KushStock 2018 with High Life Goods
20 years ago people would have been shocked at the idea that something like Kushstock could exist today. After ‘Reefer Madness’ and all the anti-drug PSAs of the mid 80’s and early 90’s, who would have thought an event with SO much weed would be a totally normal, legal thing in the United States?
We can all see how ridiculous those PSAs are, and they probably seemed comical- to people who smoked marijuana back in the day too. Marijuana obviously doesn’t convince you to kill people or jump out of buildings, and it doesn’t make the next step you take inevitably smoking crack or PCP. It’s really difficult to die from smoking too much marijuana. You would have to smoke 1,500 pounds in under 15 minutes to come close to dying. That’s like two or three swimming pools filled with weed.
If Canada agrees that marijuana is safe for recreational use then we’re probably in the clear. We’ve all pretty much known marijuana isn’t going to kill us, but it took a lot of back-tracking and asking “why” to get to this po
int. Marijuana has been illegal largely due to being used as a scapegoat for a number of issues over the past hundred years, but with a lot of effort we’ve been able to get to the point we’re at now with Kushstock.
Walking towards the front gate of Kushstock, there was a notable sense of harmony. Right outside the entrance, young people stood at booths and signed up for medical marijuana cards, and older ladies danced and sang with their jamboxes while waiting in line for the festival. Inside the front gate, a reggae band played on stage as they threw out free joints to the audience, and a guy dressed up as a weed leaf did frontside ollies on a skateboard ramp next to the pupusa truck. Kushstock was two hours from LA in the middle of the desert, but people came out in multitudes.
Every kind of marijuana advocate was there: beachy Rasta dudes from Southern California, sage-like hippies from the Pacific Northwest, high-tech start-ups from Silicon Valley, and anyone else looking to engage in this newly legalized market. It’s hard to stand out in a sea of similar ideas, but the most crowded booths seemed to be giving away free dab hits and product, or they played their name off another company’s name, like The Pen Depot. The Pen Depot’s stand was clever; it one of the most memorable out of all the other concentrate companies because it looked just like a miniature Home Depot. After the event when they were taking it down, it was like full-circle with the Home Depot theme…there were a lot of tools and equipment involved with its deconstruction. The legality of its name is a little up in the air, as with other companies there like PBSHeadz that had the PBS head smoking a blunt as their logo…? Nevertheless it’s the little details and extra work that seem to make the difference in popularity.
Most people at the festival were smoking and not drinking. The lines for food were long, but the beer garden was surprisingly mellow. The High Life Goods group said they hadn’t been drinking either, and the influencers they were with were all on vacation! The influencers mostly just wanted to dab and eat gummies. It shouldn’t have been shocking at a weed festival, but it was kind of insane to see people down tub after tub of gummies and then take a massive dab hit. Some of them ate well over 500mg at once and then did diamond dabs worth $50 a hit right after, which only a maniac could do without drifting off into space the rest of the day.
The Instagram Influencers were all seasoned dabbers, and most of them were only in their early to mid 20’s. These guys were dabbing at a pace that would make most people immobile for hours, so it’s not surprising they would garner lots of followers wanting to watch someone smoke vapor that potent on a day-to-day basis. Some of the influencers had been from places in the midwest and south that haven’t legalized recreational marijuana yet, so their appeal is all the more apparent as people who relate to them can live vicariously through their Instagram posts and live feeds.
All the influencers were really friendly and easygoing, which isn’t always a guarantee if you’re meeting an influencer for the first time. Some influencers earn a reputation in their respective markets as being a little too pretentious because of their large social media followings. The influencers at Kushstock hanging out with the High Life Goods crew were just happy to chill and have a good time. Their real-life personalities matched their Instagram identities, so talking to them never seemed disingenuous. It never felt like they were there to gain followers; it was like hanging out with an old group of friends that just wanted to catch up and smoke together and laugh about everything. The influencers and the High Life Goods team also got into the VIP room and randomly met up with hip hop artists @comptonmenace and @onlyheshofficial , which was totally unexpected but also awesome. Thanks for the good times @harrydabs, @mr_marijuanaman_, @southerndabber_420, @hbdabfellas_gmp, @carldenali and @danielanthonyboro !
There were also lots of war veterans, people in wheelchairs, and people with chronic pain and medical issues like epilepsy checking out each booth. It was great to see people attending an event where they could pick out whatever strains worked best for them, totally legally and without prejudice. There was an organization called Weed for Warriors that had a booth set up at the festival too, which aimed to support holistic rehabilitation for veterans and to spread awareness and education about medical marijuana. At this booth and pretty much every other booth all the vibes were positive, and everyone was happy to be able to obtain something so simple and non-life threatening that made such a positive impact in their well-being.
Besides all of the fun times at Kushstock, the best part about it was the long-standing community. Despite being told over the past century that weed leads to death and destruction, marijuana advocates chose the paths of education and campaigning for what they knew was right. We are in a golden moment now where people aren’t as afraid of marijuana anymore, and brand-new scientific and technological advances are constantly introducing amazing new inventions to the marijuana market. We’re really excited and can’t wait for next year to try out the latest concentrates and products with our friends again!