Colorado cannabis consumers will soon get a chance to dip into the personal marijuana stash of Hunter S. Thompson - creator of the surreal creative nonfiction subgenre known as Gonzo journalism. Anita Thompson - the widow of the late counterculture icon - is working with professional growers and distributors to create a line of Gonzo ganja using strains of cannabis that the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas author actually smoked.
“Since [cannabis] became legal I get approached probably once a month by cannabis growers, dispensaries,” Anita told The Aspen Times recently. “I’ve had probably 10 meetings in the last three years and I always ended up saying ‘No’ because it’s the same story every time: somebody wants to slap Hunter’s name on their strain.”
But Anita turned them down in order to offer consumers the real deal. “If I put Hunter’s name on somebody else’s strain I can never go back and say, ‘No, this is the authentic one,’” she said.
For Anita, the strains are the start of a new phase in cultivating Thompson's legacy. Following his suicide in February 2005, Anita has focused on preserving his literary reputation rather than his status as a cannabis icon.
“For 10 years we were always careful to steer the conversation back to Hunter’s work,” she said. “Because it was never guaranteed that Hunter’s work would be appreciated into this generation. I was always steering toward his work and away from his lifestyle.”
But now that his literary legacy is secure, she's thrilled to celebrate the lifestyle that he helped create. "[N]ow I feel like I can talk more openly about his lifestyle. I’m proud to do it now. Before, it was a little too risky. I’m looking forward to being a drug lord,” she added with a laugh.
The proceeds of the business will actually go toward preserving Thompson's home - Owl Farm in the Aspen suburb of Woody Creek - as a museum and writers' retreat.
So what will Thompson's strains be like? Probably not as wacky as you'd think. In a 1978 interview with the BBC documentary series Omnibus, Thompson opened up about his cannabis use. While rolling a joint at home on Owl Farm, he told the film crew that cannabis marijuana helped calm him down.
"Right now I think it's in my interest - and ours, perhaps. And maybe in the interest of the greater good for me to smoke a joint and calm down. It's been demonstrably proven that temper tantrums are not the best way to do interviews. And probably my life will be easier - and yours too - if I smoke a joint."
h/t The Aspen Times.
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