Before these developments, the majority of weed floating around the UK came from the Netherlands. In 1994, eight people receiving methadone treatment in Glasgow reported smoking joints of this origin, with four of them experiencing psychosis ranging from paranoid delusions to auditory and visual hallucinations. The type of weed responsible? “Skunk.”
And so began the widespread availability of strong homegrown weed in Britain. It would take police and the media a year or so to catch on, but when they did, a shorthand was available, regardless of the fact the Vietnamese were growing different strains: “Skunk.”
“[These techniques] delivered a generous yield of high-grade weed without it growing into a monster ganja tree or it taking three to four months to flower, which is normal,” explains Top Shelf Grower, a YouTuber and cannabis expert. “Essentially, it gave growers the best of both worlds.”
I ask Simon Harding what the gangs’ presence in the UK was before growing cannabis. “There were small numbers of Vietnamese here,” he says. “What they were involved in prior to growing, or around the same time, was counterfeit goods – counterfeit DVDs in particular. They’d be running huge factories to multi-record DVDs, which they’d then sell in pubs or on the street for £2 to £3 a piece.”
The ensuing uproar was warranted. Once police started raiding some of these places it became clear they were being manned by slaves. Male children as young as 15 had been trafficked over through France, kidnapped from the Vietnamese streets on which they were homeless, or else their families had paid for the privilege – sometimes up to £10,000 – after promises of a new life.
In other words: simplifying the issue in order to push policy or write a scary headline probably doesn’t do justice to those suffering.
It was an intriguing event for a number of reasons – one being that, a month earlier, Watson had been arrested in Santa Cruz, California for growing cannabis. Just how he had managed to then make his way over to Amsterdam has led to some dubbing Watson a spook, an undercover DEA spy sent to the Netherlands to infiltrate its burgeoning weed industry.
So how did all high-grade weed come to be known as “skunk”, and are its effects as serious as is thought, or part of a tradition of scaremongering that dates back decades?
All this came at a perfect time for cannabis smokers worldwide, as the importation of the weaker hash resin had begun to fall. Part of this could be attributed to a Moroccan crackdown, with the government there destroying a third of its own crop in an effort to curb exportation – but also terrorism, as it was becoming much harder to ship large amounts of contraband throughout the world.
How all high-grade weed came to be known as "skunk", and the history of slave-labour that led to its popularity in the UK.
Personally I do not believe that he bred anything in California, and used other’s work and claimed it as his own. Ie., California Orange. Jerry Kamstra bred that strain and wrote about it in 1973. David claimed he developed it. He also claimed to have personally developed Skunk, but I knew several that grew that and skunkweed was ALL over NorCal by 1977, and it was highly variable. As for Haze. who knows. The version that seems most believable to me is that Haze was bred by a Santa Cruz surfer and one or two other guys that were not brothers and not named Haze. David simply lifted their genetics and sold the seeds, like he did other strains. He seems to be good at marketing and empire building. I do not know any that are good scientists, engineers or technicians, AND good at empire building. The people that develop technology are ALWAYS ripped off by someone else, and the ones that rip them off are always the ones that make the killing. There is what Watson claims, and what the rest of the world claim. Of course he says that he was ripped off by Nevil, but I believe Nevil on that score. Nevil paid David for the goods. I say touche’ for outsmarting the fox in the hen house. David went on to make a killing as well, several times over. And avoided any prosecution in Holland, which is. well, unbelievable without some sort of divine intervention.
Forget all the VICE and Strain hunter crap.
As for Sammy Skunk, Dr. Beanstein or Dave Watson (if that is his real name) and GMO? If you believe that CRISPR is GMO, as I and many others do (flipping, splicing and editing genes), then I believe he is guilty as charged. If you do not believer that CRISPR is GMO, then I guess you can acquit him. I believe that CRISPR should be labeled as GMO. But ‘they’ are trying to get around that in a global debate.
Interesting. Though I do not attribute his knowledge as being as deep as claimed, by him and many others. To me it seems superficial. Or flat out contradictory. Davis Watson has many aliases, AKA: Sam the Skunkman, Sam Skunkman, Sam Selezney, KnowItAll4Sure, Jingles, Selgnit, Dr Frankenbeanstein, Hemp Guy, and likely a dozen other aliases. Mario Lap, Joe Pietri and Steven Hager have written and posted a lot about him. I have also had several conversations with one of his aliases in print, mainly on IcyRag before I was banned there. What struck me was and is his version of what happened around Monterey Bay in the 60s and 70s, and my own personal experiences there are 180 degrees apart. I was around Santa Cruz, Capitola and Corrolitos a lot in the 70s. I was perplexed by his replies early on, and amused when I dug deep into who he was. The oddities and contradictions added up fast. He has many aliases. I can find no photos of him. No one I know or knew in the Monterey Bay area smoked anything called Haze until later on. No one knew of any Haze Bros growing $250 an oz weed in the 70s. For that matter, no weed there then went for anything near $250 an oz. Not even hashish or Thai sticks sold for that much. One version which I am inclined to agree with is that the real Haze Bros. were in New Jersey, and they sold Haze around NYC for some insane prices in the 70s. But even this is likely inflated from reality.
Big Sur, you’ve said some things in this thread that I find really interesting. We’re about the same age and I think similar background in a lot of ways, except weed. You grew up in California in the thick of the action in the 1970s and you were, from what I can tell, pretty deeply involved in the weed scene. I grew up in South Jersey and never saw a Thai Stick or much more exotic than Colombian, for the most part. So I really appreciate your first-hand accounts of what was, or was not happening in the California weed scene in the 70s.
Yep yep. So true. I was there. 1969 Detroit. Terry Reid and BB King opened up for the Rolling Stones AND we were out of our minds with Thai Stick! Top 5 concert for sure! And then there was the two grocery bags of peyote buttons hehe.
IMJ, Amerika lost her innocence in the 60’s starting with the coup in ‘63; the sadness was the loss of many friends from death, suicide and addiction due to Nam.
I think we have to draw the GMO line someplace. CRISPR is genetic engineering. Mr Watson tries, as others do, to label CRISPR as being “like hybridization”. Sorry, but I do not see any similarity, or that standard breeding will ever get you to where CRISPR does. Its like them saying that TEL was great for gasoline. And that global warming is a myth. “Don’t worry, modern industry will take care of you.” All in the name of profit, and some rich fat cats being retired someplace. Like Mr Watson is now after pawning off his several companies.
Because that whole history remains completely and utterly clouded and full of false flag stuff and lies and cheating.
Amusing to be so quoted. I was born the same year as Nevil. I was in NorCal and Oregon from the late 50s to the present as a participant and observer. I have my memories of many wild times. I guess I am slated to be a chronologist of those events? I have no ego to protect or product to peddle, and the statute of limitations are up and/or weed is legal in the states that I have lived in. I do not sell seeds either. Some people have contacted me on several forums to complain about my seeds! Sorry guys, I have never sold any seeds through any channels (except in bag weed back in the day). Given away or traded seeds? yes. Sales? no. Though that has become a controversy in itself, in that people do not believe that I froze many now otherwise non-existent strains of seeds, or that Cannabis seeds can be frozen and remain viable. You can look on 420rag at my posts there of my older list of strains, and all the flap that those posts have stirred up (google: original source seeds from the 70s). Back in the 70’s pretty much every bag of weed had seeds. People threw them away for the most part. Free genetics for the tossing. I collected and froze the better weed seeds. Also in the 70s there were the hippie ideals of he late 60s, free love, peace and understanding. In the 80s he hippies became yuppies grabbing cash, buying houses, and all the rest. Anyway, I am intrigued with people’s interests in the weed scene in California in the late 60s/70s/80s. Many keep asking me about it, and I am putting together a book of short stories with a theme similar to In Watermelon Sugar. I am interleaving that with a simple book on growing weed, based on the theme of my first and favorite book on growing weed, called The Complete Cannabis Cultivator by Mary Jane Superweed.
Interesting read. The GMO-CRISPR debate is one I’ll stay out of but I am a student of weed history and find a lot of this discussion interesting, and