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By: Jennifer Walker        Photo: Anna Webber There are certain standout individuals who are synonymous with weed.  The legends who inspired and invoke idyllic turntable memories of cannabis-infused moments in history, songs and artwork, poetry and protests. We hear stories about these legends, these pot pioneers that encouraged us to be free, stand […]

 In Interviews

By: Jennifer Walker        Photo: Anna Webber

There are certain standout individuals who are synonymous with weed.  The legends who inspired and invoke idyllic turntable memories of cannabis-infused moments in history, songs and artwork, poetry and protests. We hear stories about these legends, these pot pioneers that encouraged us to be free, stand up for our beliefs, and embrace the counterculture.  We still walk among some of these figures and while the cannabis industry is changing, the sentiments remain generally the same. David Crosby (singer/songwriter/musician, founding member of The Byrds, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) is embarking on his next adventure with the cannabis that he’s loved so well for decades. Thinking globally, the “Mighty Croz” brand hopes to change the way the world thinks about weed, and along with business partner Steven Sponder,  is holding out for the ultimate cannabis collaboration with cultivators and companies who share their vision. But aside from the business of cannabis, there is the beauty of cannabis- the flower that inspires so much creativity and artistic productivity.  Vegas Cannabis Magazine had the opportunity to talk with David Crosby about that very thing, and we were fascinated by what he had to say.   

Jennifer Walker: Thank you so much for talking with us today! We wanted to ask you a little bit about creativity and cannabis and more specifically, how cannabis enhances your process or hinders it (if it hinders it at all) and what your general thoughts are on the subject

David Crosby: I believe it does help my creative process; there’s 2 ways- my normal writing thing happens in a pretty predictable way. We make dinner, family dinner, and then I go and build a fire, we have a fireplace in our bedroom…I build a fire, and then I take a guitar off the wall (I have a bunch of guitars in there, different tunings) and then I smoke a joint, or rather, I vape with my Pax 3, and then I pick up a guitar in a tuning and I start fooling around to see where it takes me. It’s a thing that I do almost every night at home- it’s one of my favorite creative processes that I go through. Anytime I’m high and I’m trying to create, if I come up with any words at all, I write them down and sit down at the computer and try to see where the words take me…lyrics are always the hardest part.  I do both of those things stoned, and I always have. I’ve been doing it that way for 50 years, and it seems to work ok.

JW: I would suspect that in comparison, hard drugs hinder the creative process…

DC: Yes, exactly, it’s the opposite- you do hard drugs, it slowly destroys you. It sets you up to come apart at the seams, and it kills your creativity. If you could graph it out, you’d see the increase in hard drug usage and the decrease in creativity…you can absolutely see the relationship.  Of course, the minute I stopped doing hard drugs then, BANG! the creativity came right back and I started writing again. Pot seems to encourage creativity in my opinion.  

JW: There has been some controversy surrounding people who are in recovery from hard drug use (and sometimes, alcohol abuse) who seem to find comfort in a much more positive way with the use of cannabis  

DC: I think a lot of people feel that way, but I don’t. I think it’s best to spend a long time sober if you’re getting off drugs, I spent 14 ½ years sober and going to meetings. And frankly, I don’t think until I’d done about 10 of those years that it would have been safe for me. I don’t think that you can just start smoking pot right away when you’re trying to quit hard drugs. I don’t think it’s a good idea, it’s best not to do anything.  No drinking, no pot, nothing. 

JW: Focusing on the positive aspects of cannabis usage, creating is one part of it, but also enjoyment is another part of it- enjoying music, art, food, all types of great things… 

DC: Yeah, enjoying life! 

JW: Exactly! What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy cannabis and experience creative things?

DC: How it works for me is, I generally don’t smoke it in the daytime, I have stuff to do…a family, groceries, jobs…regular life stuff that I do in the daytime. I generally wait until the evening before I get high.  It gives me a chance to get stuff done. When I want to unwind at the end of the day, that’s when it seems to work out the best. 

JW: I like it for sleep.  I tend to be an anxious person and I have bouts of insomnia…

DC: I have the same thing

JW: Do you remember the first time that you explored a 12-string acoustic guitar, while stoned? 

DC: Yes I do remember it! The first time I saw a 12-string was by way of a guy named Bob Gibson, a folk singer back in the day, and he was famous for playing a 12-string…and he turned me onto it, and I really loved it. I took a 6-string guitar that I’d had and turned it into a 12-string and I still have it, it’s a stunner! 

JW: Let’s talk about your “Mighty Croz” brand a little bit- what your vision is, and what you have planned for teaming up with a grower or a cannabis company…

DC: It’s a fascinating thing. Right now, there’s probably a thousand companies out there, all of whom think that they’re going to be GM next week. And they’re not (laughs)…they’re not going to make it. Just like the competitive car companies back in the old days who ended up fighting with each other and competing with each other, and get whittled down to just a few, that same process is going on right now with pot companies. We (Mighty Croz) are trying to talk to as many of these companies as we can and try to figure out who has the vision to see down the road what’s going to happen, and I believe that I know what’s going to happen.  But we’re looking for a company that’s behaving in a way that will last a long time and be one of the companies that evolves out of this mess to be an International pot company. And they do exist, and hopefully WILL exist all over the world.  We’re looking for the guys who run (actually, women, hopefully) who run a company like that, and it’s difficult. I think we all thought that celebrity brands would be a terrific thing, but it turns out that they’re much tougher than anyone thought. Willie did it well, Snoop did it well, but we’re looking at the longevity of the brands, too.  It is going to happen, we believe very strongly that I can bring something, I’ve been a pot smoker for 50 years, I can be useful in this industry, there isn’t any question (laughs)…we just have to be patient until we find the right slot, the right people and the right way to go about it. We will find the right people who have the same long-range vision and who want to do this the way we want to do this, which is at a very high-quality level. 

JW: Here in Nevada, it’s been pretty competitive within the industry.  We of course are looking at other states like Colorado and Oregon who seem to be doing things successfully. Canada and Israel are also coming into the industry, as well…

DC:  Israel is doing a lot of research. What I think is going to happen is this- your tax money goes into the Federal government; a lot of health education and welfare money comes down a pipe from the Federal government to the state governments. That pipe has been constricted for a long time. Now this particular Federal government doesn’t want to send money down that pipe to Black people, or Brown people, or young people or old people or anybody except themselves! All these states who are having a hard time getting money to their people and are looking at Colorado and Oregon who can build a school, or a road, or a hospital today. And the reason why is because they have state-controlled tax money. Billions of it, and enough to make a difference! So based on that, my belief is that cannabis is going to go legal, even in states where they are posturing against it, because they need the money and they need it desperately. It’s not the right reason of course, the right reason is people shouldn’t go to jail for smoking pot, because it’s relatively harmless and a good thing. 

JW: You’re right, and we are calling the industry “the Wild West” out here in most of Nevada because it really is…

DC: That’s EXACTLY what it is! They will overregulate because they want their own little taste of the goodies underneath the table.  It’s nothing new though, we’ve seen this before with other types of businesses, I don’t think that the rules have changed. But I do think that if we’re patient it’s going to work out and cannabis is going to get legalized all over the country, and it will be legal to bank that money in the United States of America.

JW: What do you think of this more modern way of identifying strains with terpene profiles and cannabinoid classifications?

DC: I think it’s largely people in the dispensaries and cannabis businesses having fun.  There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s mostly important to find something that tastes really good to you, that smokes the way you want it to smoke and that gets you to the kind of high that you like. You should try a number of different types of pot to do that. But I don’t think that you can ascertain these crazy specifics like, “this is gonna want to make you paint!” or “this one is GREAT for sex, but nothing else!” That’s kind of just inventive fun, but I don’t take it very seriously. 

JW: You grow your own crops, right? How does that work? Is this at your home?

DC: Oh, it’s so much fun! It’s such a beautiful plant and they’re so much fun to raise. My wife and I wake up, we make some coffee, and we go out in the early part of the day before it gets hot and we’ll be out there working with the plants and we love it.  It’s FUN! 

JW: That’s fantastic! So what is your favorite way to consume cannabis? Are you into edibles, concentrates, do you vape?

DC: Basically, what I like to do is take flower and put it in a PAX 3 Vaporizer. I like the taste of the flower. We do also make edibles, we make ginger snaps, my wife makes the best ginger snaps you’ve ever tasted in your life, and it definitely helps you go to sleep.  

JW: To circle back to the creativity portion of this conversation, I wanted to ask you if you have any specific memories or a really special moment that comes to mind when you were enjoying cannabis…maybe an album you were listening to, or a fantastic concert where you were smoking and it really resonated with you. Anything come to mind?

DC: (laughs) How about all of ‘em?! 

JW: Care to name any names?

DC: Well, like I said, I’ve been doing this for 50 years. All those records that you heard like Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Byrds…all of those? All stoned. I made them all stoned, I wrote ‘em stoned, I sang ‘em stoned and then we performed them live stoned. All of ‘em, every single one! That’s a bunch of good music that didn’t seem to be harmed by cannabis at all.

JW: Perfect! I must admit, I got to see you and your Sky Trails tour show a few weeks ago here at Red Rock and it was fantastic. Admittedly, the audience was enjoying cannabis that night!

DC: Good! That’s an absolutely wonderful thing to hear. 

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