John Hardin / @ 7:36 a.m. / Op-Ed

HARDIN: ‘Blood Diamond’ is the Best Name for a Strain of Weed Yet


I’ve written about stupid names for strains of weed before, but now I think I’ve figured out why stupid names matter. To market weed effectively, the cannabis industry needs names that appeal to the intellect and aesthetics of a 15-year-old boy. I smoked weed for the first time on my 15th birthday. I think a lot of people start smoking weed at about that age, so the same logic that applies to naming a hip-hop artist or a professional wrestler also applies to naming weed.

You need a name that sounds cool to a 15-year-old boy. That’s why we have pot called “Green Crack,” “God’s Pussy” and “Chem Dawg.” From that perspective, the latest “hot” strain around here, “Blood Diamond,” fits the bill. I would have bought “Blood Diamond” weed when I was 15, and I would have liked the name too. I haven’t smoked any “Blood Diamond” yet, but it gets rave reviews from everyone except trimmers.

To me, it’s all just “weed.” I’m sure I’d like “Blood Diamond” weed if I smoked some. I like all weed, and most of the weed around here is pretty good. Don’t ask me to tell you which weed is better. If I’m high on good weed, the last thing I want to think about is how this weed compares with the last weed I smoked. I’m high now. That’s what matters.

I think “Blood Diamond” is a poetic name for weed right now. The term “Blood Diamond” was coined for diamonds mined in conflict zones where they fund bloody civil wars. Many brutal conflicts rage in diamond-rich Central Africa. Warlords use the money they make from mining and selling these diamonds to buy weapons, ammunition and supplies to advance their personal ambitions of wealth and power through violence and bloodshed. The UN banned the import of diamonds from conflict zones, but the black market has ways around such things, so “Blood Diamonds” – diamonds from Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Angola and a few other countries – still find their way onto young women’s fingers here in the US.

Now “Blood Diamond” marijuana is finding its way into America’s bongs. While “Blood Diamonds” in Sierra Leone finance a bloody civil war fought by child soldiers, “Blood Diamond” weed supplies an army of underage street dealers who risk violence, expulsion from school and jail time on the front lines of America’s War on Drugs.

In war zones, arms dealers will happily accept payment, in diamonds, for weapons and ammunition, so warlords dig for diamonds to finance insurgencies that terrorize and destabilize fledgling democracies. In Trinity County last week, cops raided a house in which, in addition to the typical, industrial quantities of cannabis and commercial quantities of hard drugs, authorities found over a hundred firearms and more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition.

Conflict zones have no environmental regulations. In Central Africa, brutal warlords use forced labor to dam rivers, and dig dangerous mines in the riverbeds to find “Blood Diamonds.” Here in Humboldt County, greedy growers clear forests, bulldoze natural habitat and drain salmon streams to grow “Blood Diamond” weed.

“Blood Diamonds” sparkle as bright as diamonds mined in peaceful democracies like Canada, and most diamond dealers have a “don’t ask; don’t tell” policy. The same can be said for the marijuana industry. Cannabis consumers rarely know much about where their marijuana comes from or how it was produced.

“Blood Diamond” is just another meaningless moniker designed to brand cannabis and appeal to prospective 15-year-old clients, but it says a lot about the cannabis industry and the War on Drugs with an elegance and sense of irony I really admire. Apparently the product is pretty good too. I can only assume the grower who developed this strain, knows the industry, and the plant, very well indeed. I appreciate his honesty and eloquence.

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John Hardin writes at Like You’ve Got Something Better to Do.


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