Saturday, April 18, 2015

Pakalolo: The Plant That Makes You Crazy


Pakalolo is the Hawaiian word for marijuana. Lolo means crazy and paka I believe is tobacco. Even though pakalolo isn’t one of the plants that the native Hawaiians brought by canoe when they migrated across the Pacific, it’s a plant that has become part of Hawaiian and local culture.

If the seafaring Hawaiians had pakalolo on their canoes, they might not have made it across the ocean, and would have succumbed to serious munchies on the way.

This "enhanced" walk sign may still be up in the town of Paia,
along the Hana Highway. Paia is kind of like Humboldt County in California.
Smoking pot is an acceptable part of the culture here. It shows up at parties, on certain beaches, and in backyards.  If you look like a tourist and have a pony tail, sometimes pot sellers will approach you in Lahaina. It always surprises me who smokes pot here. Sometimes it’s the most straight-laced people who throw pot parties.

Maui is known for Maui Wowie, pot grown on Maui, which is supposedly more potent than mainstream weed. I wouldn’t know because smoking burns my lungs. Pot growing supports an entire underground economy and I’ve heard stories of people trying to buy cars with thousands of dollars of cash, from pot money.

One story from a film on Taylor Camp (a 60s hippie community on Kauai) is when the hippies brought pot to the island. It had such beautiful leaves, that the police station grew it as an ornamental plant. The locals on Kauai had no idea what it was!

This was a real sign in my neighborhood.
It reads "Watch out, I going shoot you next time buds missing!
I know who you are dummy. Watch out da amakua, my amakua."
(Aumakua are one's personal Hawaiian protector gods.)
There’s an old political slogan, “to have a chicken in every pot” in America. Where I live in Haiku, it could be “pot in every chicken” because we have tons of feral chickens and tons of hidden pot patches. In the early morning hours, helicopters buzz around my neighborhood looking for marijuana.

Medical marijuana is legal in Hawaii, but like other places, there is a conflict between the state and the feds. Every so often the feds send in Green Harvest to do a huge bust.

There’s a lot more to say about marijuana in Hawaii, but I’m really tired and sleepy right now! I just found this very funny song by Don Ho: Who is the Lolo Who Stole My Pakalolo? The link is here, if the video doesn't show up below. 



Here's a shortcut to the archives for the A to Z Challenge and other blog posts.

The theme of this year’s A to Z Challenge is Living on Maui: A Beginner’s Survival Guide. While I can’t include everything in only 26 short blog posts, this is my foolish attempt.

If you are participating in the A to Z Challenge, please use either Disqus or Facebook to comment below. Please include your link so that I can visit you back, but it might be as late as May!

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