THE JOURNALS OF ALAN RHODES
part II 1971-1977
Hashish prices were as follows: one gram/$5 (until c. February 1975), quarter ounce/$20-25 (and I seem to remember ounces in the $80 range). Marijuana was a bargain: an ounce could be $20, joints were 50¢. Hash oil came in two containers: in a bottle cap covered in plastic wrap (as Foster would sell it), or in little plastic vials (the prices of which I'm not sure of, thought I believe the vials could be $20-$25). LSD was a mere $2 a hit, mescaline $2 a cap. Cocaine and magic mushrooms were rare. Heroin was unknown amongst us (though Maggie would claim to have tried it..).
Marijuana usually came uncleaned (i.e. the stalks and seeds were still in the bag). Removing these were essential: they had little or no THC in them, stalks burnt badly and tasted worse, while seeds were downright dangerous, having a nasty habit of exploding when heated.
Cleaning could be done on a record cover, buy shaking it back and forth on a slight angle, the seeds would roll down, leaving the marijuana behind. (Later I would grind it through a tea sieve).
The best part of the plant were the tips or buds, called "flowertops".
The best method of preparing weed was to grind it up (after cleaning) it a fine power. This worked best for pipe smoking, though a rougher grind was best for joints.
Types of hashish were named mostly for the their countries of origin: Afghan, Lebanese, Moroccan, Nepalese (there was Citroli, but I don't know why it was named that, or sometimes the shape: Temple Ball, Fingers.
For smoking hashish there were two main methods: the splif and the pipe (eating it was almost unknown). A splif is a mixture of tobacco and hashish, rolled like a cigarette. The hash is heated to crumble it into small pieces and then mixed well into a (preferably) small amount of tobacco. (amount of hashish in a splif varied with the situation. A two person one could contain just a small part of a gram, while a party splif might contain one or two grams). A filter of sorts was made of a small rolled piece of cardboard (usually from matches) inserted in one end of the splif. Small pieces f burning hash sometimes fell out, causing the telltale burns on clothing and furniture called "toke burns". As the splif burned an experienced smoker could control the uneven burning (called a "run") with small amounts of spit applied carefully with one finger.
There was a third way of smoking, which was making its first appearance with us around 1975, called "hot knives". Two knives were heated on the burner of the stove, and then a small piece of hash was pressed between them. The smoke was quite harsh. The tips of the knives themselves were permanently blackened.
When a joint or splif had been smoked down to the end, it was called a "roach".
Pipes were readily available, even being sold in the Villager shoe store in Fairview. Most were made of brass, with wooden fittings to hold. There were two main types of bowls: an actual bowl shaped one for smoking hashish, and a cylindrical one for marijuana [the one I bought in 1973 had both, and could be unscrewed and reformed into different shapes]. Many carried a pipe with them everywhere (as I did between 1973 and 1975), also rolling papers, and a knife (Swiss army of course).
Rolling papers came in many different forms (American flags for example) and colours (even flavours such as chocolate and strawberry), but the favourite by far was Export Aquafuge (which at one time sold for 5¢ a package).
Hash oil came in three types: a dark brownish-green (the usual), grass oil and honey oil (golden and usually the best. It could be smoked by smearing some on a rolling paper and then rolling it up with some tobacco, or dabbing some on the end of a cigarette (in 1974 we put some on tiny balls of steel wool, put it in a pipe and heating it until it glowed red...)
Drugs meant for smoking and not for sale was your 'personal'.
The first initial feeling upon smoking was called the "rush" (and almost everyone agreed the best toke of the day was the first). "A toke" was the thing being smoked or one puff (sometimes called 'a hit') from the splif or joint.
The effect was most often called "stoned", though "wasted", "bombed" (both 'wasted' and 'bombed' originated with soldiers in Vietnam) "ripped", "wiped", "blitzed", "fucked up" and others were used. Smoking was called "smoking-up" or "toking-up" or just "toking".
The hunger brought on by smoking were called "the munchies" (a term I first heard Gillian use in 1972 "the raving munchies").
LSD is a single drug, but it came under different "brand" names, e.g. Orange Barrel, Sunshine, WindowPane...and in two main forms, little pills called "tabs" or "hits", or dissolved onto tiny bits of paper called "blotter" , often with a design printed on it.
The usual term for taking LSD was 'dropping".
The LSD effect was called "tripping" (a term that was first coined by the US Army during their test with LSD during the 1950s), the highest point of which was "peaking", while the wearing off was "coming down". A bad experience was a "bad trip", "freaking out", or "a bummer".
One of the earliest (by earliest I mean October 1971) experiences of LSD was "trails". Waving a hand in front of your face left a ghostly after image. The effect, like many, was always there even when not under the influence of an hallucinogenic. LSD just brought it to the fore.
The best way to do mescaline was snoring, thus cutting the time it took to "get off". Not "getting off" was the sign of poor drugs. The best mescaline was a light brown in colour. Most of the time it came in caps, like Contac.