We were at the Tropicult office sitting around eating bananas and brainstorming for new content when we had an epiphany. “What if some of our readers indulge in the ever popular, increasingly discussed cannabis plant,” was the main idea. We hope you’ll tell us if we’re mistaken – but it became hard to ignore that maybe a few of our dear music, art, fashion, and nightlife fans might like to toke up once in a while. Or all the while. We don’t judge at Tropicult.

In light of this realization, we’re launching “stoner” series of posts under the title TropiCanna. In it, we’ll discuss everything about marijuana in our hometown of Miami. Since Florida law prohibits weed, our experience with cannabis has been filled with sketchy drug deals, illegal grow ops, fear of the police, dry spells, pain, and suffering, and for some the worst of all: subpar weed.

That’s not to say there’s nothing good about the weed scene here. Some growers might hold it down and some cops might look the other way, but there’s no consistency. Safe access to quality cannabis is harder to come by than in legal states despite no shortage of cannabis users here (last year a pro-medical marijuana bill lost despite winning 58% of votes). There should be some provider of information and news within the Miami cannabis community so readers can stay in the know.

And thus we begin. I’m honored to be your fellow explorer through South Florida’s pot scene as we learn about our – presently illicit – world of weed. “What makes this anonymous writer qualified to tell us about what we smoke?” you might ask. Good question.

Allow me to introduce myself. You’ll know me as Mary Jane. Mindy Jameson. Martin Jaffreys. EmJay. You won’t know me by name, gender, or race, but you’ll know me by my words. Every day I’m intrigued by this flower that not only prompts harmless fun and a sojourn to our minds’ depth,  but has healing power over a variety of ailments.

Here’s a bit of background for you.

An avid reader throughout high school and college, I set about getting the facts on cannabis. I learned about different strains. Then about the difference between sativa, indica, and ruderalis. I researched its legality and medical application. My friends and I became increasingly familiar with physical attributes of the plant and how it’s grown. How did they make hashish? How did THC (the main psychoactive molecule in cannabis) work on the brain? I looked at books on the subject, all the leading magazines, and, of course, the internet – devouring relevant YouTube videos.

After high school, I befriended cannabis users from California and got to ask them about the medical scene there as far back as 2005, as well as sample smuggled dispensary buds. These friends enlightened me to truly well grown, prime quality marijuana and a variety of classic strains like Grape Ape, Northern Lights, and the famous OG Kush. We visited Amsterdam several times to explore strains there and enjoy coffee shop culture.

Of course, I smoke weed. A lot of weed. I’ve been toking hard for over ten years and tried everything from cheap Mexican brick to the finest homegrown nuggets. Everyone from growers to scientists, to dealers talk shop about the plant while I merely listen. There’s still a lot to see and even more to learn, however, I feel equipped with the fundamental knowledge required for this smoky underground trip.

That said, I’m not a weed ambassador. I’m like all of you. An average Mary Jane who’s keenly interested in something that happens to be weed. I’m certainly no scientist, grower, dealer, doctor, lawyer, or cop, and I don’t wish to portray myself as such. And that’s the whole point. There’s more than one of me in this town. My background could fit anyone lucky enough to have all the same opportunities. We are out there and the good ones of us should share what we know.

As with all things in life, some established knowledge gets outdated. A few things once known as status quo are evolving, progressing onto the next frontier. The medical value of pot is finally recognized by trusted figures and doctors in the media. Laws are rapidly changing by state. New strains emerge every day while innovative hash-making techniques and concentrates take the weed scene by storm. It remains however that we know practically nothing of marijuana’s potential for humanity. Thus, there is no shortage of news and developments related to weed.

Ten years ago, I would have said the US wouldn’t see legalization for fifty years. Now we can all go to Colorado, or Washington, or Alaska, or Oregon, and get lifted free as a bald eagle.

With excitement and some degree of caution, I emphasize this is a new thing for Tropicult and I – but then again, mainstream acceptance of marijuana is a new thing for many Floridians. It will likely be an uphill battle, but most agree: Florida will eventually ease legislation and a vibrant cannabis community can develop in the Sunshine State. In the meantime, we will dutifully observe and report until they free the weed. And then? Then the real fun starts.