38 episodes

Great Moments in Weed History delves deep into humanity's 10,000+ year relationship with cannabis (a.k.a. "marijuana") to find the humor, heart, and historical importance of this very special plant. In each episode, co-hosts Abdullah Saeed and David Bienenstock blaze joints, crack jokes, and explore the people, places, and events that make up the complex and fascinating past of weed and weed culture, from Barack Obama's time in the "Choom Gang," to an exclusive first-hand account of how the Hollywood sign briefly became the Hollyweed sign. Great Moments in Weed History is a Spoke Media original.

Great Moments in Weed History Spoke Media

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9, 410 Ratings

Great Moments in Weed History delves deep into humanity's 10,000+ year relationship with cannabis (a.k.a. "marijuana") to find the humor, heart, and historical importance of this very special plant. In each episode, co-hosts Abdullah Saeed and David Bienenstock blaze joints, crack jokes, and explore the people, places, and events that make up the complex and fascinating past of weed and weed culture, from Barack Obama's time in the "Choom Gang," to an exclusive first-hand account of how the Hollywood sign briefly became the Hollyweed sign. Great Moments in Weed History is a Spoke Media original.

    John Lennon Was A Weed DREAMer

    John Lennon Was A Weed DREAMer

    In 1971, John Lennon performed publicly, for the first time in five years, at a rally decrying the injustice of Michigan police targeting a radical political activist for an elaborate undercover sting operation, resulting in a sentence of ten years in prison for passing two joints.

    The concert brought massive media attention, and John Sinclair soon after walked out of prison a free man, landing John Lennon on Richard Nixon's official enemies list. 

    For the next three years, the President's "plumbers" harassed the former Beatle and his wife Yoko Ono, while the INS threatened him with deportation over an old hashish bust back in England. Meanwhile the FBI tapped his phones and sent agents to tail his every move

    Lennon, Ono, and their legal team fought them every step, and along the way created a new legal precedent in immigration law that still stands as today's DREAM act. (At the time of this podcast, the Supreme Court had yet to rule on a case brought by the Trump administration challenging DACA and the DREAM Act).

    Read John Lennon vs. The USA (written by Lennon's immigration attorney Leon Wildes) for more info, and watch the documentary The U.S. vs John Lennon

    Also learn more about Dr. Lester Grinspoon (whose expert witness on the difference between "marijuana" and "hashish" helped save the day) in our Season 1 episode about Carl Sagan.

    Big thanks to Tweedle Farms for their support this season! Go to Tweedlefarms.com and use promo code greatmoments for a discount on CBD products shipped anywhere in the U.S.

    Long live Nutopia!

    • 58 min
    The Grateful Dead Fight the Man (And Win)

    The Grateful Dead Fight the Man (And Win)

    Jerry Garcia and Mountain Girl sat rolling joints and cleaning the stems and seeds from a brick of weed when a fateful knock came at the door of 710 Ashbury Street.

    Having your communal crash pad raided by the police isn’t typically the start of a great moment, but for the Grateful Dead, the October 1967 undercover police sting operation that targeted their home and headquarters turned into a pivotal inflection point in the band’s trajectory. One that would change cannabis history and spread weed consciousness around the world. 

    That's because rather than pleading out or turning informant, they held a press conference right in the same room where they’d been busted, calling out the local police and the national War on Drugs as a racist, hypocritical, counter productive, unconstitutional failure.

    Abdullah and Bean also discuss the huge role the band and their many Deadhead followers played in spreading high quality marijuana and seeds across the country, including classic strains like Sour Diesel and Chemdog.

    Very special thanks to the legend Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, Spinal Tap) for guesting on this episode, as he actually wrote the 1967 pro-legalization statement the Dead presented at their press conference.

    Read more first person accounts of this incident in Rock Skully's book Living with the Dead and in Rosie McGee's memoir Dancing with the Dead.

    Hear the Grateful Dead's October 22, 1967 Marijuana Defense Benefit concert in its entirety at archive.org

    Check out Grateful Dead historian Dennis McNally's book A Long Strange Trip.

    Support us by supporting our good friends and sponsors, Tweedlefarms.com - use promo code greatmoments for a discount!

    • 55 min
    The High Hindu Holiday

    The High Hindu Holiday

    Once a year, Hindus celebrate cannabis and the god Shiva with the ancient festival of Maha Shivaratri, an all-night affair of fasting, meditation, chanting, and dancing.

    Abdullah tells Bean the story in this Freaky High-Day episode, and the guys talk Hinduism, the divine origins of cannabis, weed-loving deities, and psychedelics.

    They also try hash-infused Bhang, one of the world's oldest edibles and maybe Shiva's favorite.

    Support the show buy supporting our sponsors! Visit Tweedlefarms.com and use promo code greatmoments for a discount on quality CBD products.

    • 1 hr
    Bong Hits for Jesus!

    Bong Hits for Jesus!

    A weed-fueled stoner prank escalated to the highest court in the land after a student in Juneau, Alaska used the opportunity of the olympic torch passing through town to unfurl a banner reading "Bong Hits For Jesus."

    What makes this a truly great moment in weed history is not just the way Joseph Frederick thumbed his nose at an oppressive high school and its humorless principal, but the years he spent afterward, defending his personal liberty and the free speech rights of all students in the United States.

    Along the way, he'd face police harassment, multiple arrests, and a series of courtroom battles that led all the way to the Supreme Court. Where the Justices repeatedly had to say and hear the words Bong Hits for Jesus.

    Visit our sponsors at Tweedlefarms.com and use promo code greatmoments for a discount on quality CBD products!

    • 55 min
    Oaksterdam's Weed Mayor

    Oaksterdam's Weed Mayor

    Richard Lee's life changed forever when he slipped on a catwalk while setting up the lights for an Aerosmith concert, suffering a spinal injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down. A Texas native raised by conservative Republican parents, Richard would fight to educate his family, his state, and ultimately the entire country about medical cannabis.

    Eventually, he transformed an eight-block stretch of his adopted home town so thoroughly that it came to be known, affectionately, as Oaksterdam. Richard’s empire included two cannabis coffeeshops, a medical cannabis dispensary, a gift shop, his political headquarters, and the 30,000 square foot main campus of Oaksterdam University, the country’s first trade school dedicated to training people for careers in the legal cannabis industry.

    He then put up his own money to run a state-wide marijuana legalization initiative in California. Not long after, the Feds came to shut him down. And the city of Oakland rose up in his defense.

    Support Great Moments in Weed History by supporting our sponsors! Visit Tweedlefarms.com and use promo code greatmoments for a discount on CBD products shipped anywhere in the U.S.

    • 56 min
    Hemp for Victory!

    Hemp for Victory!

    Native American leader Alex White Plume planted his first hemp crop on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 2000, sparking a long battle over tribal sovereignty that included a series of DEA raids, a federal injunction, and a tense stand-off between Alex, his siblings, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

    Along the way, Alex would discover an important ally—millions of feral hemp plants that were first planted in the 1940s to support the U.S. war effort in WWII, as extolled in the long suppressed government propaganda film Hemp for Victory!

    Learn more of the White Plume's incredible story of suffering and vindication in the documentary Standing Silent Nation.

    And please support Great Moments in Weed History by supporting our sponsors at Tweedlefarms.com - use promo code greatmoments for a discount on your order of CBD products, shipped anywhere in the U.S.

    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
410 Ratings

410 Ratings

MicahB2Cool ,

Super informative and entertaining podcast

Loving this podcast for deep dives into particular moments and subcultures in weed history. I’ve learned so much about weed culture from this show… every episode tackles a new story and fleshes out some aspect of the long and complex history of human interaction with the plant. The two hosts play really well off each other, too… love the juxtaposition of facts, banter, and obvious good friendship between them.

stylehaley ,

love it!!

loving this podcast so far!! my two favorite things in one, weed and history! currently work in a dispensary and have a history degree so it’s been fun finding a podcast that marries the two so well! these guys are smart, funny, and great story tellers! really helps me get through the work day! my only request is, can we get an episode about Seattle & Washington State cannabis?? we have so many great resources here! anyways, listen if you enjoy a well researched and funny podcast! keep it up guys!

dannybrainny ,

Smart and Funny

Fascinating topics! The hosts are super knowledgeable and smart but the tone is still humorous and chill. I love it

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