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Hardly marijuana – a half vast horticultural project

Updated on November 28, 2012

Back in the old days when politicians promised there would be a chicken in every pot, no office seeker in his or her right mind ever promised pot in every voter's pipe. That was before roll-your-owns came into style – before the Mexicans had their own Drug Mafia – even before tobacco smoking gave people lung cancer. Those were truly the good old days.

Hardly anything here that a person would want to smoke
Hardly anything here that a person would want to smoke
Maybe this would make a good salad
Maybe this would make a good salad
When the mixed-up genes don't work, the doggone plant just ups and dies
When the mixed-up genes don't work, the doggone plant just ups and dies
Close enough for government work, right?
Close enough for government work, right?
From little acorns tall oaks grow - and from little pots Hardly marijuana grows. That's a lot like the parable of the tiny mustard seed
From little acorns tall oaks grow - and from little pots Hardly marijuana grows. That's a lot like the parable of the tiny mustard seed
Seven feet and still growing - Does anyone have a match?
Seven feet and still growing - Does anyone have a match?

Science came along

After lots of time came and went, scientists began to take over things. They invented spinach as a form of punishment for unruly children. The bread toaster was developed for the purpose of holding butter and jelly on a crisply burnt slice of otherwise unremarkable bread - bread which, itself, had to await the future development of toasters. Early toasters didn't work very well because there was yet no electricity. Electricity could only come after Ben Franklin first learned kite-flying. (He practiced his kite-flying lessons in dark and rainy weather so neighbors would not see him at such childish activities.) Well, as you can readily see, whenever man attempts an end-around on Mother Nature, everything becomes quite complicated – tortuous even.

Anyway, time passed, one thing going on and then another, until, ipso-facto (a bit of synthetic Latin there...) you, the world, and I have arrived here at the closing days of 2012 – a banner year for scurrilous politics and a decent grape crop.

The Hardly Marijuana Project

It can now be disclosed that Gus The Redneck was oh-so-quietly contacted by the powers-that-be and was asked to lead a top-secret project, the goal of which was to develop fake marijuana. You see, in addition to his numerous other skills, some of which are known to the population at large and others which are hidden even from Gus, the government muck-de-mucks were very much onto what Gus could do for them and for the country with his ability to lead development of highly desirable fake vices.

Obviously, the ersatz weed project had to be kept secret (like most of the nonsense things done by governments). Only upon its completion would anyone find out what had been done; that is, the project had to succeed before anyone could read about it. Nothing was ever written down or recorded during the project's gestational days or thereafter. No one was to find out what was going on except those who actually labored within the project itself. Once the money to cover project costs had been provided by the government, the sponsoring congressman and those who had voted affirmatively for the funding were balloted out of office. (It was said that this was arranged for by the CIA...) With Congress out of the loop now, the real work began.

Ain't gonna make no pot in Pottstown

The original location for project headquarters was to be Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Gus rebelled at that choice. Instead, he held out for a location more to his liking, a Texas town with which he was very familiar,. It was Hardly, Texas. That was the place to which the mechanical bull from Mickey Gilley's original beer joint in Pasadena, Texas, had been relocated. What is more fitting than to put a synthetic marijuana project headquarters right down the dusty street from a fake bull? In fact, It was Hardly said - then done. The fake bull could no longer be ridden because the plug was missing from the end of its electric wire. With no apparent distractions the project got underway.

The Drug Mafia and the18-wheeler shortage

Project crew members had been alerted to the need for haste. Drug smugglers were really pushing on things – like getting driver licenses so that they could legally transport illegal marijuana to their many dope dealers around the United States. They had created shortages of 18-wheelers by their buying up as many of the big rigs as could be manufactured by Kenworth, Peterbilt, Freightliner and the rest of them. The situation had become fairly grim for legitimate freight haulers. Not only were their drivers being tempted by offers of free pot and high hourly wages, the looming shortage of truck tractors was driving freight company executives plain nutso.

With such a need for haste, the Hardly bunch accelerated their efforts. Lucky for them and for the secret project, they were successful in hiring a very experienced organics farmer, Jimson W. Bacco from Gobbler's Knob, Arkansas. Bacco was a whiz at growing stuff where nobody else could make anything grow. He was talented, was Bacco, much like Jim Beam and Jim's buddy, Jack Daniel, who were skilled in their making of moonshine and other flavors of liquid refreshment from grains, hop seeds – even from yard-mowing grass.

Bacco gets it on

In Hardly, Bacco went right to work. For a while, he messed around with ordinary dirt for his growing soils, but soon enough he had some of that aluminum-rich bauxite soil hauled in from up around Little Rock, Arkansas. He sprouted all sorts of plants in his big soil pots. Prominent among the plants were mock oranges, hairless tiger lilies, frangipani sets, and all kinds of creepy vine things, spiky tall stuff, plants with bright flowers that smelled pretty, and plants with dull flowers that really stunk. Bacco scurried from plant to plant, day after day, fast on his feet – almost in the manner of a hungry leaf-hopper fly, although on foot instead of wings.

A joint testing effort at last

It was not very long before leafing time arrived. Bacco had been crossbreeding plants for only several months when the first of his progeny in those big aluminum-enriched pots popped out with smoke-worthy leaves. Bacco then flitted from plant to plant picking the larger leaves. The leaves were all kept in separate piles, then dried, chopped up in the manner of ordinary cigarette tobacco,. Then the chopped leaves were rolled into smoking-ready joints for smoke testing by project members.

The results of the testing were generally so-so. Most of the smoke-testers agreed that almost all of the leaves were horrible smokes – some reported nasty tastes, belly aches, severe headaches – even bladder problems and with one person even experiencing space aliens and dinosaurs. On the second week of testing there appeared a winner leaf from one plant. It was a large leaf from a hybrid plant derived from the “egg” of a “Queen Anne's Lace” plant (sometimes called a wild carrot) and pollen from the flower of the kudzu vine. Joy was everywhere within the project team.

Both of those plants were common, both could grow almost anywhere in the country, both were voracious growers, and there was not much known to man that could kill either of them. The hybrid derived from them was even hardier and grew considerably faster than did either parent plant. Kudzu vines can reach growing speeds of around one foot per day. The hybrid plant really smoked. It could grow 50 per cent faster. Beyond its growing speed, the plant had leaves that burned under good control in the test roll-ups - and none of those noxious oxidizer chemicals used for burn-maintenance in tobacco cigarettes were necessary.

Talk about success...

So, why is it that today there is no trace of fake pot to show for all of this?

Yes. It might be asked, "Whatever became of all the Hardly marijuana?"

As soon as the fake pot hit the indoor markets and the street corners, the Mexican Dope Mafia went to court in both Texas and in Washington, D.C., obtaining an injunction against the marketing of the stuff. Their contention had a certain logic to it. Their main claim was that U.S. government money had subsidized the agriculture behind development of the Hardly marijuana. The courts agreed, and so the whole project went up in smoke.

And that's how Gus The Redneck lost his cushy government-paid job and had to go back to a life of strenuous writing and HubPages wealth.


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