The use of marijuana -- boo, weed, reefer, grass, cannabis, or pot -- as a sacrament for anything or on any occasion transcended all demographics and was the subtle fuel of both protest and seductionâ€¦.Weed was everywhere, so why not contribute to the ongoing party that was the late '60s?
-- Jac Holzman, from his liner notes to Rhino Handmade's release of A Child's Garden Of Grass
Not only did the smoke linger over all things enlightened and libidinal. Turns out its pseudo-scholarly study could provide a laugh, as evidenced by this cult comedy classic from 1971. A Child's Garden Of Grass is an expanded audio companion to Jack Margolis and Richard Clorfene's book of the same name. Radio legend Ron Jacobs suggested the spoken-word adaptation to Elektra head Jac Holzman, who loved the idea. Margolis was hired to do the writing and members of The Firesign Theater, among others, to do the voice work.
What resulted was a clever compendium on the science, history, and culture of marijuana. Within Garden's parody of a painfully polite instructional record (you know, the ones that taught kids of the '50s and '60s to be upstanding citizens) are dryly comic sketches that surely had a hand in shaping the stoned genius of Cheech & Chong. We're informed by our square-rator, for instance, that:
The first time a person tries to get stoned, he may not feel any effect whatsoever. Many people -- even Methodists -- find that after smoking for hours, particularly with good grass, they'll still feel no effect the first two or three times. For them, we recommend needlepoint, weightlifting, or any of the other traditional methods of reaching Nirvana.
In addition to the highly sought-after A Child's Garden Of Grass, this Handmade release includes the comedy sketch "A Presidential Trip." Appearing on a 1970 Elektra album by impressionist David Frye, the bit portrays Richard Nixon as he discovers "marijeewanna" for the first time. Then there's "I Like Marijuana," a David Peel & The Lower East Side rant recorded in Washington Square and appearing on their 1968 Elektra album Have A Marijuana.