“Daniel … Oh.” The young guy took a step backward, then doubled over. He almost giggled. “DJ Short. It’s an honor.” He bowed at Short, then straightened. He pointed to the skin on his left hand. “Goosebumps.”
Short still hopes to figure it out, which is part of why he wants pot to be legal. When I asked him how his life would change if cannabis were legalized tomorrow, he answered without pause: “R&D. A small building, a small piece of land. I have some investors lined up. And then I’d start cracking seeds.” He could finally tinker with his extensive heirloom seed stock without having to look over his shoulder at competitors and the law. He could ask questions and get answers.
Short glanced at me, then back at the guy. He didn’t smile or frown. “I’m just happy to be here,” he said.
Short doesn’t like the word marijuana. “I don’t deal marijuana. What’s that? That’s what the guy on the street corner sells. You’re entitled to use the Linnaean term”: cannabis.
Another woman, a goth-looking blonde, was trying to get a picture. “When the master is ready,” she told me. After a few moments, she got Short’s attention and gestured to a friend who was holding a camera. “It’s just for a private scrapbook,” she said — she wouldn’t be posting it publicly. Short said it was no problem. She ambled up next to him, and they both smiled and made the “hang loose” sign at the lens.
Short also says smoking weed has made him a feminist. From his book: “One of the most profound aspects of the cannabis experience for me is its ability to act as a counterbalance to my personal male dominance syndrome. That is, cannabis allows me a reprieve from the otherwise distracting male-conditioned response of attempting to dominate my environment.”
I caught up with Stinkbud after the panel and asked him about Short. He said a single Blueberry cutting made its way to Oregon in the ’80s and got “passed on and on and on. Legendary. He put Oregon on the map.”
One day in 1973, Short bought a box of cereal that came with a plastic seed sprouter. Out of simple curiosity, he moistened the chamber, inserted a bud from his stash of Hawaiian, and watched with delight as it grew roots and a sprout. Over the next several years, as the Vietnam War ended and Richard Nixon left the White House, most of Short’s peace-activist friends moved onto other passions, other lives. “All of a sudden,” Short recalled, “I was alone.” So he plunged into a solitary project.
Short jumped in. He said he’d recently made a high-CBD tincture to give to his ill mother, who suffered a stroke last year and was now in a hospice. She took the tincture in her orange juice. “It’s the only thing that stops the moaning and groaning.” He said he was just beginning to explore the world of high-CBD strains, and more research was needed. He could imagine an experiment that took 10 clones from a mother plant and grew them in 10 different environments. “Let’s test those,” he said. “What are the differences?”
The Willy Wonka of Pot A trip to Hempfest with pioneering cannabis breeder DJ Short T o get to Hempfest this year, you started in downtown Seattle on a humid, cloudless Saturday. You walked