Pubdate: Wed, 19 Apr 2000
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2000 Southam Inc.
Contact:  300 - 1450 Don Mills Road, Don Mills, Ontario M3B 3R5
Fax: (416) 442-2209
Author: Rebecca Eckler, National Post


Now that it's spring, I've decided to get active in something that gets me 
closer to nature.

But first, I needed some reading material.

"Do you have High Times?" I asked the man behind the counter in a College 
Street magazine store. "You know, the magazine about growing pot?"

It was sold out. But under "Hobbies," in between a magazine about tattooing 
and another about turkey hunting, was Cannabis Culture, a Vancouver-based 

Let's be honest. If you don't smoke dope, you know someone who does. And at 
the very least, you've heard radio advertisements for stores like Homegrown 
Hydroponics on Q107, which sells everything from growing lamps to nutrient 

I'm sorry, there just can't be that many tomato growers in Toronto who 
listen to hard rock music.

I spent Friday night flipping through Cannabis Culture, which has features 
on pot politics in New Zealand, smoking in Amsterdam and pictures of happy 
people standing in front of their pot gardens. There's even a crossword 
puzzle titled Pot Puzzler. Advertisers, including The Friendly Stranger, a 
Cannabis culture shop on Queen Street West, advertise such things as exotic 
pipes and home mushroom kits.

What interested me most in Cannabis Culture was the first eight pages, 
which listed hundreds of different seeds you can order through the mail. 
There's also a number to call if you have questions.

"I don't get it. Is this legal?" I asked the man who answered the phone in 

"No, it's not, but we really don't care."

I told him I would call back after some study.

The Blue Haven Seed "is a very productive plant. Bred for its euphoric 
anti-anxiety high. It produces a comfortable, enjoyable, yet powerful 

I was also intrigued by the blueberry seed, which has a "very fruity aroma 
and tastes of blueberry. Notable euphoric high of the highest quality and 
very long lasting."

Cultivation of marijuana is illegal in Canada, but records of purchases are 
destroyed if you buy seeds in the mail, says the magazine publisher.

The magazine also lists these handy security tips: "Do not send by Fed Ex, 
send a money order. Do not order right to your grow house. It's wise to 
have them sent to your non-growing friend's house or to a post office box. 
Do not send your full name or address. Initials are enough."

Next, I needed supplies.

I headed to a hydroponics store on Gerrard.

The woman, smoking a cigarette behind the counter, explained that 
hydroponics is a very expensive hobby to start, but once I do, I could feed 
a family of four with my garden.

"Ah, no, I want to grow weed."

"We don't even talk about that here. I'm 65 years old, and I'm not going to 
jail," she responded.

Instead, I asked someone who grows marijuana in his basement at home for 

"It takes years to get really good at it. There are unbelievable amounts of 
information to learn," he says. "I love hobbies though and I love to fiddle 
with things. There's also something gratifying about a plant that grows so 
quickly and can look so healthy. I have seen these plants grow to six feet 
in just over a month."

The cost saving is also an advantage, he says. "A simple 400-watt light has 
the capability of producing more than a half a pound every two months," he 

My friend also likes the interaction that the hobby provides.

"It's wise to check plants every couple of days. And, it's nice to talk to 
them and pass along good karma."
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