Saturday, November 1, 2014

What Are Regular, Feminized And Auto Flowering Marijuana Seeds?

What Are Regular, Feminized And Auto Flowering Marijuana Seeds?

Robert Bergman
marijuana seeds
Regular marijuana seeds
Standard marijuana seeds come from one male and one female parent, and can produce either male or female plants. It is virtually impossible to tell if a regular seed will turn out to be a male or a female later on. Of course, after you get to the flowering stage, it is much simpler to identify males and females. Males will produce oval pods while females will produce a calyx shaped like a teardrop.
The ratio for male-to-female growth with regular seeds is around 1-to-1 (approximately 66% female). When you start growing, it’s in your best interest to just assume that 50% of the seeds will end up female. You should germinate a few extra seeds to make up for all the males that you’ll discard later on during the early flowering period.
A number of different variables determine whether regular seeds are better suited to some growers than feminized seeds. The conditions of the grow, the amount of time and space available, one’s preferred choice, and the overall level of expertise all come into play. If you want to breed cannabis and produce new seeds, then you need both male and female plants, which would require regular seeds. If you have no interest in breeding and you just want to have some outstanding bud, then feminized seeds might be a better choice. Download my free marijuana grow bible for tips about making your own marijuana seeds.
Feminized marijuana seeds
By contrast to regular seeds, feminized seeds are bred specifically to eliminate male chromosomes, effectively ensuring that every plant in the crop is going to be female. If you’re looking for fast and simple cultivation, then feminized seeds are perfect. Many growers could be wary of growing because it requires the identification of different genders and the removal of males early in the flowering stage. Feminized seeds effectively remove the need to identify genders because the plants will always be female.
Feminized seeds also make sense in other logistical ways. With regular seeds, growers tend to germinate extra seeds (up to double the intended amount) to account for unnecessary males. If you use feminized seeds, you only have to germinate as many plants as you need.
Another aspect at play is that cannabis is not strictly male or female. Any marijuana plant can produce flowers of either sex depending on certain conditions. Certain environmental factors can cause a plant to grow flowers of both sexes simultaneously. In general, this is a stress response that triggers a survival mechanism in the plant. Temperature drops, physical harm, issues with the light cycle, and other stressors can cause the plant to produce intersexual characteristics. The plant’s response to these conditions is to recognize that chances of survival and ultimately reproduction are low. The plant has a built-in survival response to ensure that it can reproduce successfully. Under these circumstances, a female plant will produce male staminate flowers so that they can pollinate their own female pistil flowers. This allows them to produce seeds without the need of a male. In some instances, male plants will produce pistils, but this is rare.
Early on, feminized cannabis seeds were produced using two female marijuana plants. One of the plants in question would have had hermaphroditic tendencies (or, the propensity to create male flowers during stress). To stress the plant, growers would disrupt the light cycle or prune branches or leaves. The pollen produced from the hermaphroditic plant would then be used to pollinate the “pure” female. Unfortunately, the hermaphroditic plants used to pollinate the females could pass that hermaphroditic trait down to the resultant seeds. This essentially meant that the feminized seeds showed a stronger tendency to be hermaphroditic rather than purely female.
Over time, however, the process of creating feminized seeds improved and became more complex. With the help of different types of silver (find out how to produce feminized marijuana seeds using colloidal silver), it became possible to force even the purest females to create male cannabis flowers. Thus, the seeds created from these plants do not have any proclivity toward intersexuality. All of the feminized seeds on I Love Growing Marijuana are created with this method.
To put it simply, intersexuality or hermaphroditism is a natural part of the marijuana plant’s genome. Depending on the genetics of each plant, they have a greater or lesser chance of turning hermaphroditic as a result of certain conditions. These seeds are also NOT genetically modified, meaning that genes are neither added to nor removed from the plant. The parent plants themselves could be considered “physically modified” by silver, but the seeds themselves are produced naturally through pollination.
Autoflowering marijuana seeds
Marijuana strains that autoflower are generally small and ideal for outdoor growth. The daylight hour decrease and a change in season are not necessary for these plants to flower. Most standard marijuana plants start to flower at the end of summer as days start to get shorter and the amount of light drops. Plants recognize that they need to start maturing before the onset of winter. Autoflowering plants are different. They will enter the flowering stage even if they receive a full 24 hours of light.
For autoflowering plants, it generally takes 10 weeks from start to finish. You can also find feminized autoflowering seeds which provide the dual benefits of a quick harvest and no need to identify plant sexes. These seeds can produce about 2 harvests throughout the span of a standard summer period.
Yield: With autoflowering seeds, you can expect between 50 and 500 grams per m2. This depends on how the plant is maintained and cared for.
Autoflowering plants stay rather small, so you can plant quite a few for every square meter. If you want to enjoy some outdoor grass in about 10 weeks, then using these seeds will certainly help. That being said, the yield and quality are not up to par with seeds that flower regularly.
With feminized autoflowering seeds, you should provide the plant with growth formula for the initial 2 or 3 weeks. After that, you can switch to the flowering formula.
Auto flower features
•             Generally 12 to 23 inches tall (30 to 60 centimeters) •             Suitable for outdoor growth •             Starts flowering automatically after around 3 weeks •             From seed to harvest takes about 9 to 10 weeks
If you want start growing please download my free grow guide and order some high quality marijuana seeds at this link here. We ship seeds to the US, CA and many other countries. All customers get 24/7 grow support.

7 Lakota Values That Are Difficult to Adhere to Today

7 Lakota Values That Are Difficult to Adhere to Today

Many tribal nations are suffering from outsiders who come in and appropriate spirituality and customs, and sometimes ceremony is sold by tribal members who should know better. According to Oglala Lakota Headsman and Spiritual Elder Floyd Looks for Buffalo Hand, there is a right way and a wrong way to learn from the Lakota, and he explains it here.
At 75 years old, Hand is looking hard at the past, present, and future of Lakota culture. So much has changed in the last century, and Hand asks all people to honor the traditions that kept ceremonies sacred for thousands of years.
Born in 1939, Hand began learning Lakota teachings in the 1940s, and have continued since. As a descendant of the original signers of the 1868 Laramie Treaty, he is a member of the Oglala Lakota Black Hills Treaty Council, where recently a General Counsel meeting was attended by Lakota language speakers. Hand said, “Everyone who came spoke the language, and everybody sang.”
The meeting, held at the Mother Butler Center in Rapid City, South Dakota, was attended by at least 70 people with at least one member of the tribal council, Jacqueline “Jackie” Siers, in attendance. The treaty council delegates looked at Oglala Lakota Resolutions written in 1971, 1978, and 1982, which stated that only Oglala Sioux Teton Lakota Oyate could participate in the Sundance or handle eagle feathers in accordance with federal law.
Members discussed passing another resolution that would prohibit non-Natives from running ceremonies or holding sacred objects such as eagle feathers and eagle bone whistles. “We have to be trained by a spiritual leader and earn the rights to carry a sacred pipe. That sacred pipe does not speak the language of English,” Hand said.
As the spokesman for the meeting, Hand reported that even some tribal members are not familiar with leading ceremonies, and some people are bringing peyote into the Sundance. “That’s two separate ways of praying, they are not done at the same time,” Hand said. He added that some Native people are “going ‘round making chiefs, allowing Christian non-Natives to be chiefs and carry a pipe.”
Members of tribes from Arizona, Montana and North Dakota have expressed similar concerns. Marvin Young Dog, Oglala Lakota who lives in Arizona and returned for the meeting, said, “We went to express our opinion, and at the meeting a lot of things came out. There are a lot of rumors and a lot of facts that white people are holding eagle feathers, and some are paying a lot of money for them.  We are curious about what is going on,” he said.
“At that meeting, they all concluded that anyone who runs a ceremony, Sundance or sweat lodge has to do it in the language of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Woman,” Hand said.
Looking towards the future, Hand wonders who he will pass his knowledge, language, and history of the Lakota Oyate to. “It is really hard for any young man to dedicate themselves to our way of life because of this modern technology and that is what is hurting all our young people throughout North America.”
Hand said, even in immersion schools on the reservation, assimilation has affected the old ways of thinking, “and I don’t think I am wrong to say the European world does not have our custom values of life,” Hand said.
The Seven Lakota Values, given by the White Buffalo Calf Woman, have also suffered through the loss of language and today’s fast paced, technological lifestyle. The values includePraying, Respect, Caring and Compassion, Honesty and Truth, Generosity and Caring, Humility, and Wisdom.
“The White Buffalo Calf Woman did not bring the pipe in the English language, but she never taught to exclude anybody,” Hand said, adding that all people are welcome to come and pray, but only Lakota speakers can lead the ceremonies. For outsiders who come to the reservations, learning the values may be an alternative to practicing ceremonial traditions that take a lifetime to learn.
“There is a protocol,” Hand said. “Take your time. When I was chosen to be a buffalo chief, the first journey I made was nine years. The next journey was five years, the third was eight years, and the last journey was three [years]. I have taught non-Indians the simple language of praying. In my lifetime, I have witnessed two of them who walk with us and speak fluently, pray fluently, and respect themselves. They are giving people, they are helping people—they help the elders. They do everything that is required under the law of mystery.”
Non-Native veterans who come to pray with Hand receive instructions that take years to learn. “The third year we let them pray by themselves to find out who they are, where they are, and what their journey is about,” Hand said.
“These are the ways; but the New Age concept, they want to do everything one, two, three. It’s not like that when you follow the sacred way of the circle—it’s a lifetime. It is the supreme law of the circle of the universe brought by the three ladies: Mother Earth, Mother Moon, and Mother Sun,” Hand said.
“Our purpose is to educate, not to offend. I encourage all non-Indians to do their family tree. Who is their mother and father, and who was their mother and father? Find out where you come [from] and when you do that, you are going to feel a lot better about yourself. You’re going to be able to say, ‘I am a human being. I am part of the earth and the sun, and the water and the air, the four-legged and the winged,’ and you can say that because you know who you are,” Hand said. “If you are of Irish descent, or German, or Hispanic, learn the language and culture instead of coming to the Oglala Sioux and desecrating what is sacred to us. People are passing it around and charging money to run ceremonies—charging individuals copy,000 to dance. This is happening!” he said.
“There are no mistakes. Everything is equal on the journey, and what will happen in your path will happen. You will learn from it,” Hand said. “I cherish the language that was given to me from the spirit world and I will always stand by it. In your lifetime, you must give yourself to the people and if you look in any direction, at each color of skin, if you put all those colors into one, as my grandfather said, that is the color of blood. Black, red, yellow, white, we are all one blood; and we are all related.”


Happy Halloween! Four Native American Ghost Stories

Happy Halloween! Four Native American Ghost Stories

We were told not to whistle at night but we were teenagers and often did stuff we had been warned about.  It was a summer night around midnight and we were parked alongside a country road several miles south of Anadarko, Oklahoma.  There were a few house lights we could see far off in the distance but we were in almost complete darkness. 
The four of us stood around my cousin's pickup truck, laughing and talking. The only other sound we could hear was the truck radio, which was turned up loud.
"Hey, remember they used to tell us not to whistle at night?" I asked
"Yeah,” my friend said. “But I'll whistle right now" He whistled the first 5 notes to the song “Whistle While you Work”
We were quiet for a bit and he did it again.
“Hey, did you hear that?” my cousin asked. He went to the cab and turned the radio down. “Whistle again”
 Our friend whistled the tune again. Very faintly, we all heard the same 5 notes whistled back at us.
"Whoa, what the hell? Do it again"
He whistled and we got the same tune whistled back at us in a few seconds. The return whislte sounded like it was perhaps a quarter mile away and seemed to be coming from the countryside. There were no trees and we stared out into the darkness but couldnt see much of anything except the horizon in the distance.
"What is that? Think it's an echo? Maybe a bird?" 

"A bird? What kind of bird is up this late whistling around? What if it's an owl? Whistle again"
And so it went, a few more whistles, a few seconds would pass and then a faint reply whistle until finally there was no reply. 
After about a minute our friend whistled one more time and there was an immediate reply, but it was no longer faint, it was loud, and close...close as in about 30 feet away.
Just like little kids we panicked, yelling, cussing and trying to get into the truck at the same time, piling in on each other  in the cab. We sped back to town and to this day I try not to whistle at night.
I was around 10 years old when I went with my grandparents on one of their regular social visits.  Usually we spent a few hours at someone's house as they visited with relatives or friends and us kids would go out and play together.
As we said our goodbyes for the night and started on our way home, I was curious about how long our hosts  had lived in their home.
"Have they always lived here?" I asked.
"No, they've lived in other places. One time they lived up in Ponca Country" said my grandma.
"Why did they move back?" I asked
"Something happened" my grandma said.
"What happened?" I asked
My grandma was quiet for a little while as she drove. She shot a quick glance over at my grandpa but he kept looking straight ahead.
So my grandma told me.
It was just the husband, wife and one child who lived together out in the country. There weren't many people who lived around them but they lived next to an older, abandoned building. My grandmother said the old building was supposed to have been an "ol' time" clinic, hospital or maybe even a mortuary. No one was ever certain. But late at night, the husband and wife thought they could hear voices coming from the building. Still, they did their best to ignore it because they knew voices can carry in the wind, even from a great distance.
One day the wife was very sick and spent most of the day in bed upstairs. Her husband made the evening meal for the family and called down for her to come eat. She was still very sick and had no appetite so she told him she was going to continue sleeping.
As she was laying there listening to the voices of her husband and son drifting up from the downstairs, she thought she heard a short laugh. She couldn't tell where the laugh came from so she lay very still and tried to tune out the voices of her husband and son.
She lay there for awhile and didn't hear anything. Her legs felt really warm so to cool down she pulled the blanket up , exposing her lower legs and thats when she felt it. She said it felt like a cold hand, firmly grabbing one of her ankles. She instinctively kicked at it and there was nothing there.  She sat up and looked around but there was no one else in the room.
And that's what happened.
"Why don't you buy things from the thrift store?" asked our non Native friend.
"Oh, 'cause I dont know who those things belonged to," replied one of my uncles. "Maybe the people who owned them died. I don't want those things if that's the case."
"Huh? I dont get it." replied our friend. So my uncle told him:
There were these three young women who were good friends. They used to travel together and dance at powwows.  Sadly, two of the friends were traveling together when they were killed in a car accident. 
The custom of their tribes was that the possessions of the two women were supposed to be buried with them or disposed of in some permanent way.  Instead, the two families decided to give their powwow dancing outfits to the third friend as a gift. The friend accepted the outfits and put them in a suitcase which she kept in her closet. 
Soon after this, one of the families got a phone call from the friend. She was crying and hysterical. She told the family to come pick up the belongings immediately. One of the family members went to the friend's place to find out what happened. The friend was calm but still upset when she spoke about the night before.
In the middle of the night, she woke from a dream in which strange noises were coming from somewhere in her room. She didn't fully open her eyes and continued to lay on her side, facing away from the closet as she drifted back to sleep. It was quiet.
As she was going  back to sleep, she heard the noise again. What she heard was whispering coming from inside her room. She sat straight up and looked towards the closet where the whispers were coming from. The closet door was open and from the street lights outside, she could see her two deceased friends, kneeling beside the suitcase of their belongings, running their hands over it. They both looked up at her and disappeared.
"So, that's why I don't take things when I don't know where they came from," explained my uncle.
They say that a traveling circus came to our area of Caddo County, Oklahoma, in the early 1900s. This was before trucks were easily available, so the circus group traveled in wagons and camped outside of town. After their performance, the circus group camped a few miles out east of town beside the river. That's where the death occurred.
No one is sure what happened.  All they know is that one of the clowns drowned in the river, right there in the woods by the Indian Road.
They say the clown is still there in the woods. Some people have seen him.
My buddy's uncle said he was walking in the area with some friends around dusk. They weren't paying too much attention to their surroundings as they were visiting and laughing while strolling on their way. Something in the woods caught their attention, maybe a movement, a noise, no one can say what it was but they all looked in the same direction.  What they saw was the clown. He was waving and smiling at them.
It's said that's what he does. He steps out from behind a tree, smiles and waves and steps back behind the tree so you don't see him for very long.  But you know he's there somewhere in the woods.
Another relative said they saw the clown, but he wasn't in the trees.
The relative was driving to check on one of the old home places in the area. The old home places are old family homes that no one lives in anymore but every now and then someone will go out to check on them or temporarily move into them. 
As the relative and his passengers drove down the long dirt-road driveway at dusk, they noticed a figure standing on the porch. They were puzzled, because there was no car parked anywhere in front of the old home place. Getting closer, the driver slammed on the brakes when he could clearly see the figure.
It was the clown, standing on the porch of the old home. The clown waved at the driver and his passengers, smiled, then turned around and walked into the house.
Robert Chanate is a member of the Kiowa Nation and can be reached atrckiowa@gmail.comand He is from Carnegie, OK and currently lives in Denver, CO.


Only in my dreams.....

Elder's Meditation of the Day November 1

Elder's Meditation of the Day November 1
"Times change but principles do not. Times change but lands do not. Times change but our culture and our language remain the same. And that's what you have to keep intact. It's not what you wear - it's what's in your heart."
--Oren Lyons, ONONDAGA
Going back to the old ways doesn't mean giving up electricity, homes, and cars. It means living by the same principles, laws, and values that our ancestors lived by. This will allow us to live successfully in today's world. The spirituality our ancestors lived is the same spirituality we need in these modern times. There are too many influences from TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and negative role models that are guiding our lives in a bad way. Our stability is in the laws, principles, and values that our ancestors were given and that our Elders teach us.
Great Spirit, let me live my life in a spiritual way.

Hemp Facts #10

Friday, October 31, 2014

We return thanks to our Mother,

Chief Joseph's Surrender Speech Oct. 5th, 1877

Charles Lee (Navajo)

"When Death Comes Riding" by Larry Hood (Comanche)

Elder's Meditation of the Day October 31

Elder's Meditation of the Day October 31
"One is not born a Tewa but rather one is made a Tewa... once made, one has to work hard continuously throughout one's life to remain a Tewa."
--Alfonso Ortiz, SAN JUAN PUEBLO
Being Indian is being spiritual. It is not the color of our skin. Being Indian is how we think. We need to learn our culture, our language, our dances, our traditions, and customs. It is one thing to know these things, but another to live them. We need to spend time with the Elders and get their guidance. We need to go to the mountains, woods, and desert to pray. Being spiritual is the way for us to think right. Walking the Red Road and thinking right is the greatest gift we can give to our children.
Grandfather, help me to Walk the Talk.

Good Mornin'

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Annie Oakley

Born on this day in 1860, Annie Oakley gained fame for her unparalleled shooting skills, and later starring in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show for 17 years. By age 15, Oakley paid off the mortgage for her mother's home by shooting small game for a local grocery store.

Watch this clip to learn more about the globally renowned folk hero:

How to Weight a Horse

Tip of the Week Wednesday. Did you know you can estimate the ideal bodyweight of your horse using an equation recently developed by University of Minnesota researchers? Ideal bodyweight (lbs) = (body length (in) x 15.56) + (height (in) x 23.47) – 1,344 (for Arabians), 1,269 (stock horses) or 1,333 (ponies). The image demonstrates how to properly measure body length (D) and height (A). Researchers are currently developing similar equations for warmbloods and draft horses. If math is not “your thing”, you can purchase the Healthy Horse App and it will do the calculations for you. The app is available for both Apple ( and Android ( operating systems. The app will also calculate estimated bodyweight and a bodyweight score (similar to BMI in human). The app retails for $1.99 and proceeds help support equine research efforts at the University of Minnesota.

Oglala Lakota artist Rich Red Owl

Elder's Meditation of the Day October 29

Elder's Meditation of the Day October 29
"Mothers must protect the lives they have helped to bring into the world."
--Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders
Every child is subject to the seeds each adult plants in his/her mind. If we plant praise and "you can do it", the child will grow up with certain predictable behavior patterns. If we plant ideas that there's something wrong with you or you're good for nothing, the child will grow up with predictable behavior patterns. We need to honor and respect the mothers who protect the children and plant positive seeds for their growth.
Great Spirit, bless each mother and give her courage and faith.

Michael and Little Bit on Wagon

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Elder's Meditation of the Day October 28

Elder's Meditation of the Day October 28
"Our religion seems foolish to you, but so does yours to me. The Baptists and Methodists and Presbyterians and the Catholics all have a different God. Why cannot we have one of our own?"
The Creator gave each culture a path to God. To the Indian people, he revealed that the Creator is in everything. Everything is alive with the Spirit of God. The water is alive. The trees are alive. The woods are alive. The mountains are alive. The wind is alive. The Great Spirit's breath is in everything and that's why it's alive. All of nature is our church, we eat with our families in church, we go to sleep in church.
My Creator, let us leave people to worship You in the way You have taught them.

Feather meanings

Monday, October 27, 2014

Grandfather, do you know me?

Mornin' Coffee

Elder's Meditation of the Day October 27

Elder's Meditation of the Day October 27
"O Great Spirit Whose voice I hear in the winds, And whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me! I am small and weak. I need your strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset."
The Great Spirit runs the world and the people by a set of natural laws and principles. He says we are to live our lives and make decisions that will be in harmony with these laws. He says we should be respectful to all things and to all people. He says we should pray for each other. He says we should forgive one another. It is easy to tell if a person is following the ways of the Great Spirit. You can tell by how a man walks in life. He doesn't need to say anything. If we are dishonest or deceitful, other people will know. This is true because we are all interconnected in the Unseen World.
My Creator, let me obey Your ways. Let me Walk the Talk.

Man 's Shirt, c. 1870, Lakota,

Man 's Shirt, c. 1870, Lakota, Native tanned hide, natural and dyed porcupine quills, human hair, pigment, glass trade beads, sewn with sinew.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Make Your Own Choices

Carl Sagan’s long lost deep thoughts

Carl Sagan’s long lost deep thoughts on marijuana and the War on Drugs

Editor’s note: This piece by Tom Angell on Carl Sagan was such an amazing story that we begged to let us run it. And they did. Sagan died on Dec. 20, 1996, at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle after a two-year battle with myelodysplasia, a pre-leukemic syndrome. The cause of death was pneumonia, according to Cornell University’s obituary. The university did not mention marijuana … so here’s the story of Sagan and weed.
Guest post by 
Carl Sagan ... courtesy of
Carl Sagan … courtesy of
New Library of Congress exhibit reveals “Cosmos” creator’s personal writings on marijuana that have never been seen by the public. Until now.
I’ve been a Carl Sagan fan ever since the film “Contact,” based on his novel of the same name, blew my 15-year-old mind in 1997 with notions of alien civilizations and deep-space travel.
But the film premiered after Sagan had already died — too soon, from pneumonia following a battle with bone marrow cancer — and left this Pale Blue Dot. Nerds of my generation never got the chance to hear Sagan’s thoughts about later scientific discoveries like the accelerated expansion of the universe, the Higgs boson or the confirmed existence of thousands of exo-planets beyond our solar system.
And Sagan, who used marijuana to enhance his creativity and generate bold new ideas, never got to see the day when Americans could go to a store, buy marijuana and use it in the privacy of their own homes without fear of criminal prosecution.
But thanks to a huge collection of Sagan’s papers recently made available to the public for the first time at the Library of Congress, we’ve now been given greater insight into his deep thoughts on the drug war and related topics.
The documents confirm that Sagan, whose 1985 “Contact” novel includes a scene where a store in fictionalized future 1999 France is selling marijuana imported from California and Oregon, would’ve been thrilled to see the legalization era we’re entering now, even if we’ve taken a bit more time getting here than he once predicted (back during the height of Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” crusade, no less).
He passed away just a few months after California voters made their state the first to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. Since then, 22 other states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing for medical use, and Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana outright for all adults over 21.
In my own work as a marijuana legalization strategist seeking to make the case to legislators that reform is a mainstream issue, I’ve often cited Sagan’s quotes about the compassion of allowing medical marijuana and the way he personally used the drug as an aid in attaining new scientific and philosophical insights. If respectable scientific brains like Carl Sagan — along with the majority of voters — think it’s time to change marijuana laws, surely more politicians should stop being afraid of embracing reform efforts.
So I was excited to recently spend a few days poring through some of the 600,000 Sagan papers made available at the Library of Congress with generous funding from TV and film impresario Seth MacFarlane in partnership with Sagan’s widow and longtime professional collaborator Ann Druyan. The collection, which includes four boxes strictly focused on drug policy alone, includes a plethora of previously unpublished and unknown Saganisms.
Marijuana is a topic Sagan is now well associated with, but he actually wasn’t especially publicly vocal about the legalization debate during his life, remaining more focused not only on his career exploring and explaining the universe but also on other political causes like environmental conservation, animal rights and stopping the use of nuclear weapons.
He did publicly endorse medical marijuana, and Druyan, his partner in life and in science communication, has long been active with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), including serving as a board member while Sagan was still alive. In an interview with, Druyan explained that “one of the reasons that I became such an activist in this area was I was doing it for both of us. He was an employee of NASA and there’s no question that he wouldn’t have been able to do his work exploring the solar system and searching for life elsewhere if he made as public a stand as I did.”
Druyan says Sagan “encouraged me in every way” to work on marijuana reform and “was doing as much as he could in the very narrow constraints of being a NASA employee.”
Although Sagan never lied about his marijuana use (even admitting it when asked by a caller on Larry King’s radio show) he didn’t exactly go out of his way to advertise it, and it wasn’t widely known just how much of a marijuana enthusiast Sagan really was until much later.
Indeed, it was only after Sagan’s death that Lester Grinspoon, editor of the classic volume “Marihuana Reconsidered,” revealed that the book’s essay by an anonymous “Mr. X” — who wrote that his use of marijuana “produced a very rich array of insights” — was in fact penned by Carl Sagan.
Grinspoon, like Druyan, understands why his cannabis enthusiast friend wasn’t more public in advocating for an end to prohibition. “Carl more than once said to me that he wished he could help me more with this fight. But of course he couldn’t,” says Grinspoon, a professor emeritus of psychiatry at Harvard University who has been one of the leading legalization proponents in academia for the last several decades. “He had every reason to be cautious. He was testifying every other week, it seemed” in front of government committees about NASA affairs.
Recent stories on

While Americans are supposed to enjoy First Amendment protections for their issue advocacy, one 1988 Sagan letter I found at the Library of Congress shows why a government-funded scientist might be reluctant to draw too much public attention to his views about marijuana in the midst of President Reagan’s drug war.
Writing to Grinspoon, Sagan expressed outrage about language in a congressional funding bill for NASA that required contractors like him to adopt written anti-drug-use policies. Saying that the “oath required seems to smack of prior restraint and is unsymmetrical with respect to other crimes.” Sagan pointed out that “we are not obliged to sign an oath we will not murder our fellow employees, for example.”
Grinspoon, who corresponded with Sagan so often their letters fill up several boxes at the Library of Congress, told me he thinks Sagan smoked marijuana nearly “every day, except when he had to travel.”
Druyan says that might be a “bit of an overstatement,” but confirmed Sagan enjoyed marijuana “frequently.” She made it clear just how important cannabis was in their life together: “We smoked the way other American families would have wine with dinner. For us, it was our sacrament. It was something that made a great life sweeter in every possible way.”
Druyan also told me that toward the end of his life Sagan utilized marijuana’s medicinal properties to experience a measure of relief. He used cannabis to treat “not only the lack of appetite and the nausea [from chemotherapy]but to refocus on the beauty of life in the midst of such torture.”
The plant’s effects directly impacted the couple’s work over their decades of collaboration on everything from “Contact” to the 1980 PBS series “Cosmos” that Sagan hosted and that they wrote together. And marijuana’s effects on their work are still being felt. This year’s Fox reboot of “Cosmos” — hosted this time by Neil deGrasse Tyson and again co-written by Druyan — not only took home four Emmys, but made mention in one episode of 17th Century scientist Robert Hooke’s use of cannabis while describing him as “possibly the most inventive person who ever lived.”
“Marijuana made it possible for both of us to be far more creative,” Druyan says of her collaborations with Sagan. “The things that people find distinctly unique about Carl’s work, and our work together, and my work since, were certainly influenced by the perspective that was made possible by knowing what it was like to be high.”
Of course, Sagan’s interest in marijuana policy extended far beyond his own use of the drug or prohibition’s direct impact on himself, and the newly opened papers reveal that he put a great deal of thought into the ill effects of the drug war and ways to combat it over the decades.
In 1990, Sagan wrote to leading drug policy reform campaigners suggesting they organize a “systematic attempt to rebut” sensational Partnership for a Drug-Free America commercials that he felt “routinely make gross distortions of the scientific facts.”
This disconnect from science was among Sagan’s chief concerns about the criminalization of marijuana. It was “something that particularly infuriated Carl as a scientist,” Druyan says. He was troubled by not only the “bad civic engineering but the very bad science behind prohibition.”
In another letter from 1990 Sagan laid out these fundamental philosophical questions underpinning America’s drug war:
Might it be possible to engineer drugs with all of the alleged benefits and none of the deficiencies and dangers of current drugs?
Why is the foregoing suggestion occasionally rejected on moral grounds, and is there something intrinsically immoral about feeling good by taking a molecule?
Do we ordinarily feel good because our bodies have generated molecules?
More practically, he went on to ask:
How much money is spent every year on the planet on illegal drugs?
Does the existence of such enormous amounts of money inevitably lead to corruption in police and military enforcement agencies, legislators, intelligence agencies and the Executive branch?
If the financial rewards from drug dealing are so enormous, will not the suppression of the drug industry in one nation cause it to proliferate in another nation?
Sagan also recorded his concerns with the nation’s increasing over-reliance on incarceration. As prison populations started to rise in the 1980s, he noted, “The California Corrections Department has an annual budget of a third of a billion dollars” (in 1980 dollars). “Consider the costs both in dollars and in other units of the encouragement to crime provided by justice and poverty.”
When it comes to marijuana laws in 2014, we might as well be living on an entirely different planet from the one Sagan, Druyan and the activists they were corresponding with inhabited in the 1980s and 90s. With marijuana now legal in two U.S. states and in the nation of Uruguay, and more jurisdictions undoubtedly on the way soon, change is happening fast.
Grinspoon told me Sagan would be overjoyed at the progress the legalization movement has achieved in recent years, and that as a result he’d probably be more likely today to be open about both his support for changing marijuana laws and the fact that he regularly broke them as a marijuana user.
“I think he would be quite straightforward with it now,” Grinspoon says. Noting that “all sorts of people are coming out” about having used marijuana these days, he sees parallels between this issue and the struggle for gay rights. “I think when people started to come out about being gay, that was one of the most important engines of moving this country to a more sensible view of getting rid of homophobia.” As more people — especially successful academics and scientists — feel comfortable identifying themselves as having broken the marijuana laws, “that’s just going to push the whole thing further.”
With the success of this year’s “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” and with more states voting on legalizing marijuana in November, the newly unearthed Sagan documents add to the growing consensus that marijuana prohibition is not grounded in science and is not supported by leading thinkers and prominent people.
“We are going at warp speed toward getting rid of that prohibition now,” says Grinspoon.
Druyan says Sagan “would have been encouraged by every one of the victories against short-term thinking.”
“Our culture has begun to catch up with him on so many different issues,” she says.
Carl Sagan would indeed be relieved to see that we didn’t need a “Spaceship of the Imagination” to travel to a world where marijuana is legal. All that’s been required is hard work by the growing marijuana reform movement, and time.