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Ask The Old Hippie

Thanks for the great response to Ask the Old Hippy
The Old Hippy regrets he an’t answer everyone’s questions.
The most recent questions and answers are below.

“Old hippies don’t die, they just lie low until the laughter stops and their time comes round again.” – Joseph Gallivan 

What in the World Ever Became of Sweet Jane?

hi old hippy,
I’ve been smoking pot for roughly 5 yrs..I’ve always done extremely well in
school and am graduating at the top of my class this summer. however i feel
extremely stupid and i constantly question my artwork, my thoughts and
anything else about myself now whenever i smoke. i suddenly feel pressure from
the people im around, even my closest friends! pot used to be something i
enjoyed, something that made me feel fun and uninhibited and i could laugh or
say anything i wanted without giving any thought to it. i just would like to
know if there’s a way to rediscover my free feeling self…i feel as though i
pressure myself and worry to much….maybe a mental exercise?? please any
help would be wonderful
thank you

What in the world ever became of sweet Jane? She lost her sparkle, you know she isn’t the same… – The Grateful Dead.

What you’re finding out is that marijuana isn’t always a help in every situation. Loss of confidence, motivation and enjoyment often comes with excessive use. When you have work to do, or you’re under pressure (real or imagined), or you must deal with straight people or really don’t have the time or space to just totally relax into the high, it can easily turn into a downer.

Pot can bring out a lot of things that are below the surface. Doubts, insecurities, paranoia, etc. can be exacerbated while high. In the last five years, you’ve probably taken on more responsibility, while people now expect more from you as an adult. Pot can hinder your personal growth by keeping you from dealing with the real issues in your life. People change. It’s a sign of growth. What you must do now is find a new relationship with cannabis, or even consider stopping for awhile or indefinitely or just use it on special occasions.

Many of us old hippies cut back drastically or stopped completely for awhile. I pretty much did for 10 years. But then I came back again because I needed to become LESS STRESSED, and decided to change my lifestyle to one that wouldn’t kill me in a few more years. And guess what? It worked!

In any case you should find out what works for you. When it can be used therapuetically or recreationally when it won’t interfere with your other responsibilities. Pot won’t ever solve your personal problems, and can actually make them worse if abused. So use with care.

Peace and Pot,
The Old Hippy

Posted by: skip
Views: 23558

Why is there so much hatred towards hippies?

I’m confused as to why there is so much hatred towards hippies in the past few years. Everybody in my school is all like oooh hippies, stupid f*ckin tree huggers. I just dont get why they’re so ignorant. Just recently I’ve noticed a surge of hatred though, actually as of this year. I think it’s fueled by the hip-hop crowd. Their values totally collide with ours. They are greedy, capitolistic, rude and not to mention violent. And we are peacefull, non materialistic beings. What do you think old hippy? I hope you can inspire me.


This is a question I’ve asking myself recently. I think you hit the nail on the head when you pointed out how our values collide with the hippie haters. Our mere existence not to mention colorful presence causes what’s known as psychological dissonance. We represent an alternative to mainstream thinking and values and thus a challenge to all those who accept the status quo.

The pressure to conform, especially in American society has never been greater in my lifetime. It’s similar to the 50’s when everyone was expected to graduate high school and college, get a 9-5, get married, have 2.5 kids and move to the suburbs. Back then there were far fewer options around too.

Now we have a Republican administration, and this kind of thinking thrives when the country’s leaders are conservative cowboys who promote war and violence as a solution to the world’s most intractible problems. Add to this the terrorist hysteria, the fucked-up economy, the broken dreams, the ecological catastrophes just around the corner, and you have a situation ripe for dividing the country into opposite camps.

The media is also to blame. I cannot believe how much violence I see everyday in TV, rock videos, movies, even on my street (today it’s endless loud fireworks for New Years). This has taken its toll in several generations, who now see violence as a normal human expression, something to be expected and returned, tit for tat.

For a real contrast, I recently watched the movie Mary Poppins, which I hadn’t seen since I was a kid. I was amazed at how slickly they had inserted such now extinct values in the movie as respect for elders, politeness, anti-capitalist values, in fact it’s a complete homage to personal freedom and creativity. You rarely see that anymore in the movies or on TV.

The level of violence and the sheer quantity of it blows me away. The public has been led to believe that violence in the media doesn’t translate to actual violence. This is A BIG LIE. It is pure brainwashing, and so it doesn’t surprise me to see so many people willing to kill others, even innocent people, just out of revenge. It’s truly sick.

Of course hippies will always be in the minority, but again, just the fact that we exist, that we are willing to explore and present alternative ideas and solutions means that all these war-mongers and greedy capitalists must address these very important issues that they would rather ignore in their quest for money and power.

So don’t dismay that we are hated by some, (perhaps feared is closer to the truth), because we serve to enlighten and challenge the status quo. As long as we speak out and don’t hide our true feelings we can preserve our freedoms to do just that. If we retreat in silence we may never again have the right to stand up to the powerful and tell it like it is.

The next few years will make a big difference for our collective future. We are almost beyond the point of no return. Many of those young people with their short hair, (some bald now), waving their flags, shouting patriotic slogans, will soon end up dead on some distant battlefield. So feel sorry for them, and pray we don’t all end up dead.
Peace, hopefully,
the Old Hippy

Posted by: skip
Views: 26353

Electrical Banana?

hey i was wondering about some drug that people used
in the 60’s. it was part of a banana or something so if
you would let me know bout that then just e-mail me
back and let me know where to find it on the banana and
how to prepare it. thanks a lot man.
peace out man

No you can’t get high off banana peels, but it fooled many for awhile. This was back when Donovan’s Mellow Yellow was at the top of the charts (and drug experimentation was at the top of many a hippy’s chart).

The rumor, as I heard it then, was you take some banana peels, dry roast them in an oven, then scrape the inside of the peel and put it in a pipe and smoke it. Of course I wouldn’t advise anyone to do it, as it was just a joke.

The Old Hippy
E-lec-tri-cal Banana is gonna be a sudden craze. – Donovan

Posted by: skip
Views: 45466

Burned Out on Pot

Dear old hippy,
I have smoked weed for about three years. At first it was great but for the past year or so it hasn’t been very pleasant. Everything gets distorted and I’m so nervous I can hardly talk and I get weird beats in my heart area that almost make me twitch. I would really appreciate your help on this. It got so bad I stopped smoking all together.
Thank you

It’s not unusual for smoking to become unpleasant at times. It’s a burnout syndrome which occurs after prolonged use. You’ve done the right thing by stopping. I recommend you lay off for at least a month or more. Perhaps you’re under more pressure than you used to be. Job and other responsibilities can make getting high less enjoyable and smoking adds to your stress rather than relieving it (thanks to paranoia and guilt).

If stress is a major factor in you life then you need to deal with it, rather than try to mask it with mj or alcohol (I’m not saying you do it, just that it’s not a good thing). As far as your overall health goes, perhaps it’s time for a checkup. As we age we go through physical changes, and smoking certainly isn’t good for our health. Some people are more sensitive to smoke and you might be one.

In any case it’s always good to give ourselves a breather from smoke and let our body recuperate. It’s nice to get another view of life now and then (remember – that’s why we smoke in the first place!). Respect the herb, and respect yourself and everything will work out.

The Old Hippy.

Posted by: skip
Views: 77036

Fading Memories

Hey man,
I am a child of the 60’s and have discovered I now remember less than I used to. Before I did some really stupid amounts of various reality altering friends, I had a perfect photographic memory. I still remember everything thing I see and hear but am not always able to retrieve it on demand. Sometimes I just go blank when trying to pull up everyday words, but once I get past my frustration they are there. How can I get my memory back to what it once was? Help, please.

By the way just to let you know how insane and skewered the amounts were my friends refer to me as Jimi Oblivion, after Hendrix, Morrison and the fact I tended to stay obliviated most of the time and even when I wasn’t I would tend to zone on nothing. Thanks Man.

It happens to the best of us! Part of it, as you already surmise, is the
mind bending substances. But a large part is even more difficult to handle.

We’re just getting older. Of course if you want to remember things, it
always helps to come down for a change. I’ll bet if you laid off long
enough that photographic memory will return. It’s a great gift, especially for an artist.

Now if I could only remember the 60s….

-The Old Hippy

Posted by: skip
Views: 22795

Passing It Along

Mr. Elder Hippie,
I’ll not spend this moment with a question for your site,but rather to express my gratitude that you have a site.
I fell upon your spot by chance,and it filled me with joy. There,in a hopelessly modern world, you grant the children wisdom and guidance, knowledge and well-earned experience. I will visit again and again, if only to see what more goodness you offer.
Thanks for taking time to pass it along…


Thank you so much! It’s great to hear this kind of feedback. We work very hard on the site to make it a rewarding experience for all who enter. Everyone who participates makes the site what it is!

-The Old Hippy

Posted by: skip
Views: 13417

Where Is Marijuana Legal?

hey what’s up old hippie,
first I’d like to say thanx for existing. I don’t like to break the law so I don’t smoke pot anymore or any other illegal subtances (actually i’ve never used another illegal substance) . Besides, pot is impossible to find , if you try all you find is crack. and other nasty nasty disgusting stuff. That’s urban life in 1999 no weed to be found anywhere, and abundant crack and alcohol on every corner.

People are violent around here, and is increasingly becoming a police state. If you go out dressed like a hippie, your in big trouble.
Street thugs will harass you, and police will openly violate all you rite in the daylight and in front of hundreds just because of the way you look..

This environment is not very friendly to me and i don’t like it back, so i saved a couple of thousand dollars and am enbarking on a nice long search for a hospitable environment where I can smoke a joint in PEACE.

I was wondering were besides the Netherlands (everyone knows about amsterdam) is Marijuana legal? Oh yeah and were are their friendly people, are there any left in this world?

Young Mr Nobody amongst the masses

There are NO places left where it is legal to smoke, thanks to AmeriKKKa’s
insane Drug War and International laws and condemnations. It is even illegal in Holland, but tolerated there.

That’s the key, where is it tolerated (where you won’t get busted)? The
answer is many places! There are places in Australia, India, Nepal,
Afghanistan, Morocco, etc. In the U.S. I understand California is very laid
back about it, especially SF, and places north (the Emerald Triangle, where
they grow most of America’s best sinsemilla). I’m told Humbolt county is
the phrendliest place to smokers. The cops there look the other way
because without the green economy, the area would be in a bad depression.
So there’s lots of places where smoking is tolerated, sounds like you’re
livin’ in the wrong neck of the woods!

By the way if you can make it to Amsterdam, it will be the high point of your life!

As far as friendly people goes, they seem to be everywhere except big cities. But I’ve always found that the poorest people are usually friendliest cause as Janis sang When you ain’t got nothing, you ain’t got nothing to lose. I guess most hippies qualify.

Of the places I’ve traveled, I’d have to say that the New Zealanders and Balinese are the most friendly people I’ve met. They go way out of their way for strangers.

-The Old Hippy

2002 Update!
Things are changing at last in Europe! Several countries have decriminalized possession and use of cannabis including the UK, Portugal and Belgium. In fact in most of western Europe you’re only likely to get your stash confiscated or a small fine (as long as you don’t have a large quantity). Of course selling cannabis is still very illegal. Just another hypocrisy due to be changed.

2008 Update:
Things are still changing. California’s prop 215 has allowed hundreds of cannabis dispensaries to open around the state, selling marijuana over the counter to medical patients. The dispensary business sells more than one billion $ a year of high quality cannabis.

Spain has become the new haven for Europeans fleeing their own countries harsh drug laws. The socialist gov’t of Zapatero has loosened up laws and enforcement against those who use cannabis.

Meanwhile the Netherland’s conservative gov’t continues to crack down on growers and coffeeshops, sending chills through the cannabis business community there. Coffeeshops can no longer sell marijuana alongside alcohol. So many have started to open up straight restaurants/cafes alongside their coffeeshops, where they can sell alcohol and people can smoke the cannabis they just purchased next door.

The UK lowered the classification of cannabis one category, but now they’re reconsidering thanks to pressure for anti-drug forces. The UK is awash in contaminated cannabis thanks to Dutch drug gangs adding glass beads to pot to increase the weight and make it look resinous. Nobody is sure of the health consequences of such contamination, and the British gov’t is only now thinking about doing something.

Posted by: skip
Views: 359703

What’s the Difference Between Cannabis & Industrial Hemp?

I am doing a debate for my contemparary issues class on legalization of marijuana and industrial hemp. I have looked in books and on the web and have seen a few different statements about what hemp is. I have heard that it is a cousin plant of marijuana , or it is the fiber from the stem of the marijuana plant, and couple other things. So what is it really?

Hemp is a product (or many products) made from the fiber of the cannabis plant. The variety of cannabis grown for hemp is not the same grown for smoking. It is bred for it’s fiber capacity, not for it’s THC potency. Thus cannabis grown for hemp has a miniscule amount of THC and cannot be smoked to get you high (you’d just get a headache). So Cannabis has different subspecies with different characteristics, and the kind grown for hemp is a subspecies (which means it can still breed with the subspecies that produce lots of THC, but would likely ruin them for THC production).

Hope this helps,
The Old Hippy

Posted by: skip
Views: 24815

Just What Are They Teaching About the Vietnam War?

Old Hippy-
Hi. This letter is not concerning drugs, flower power, or whatnot; I had a very important question about Vietnam. Back in the sixties, when many of our American citizens where fighting for freedom, people at home were getting loaded shouting, Make love not war. Well, it was easier said than done. Did anyone listen to our antiwar suggestions? No. Our men were getting hopeless because they were out risking there lives, and they didn’t have any support. Even our own president Bill Clinton ran to Canada, so he wouldn’t have to get drafted. My question is, why did this happen? What did the guys that fought for Vietnam think of this? And what good did the hippies do for humanity-other than get others explore their minds, and discover themselves? I don’t know much about Vietnam, so if you can’t answer my questions, it’s okay; I would like to hear what you know. Thank you for your time!!
-Generation X

Let’s set the record straight (if this is possible). You state that the boys in Vietnam were fighting for freedom. I ask you back – Whose freedom? We were supposedly a free country then (as we are supposed to be now). Vietnam was no immediate threat to any American. So they certainly weren’t fighting for our freedom. It was a situation similar to Kosovo, but without the ethnic cleansing, which is our only justification for being involved in that fiasco.

So if the young men sent to Vietnam to die, were sent to free the Vietnamese people, what exactly were they being freed from? Yes, the North was communist and wanted to take over the South, which was capitalist. Communism might be a less efficient system than Capitalism, but is the difference worth dying for? Were we justified in killing people because we have a better system??? Does might make us right?

The truth is that it was US business interests that got us into the war and kept us there. After the first few years of the war, the war itself became big business! American corporations and investors were getting rich as the government plowed every extra dollar into the war effort, at the expense of the social programs of Johnson’s Great Society.

It’s amazing to me that you think that no one listened to the antiwar effort. Not only did people listen, they got involved, even veterans returning from Vietnam! We mobilized millions of people in the effort. Although it took time, it did work! The big turnaround came when Lyndon Johnson decided not to run for office again. His whole Vietnam policy was a failure and he knew it. He was faced with running against the antiwar candidates (just about all the other democrats) and instead decided to retire. If the democrats had won that election, the war would have been over much sooner. Instead Tricky Dick got elected, and with the whole military/industrial complex supporting him, continued the war for many more years. That’s politics!

From the 1968 elections onward, the antiwar movement continued, but the opposition (read: government) got violent. Witness Chicago during the Democratic Convention. Kent State where 4 students were murdered by the National Guard. The war came home, and we were lying bloodied and dying in the streets. And you think we did nothing! It really makes me wonder what they are teaching you in the schools these days? Have they rewritten history?

We have all learned some lessons about Vietnam. Why do you think we haven’t sent in ground troops in Kosovo. That’s because the government is afraid of public opinion! Before Vietnam most people supported whatever the government’s foreign policy was at the moment. Young men were eager to sign up to fight overseas. With the hippy and antiwar movements we learned to question authority. Before no one would think to second guess our political and military leaders. After all they had successfully guided us through WW II, where we were victorious and the Korean war where it was a draw, but Americans at home were spared seeing the horrors on TV.

A better question for you to ask is Why did we go to Vietnam and what did we accomplish there? We need the answer because maybe then we can figure out what the hell we’re doing in Kosovo!

What blows my mind is the concept of sovereignity. This means that every government respects the rights of other governments to do whatever they want to the people inside their borders with impunity. Even though the leader of a country can be a complete lunatic, we must respect that person and his government’s right to exist. The ludicrious irony of this situation will come to a head when the US and Nato are forced to negotiate with the mass murderer Milosovich over the future of Kosovo.

To me the real lesson is not to trust any government. They exist to serve the rich and powerful in every country, including this one. A government will defend itself against it’s own people whether justified or not. When a government kills it’s own people without valid reason (like Kent State or Kosovo – take your pick) it loses any credibility it has as a representative of the people. So the real problem is the nature of government itself. We need to either re-invent government as a tool of the people, using the empowering new technology at our disposal, or continue being cannon fodder for those special interests that our government owes favors to.

The revolution that was never finished must become the evolution that leads us to a new beginning.

-The Old Hippy
P.S. this was written in 1999.

Posted by: skip
Views: 22099

Did Hendrix Use LSD?

What up my Old Hippy!!!
Well, I’m totally into Jimi Hendrix, you don’t even want to get me started there, I know everything about him. I own and read over 27 biographies on him, collect anything imaginable. Now I am also a huge fan of lysergic acid diethylamide, I also know a lot and I mainly do it for achieving philosophical knowledge. These two subjects I’m a genius at (don’t take it literally, I’m not tryin’ to be cocky, just expressing my great passion for these two favorites).

Now this is where my problem falls into place, many biographies I have read claim that Jimi in some point of his life had dropped acid, and some deny that. There is a quote stated by Jimi that he had not dropped acid. My frustration at this is immense, now we both know written records (biographies) are not always 100% true. Most people relate Jimi Hendrix with acid, I believe that he has not, because of the quote, but I’m not positively sure of this.

From your knowledge what do you think, has he, or has he not dropped acid, or is it that Jimi might have lied to the public because of the bad rep that LSD had started to receive toward the late 60’s? Your thought will be greatly appreciated, peace!!!!

You hit the nail on the head. There was such an anti-drug backlash at the end of the ’60s and into the 70s (thanks to Nixon & Company) that everyone who did drugs, especially those who espoused its use, had to save face in the media by issuing denials. Many were coerced into doing this usually by their lawyers due to pending cases against the artist. Even Timothy Leary had to squeal to avoid doing a life sentence (for less than half an oz. of marijuana and a bogus conspiracy charge). What people said in public and did in private were two separate issues, just like they are today.

No one really doubts Jimi Hendrix did acid. His ex-girlfriends have
said he turned them on to it. His divinely inspired playing exceeded the
ability of any straight, inexperienced person. I mean come on, look at his lyrics
purple haze running through my brain, his song and album Are You
Experienced? This was all common knowledge. Why do you think Hendrix
would wait until the American Inquisition began to denounce his own

To really understand the dynamic that prevailed during this period you
need only look at our circumstances today. Everyone, with few exceptions,
won’t admit any current drug use. The penalties are just too great. Ah,
the injustice of it all to be living in the most hypocritical times.

-The Old Hippy

‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky! – J.H.

Posted by: skip
Views: 98021