This last weekend Ninjasmoker and I (along with a new TWB teammate or two) attended the 2nd annual Spring Gathering Music Festival and Medical Marijuana Expo Hosted By Guerrilla Union, and powered by WEEDMAPS, in San Bernadino, California. I must say, it was an amazing time. If there are any other event organizers out there that would like us to come and cover the event, contact us (wink, wink).
Driving down to the event was awesome. It was a classic road trip from our home in Oregon down to Southern California. I packed 8 'Super Strength Johnny Green Marijuana Brownies,' a half ounce of shake for blunts, and a half ounce of nug to puff out of the the pipe and bong. I wasn't sure exactly how much to bring, so I was hoping that would cover it. In Oregon we don't have any events like this (hip hop marijuana festivals), so I brought what I usually would for a weekend at the Oregon Country Fair.
The drive to the Oregon/California border was pretty standard; lots of pipe hits and good tunes. However, we were having such a good time that we forgot about the infamous border inspection point. 'Do you have any fruit?' 'Well, actually we do have some Trainwreck fruit.' We had a long discussion about what those checkpoint operators can actually do. Do any readers have any ideas about this, or have you ever worked as one? I would assume that if they suspect intoxicated drivers they could detain the vehicle and call the cops, but I don't really know. We just did what we always do and lit up a cig to mask the smell. The people don't seem to care about anything except asking people like a robot, 'do you have any fruit?'
After a 14 hour drive, and a brownie fog later, we finally arrived at the hotel. It was a classy place, fully equipped with a piece of tin foil from the last occupant. After disposing of the tin foil, we proceeded to puff down like we were facing a pending jail sentence. I smoked so much I didn't think that I was going to be able to wake up in time for the event the next day. However...
I woke up the next day with a total marijuana brownie haze in my brain. It took me a little bit of time, but I gathered myself and realized that it was time to meet Cypress Hill and the Dogg Pound! We stayed in a 'hotel' three blocks from the event so we could get as high as we wanted to and stumble back to our room after it was over. Getting into the event was a bit tricky since we entered in through the Press entry. Luckily there was a representative from Guerrilla Union to show us where to go.
The first thing that I noticed was the 'state fair' style food at the event. There's nothing I like more than fried food and cotton candy when I'm blazed. The crowd at the event was very friendly. There was a healthy blend of counterculture kids from the suburbs, hip hop heads, mmj fans, and outright stoners (which are my kind of people!). During the entire event I didn't see any problems or conflicts anywhere; just one love for the music, herb, and a good time.
The medical marijuana expo was fantastic. We entered just as the panel discussion was wrapping up, which was disappointing, but we only had ourselves to blame (we had to double back to the hotel to slam some brownies since we couldn't re-enter the event). We talked to several very active people in the marijuana community from all over the country. I was reminded that this is a very strong industry with some very innovative products and services heading our way.
The highlight of the event was meeting one of my personal heroes Ed Rosenthal. Ninja was actually talking to him when I walked up, and I have to admit, I was a little star struck. I had seen his face so many times on his books and other publications, so I didn't know where to start my conversation. However, after a couple of minutes, we were talking pageviews and activism and having a good time. He truly is a wealth of knowledge. There were many ingenious inventions and I even met the oldest living federal medical marijuana patient in the country. I will include specific articles at a later time on those items to give them the proper attention they deserve.
Confession time — the VIP area at the event was the first VIP area I have ever been in. Like I said, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, there aren't a lot of VIP-worthy events. The part I liked best about the VIP area was the fact that you could smoke in peace. There wasn't a security guard acting like he cared, nor was there wasn't a scavenger smoker trying to dominate my blunt (although Snoop Dogg did appear on stage later that evening). The VIP area was also where the artist meet and great took place. Meeting Cypress Hill, Daz, and Kurupt was a lifelong dream come true. If only the teenage version of myself could see me now...
The music itself was fantastic. With a lineup like Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, Mix Master Mike, Tommy Chong, and the Dogg Pound, how could you go wrong?? I would have liked to see the event outside, but what are you going to do. Plus, hotboxing a huge event center to Stephen Marley was pretty epic, which wouldn't be the same at an outdoor amphitheater.
The drive home was much like the drive there. We had to go through a bit of Nevada, so we had yet another opportunity to cross the California border. Of course, we were smoking extra hard and yet again forgot that the border crossing was coming up. Somehow, after a weekend of consuming marijuana non-stop, we were still able to muster up the coherency to say, 'No we don't have any fruit.' I am proud to say, that this event was completed with no interactions with law enforcement...
A big thanks to the folks at Guerrilla Union for inviting us to come out to the event, and we hope to do it again real soon! They event was sold out with over 6,000 attendees. If you have a chance to go to any of their events, I strongly urge you to do so! Even if you have to drive 14 hours each way, it's worth it!!!