Ed Rosenthal says, “Legalize Marijuana and treat it like tomatoes.” At first we thought it was funny. We spend an entire sunny afternoon with our buds Jane Klien and her husband, the Guru of Ganja, Ed Rosenthal—co-founder of High Times magazine and the world’s best-known and most-beloved authority on marijuana-growing…and as the visit concludes…he sends us home with a bag of TOMATOES.
Recently, after a great lunch and many joints, Ed gave us a tour of his spacious Oakland-based home. We walked by the huge Ramones poster on the living room wall, Ed’s famous prison jumper on another and into the office where he and Jane run Green Aid, a medical marijuana legal defense and education organization. At one point, Ed demonstrated how his fish are much more responsive than his lazy cats, walks us past giant racks filled with his books and into his impressive CO2 enriched marijuana garden. It was amazing seeing Ed in his natural habitat. He then sent us home with a healthy sample of the fruits of his 35 years of gardening prowess; a giant bag full of juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes.
Then it occurred to us, Ed wasn’t just sending us home with the makings of a great pasta sauce, he was sending us home with a message; Trafficking in weed should just be like trafficking in tomatoes.
According to Ed, more tomatoes are grown in America by home gardeners than are produced commercially. Yet there’s a robust commercial market for tomatoes and tomato products of all types: canned, vine-ripened, organic, sauces, soups, ketchup, etc.
At the same time, small-scale specialty cultivators do well selling their produce at Farmers’ Markets, and home gardeners with extra tomatoes share the bounty with neighbors as gifts, in trade, or through informal sales.
Ed believes legal marijuana could be produced, bought and sold in the very same way. Commercial growers can thrive side-by-side with home and specialty cultivators. And we couldn’t agree more.
So as we’re leaving with our beautiful bounty of vine-ripened toms, we ask Ed about his favorite way to enjoy tomatoes. He tells us, with salt. Sure, salt’s great and all, but we all know tomatoes are best when ROASTED.