result of his role in protests that led to violent confrontations with police during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, along with Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Lee Weiner and Bobby Seale. The group was known collectively as the “Chicago Eight”; when Seale’s prosecution was separated from the others, they became known as the Chicago Seven. While the defendants were initially convicted of intent to incite a riot, the verdicts were overturned on appeal.

Hoffman came to prominence in the 1960s, and continued practicing his activism in the 1970s, and has remained a symbol of the youth rebellion and radical activism of that era.

Hoffman did such cool stunts as mailing joints to random people. Once, he organized a protest where members of their Yippie Party rained dollar bills on the New York Stock Exchange. Hoffman and partner Jerry Rubin perfected the art of stage-protests like the aforementioned or when they put up a pig as a viable alternative to the possible presidential candidates.

Rubin and Ginsberg knew of each other and worked with each other on occasion, such as in October of ’67, when they tried to levitate the Pentagon. From Wikipedia:

From there, the group marched towards the Pentagon. As the protesters neared the Pentagon, they were met by soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division.[2] who formed a human barricade blocking the Pentagon steps. Not to be dissuaded, Abbie Hoffman, co-founder of the Yippies, vowed to levitate the Pentagon while Allen Ginsberg led Tibetan chants to assist.Eventually, things turned ugly. By the time the group’s 48-hour permit expired, approximately 680 protesters had been jailed and 50 hospitalized.

Yeah. So, that’s your history lesson for today. Now you’re a little bit smarter…er.

-Legalize It!-