Truly the godfather of getting high and smashing in some hedonistic fun as if your life depended on it, Hunter S. Thompson could soon be helping US cannabis smokers get stoned in style – as his personal weed will be cultivated and sold in marijuana dispensaries.
According to an interview in Aspen Times, the late journalist’s wife Anita Thompson saved six strains of her late husband’s weed after his suicide in 2005, and is now working with a cannabis company to grow hybrids of the strains under the “Gonzo” brand.
It’s part of a wider plan by Anita to preserve the journalist’s legacy as one the greater counter culture figures of the 20th Century – as much of a literary pioneer as he was a legendary party animal.
She has also bought Thompson’s infamous Owl Ranch – a 42-acre property which Thompson referred to as his “fortified compound” – and is working on turning the ranch into a private museum and writer’s retreat.
Thompson, who created “gonzo” journalism – making himself the central character in his bizarre journalistic crusades – is best known for the books Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Hell’s Angels (not to mention being immortalised by Johnny Depp in the Fear and Loathing movie).
Of course, ever since recreational marijuana was legalised in states such as Colorado, Washington, and Oregon in the last four years, every hippy with a DIY hydroponics set has wanted to produce an official brand of Hunter S. Thompson weed.
But Anita has resisted until now, wary of lending her late husband’s likeness and legacy on any old rubbish.
“Since it became legal I get approached probably once a month by cannabis growers, dispensaries,” she said. “I’ve had probably 10 meetings in the last three years and I always ended up saying ‘no’ because it’s the same story every time: somebody wants to slap Hunter’s name on their strain.
“If I put Hunter’s name on somebody else’s strain I can never go back and say, ‘No, this is the authentic one.’”
She’s clearly happy to be producing the real deal. “I’m looking forward to being a drug lord,” she told Aspen Times.
In comments made below this very article on the Hunter S. Thompson Facebook page, Anita gave some insight on the production process of Thompson’s marijuana strain –and his importance as a counter culture icon.
“We are in the process of extracting the DNA from Hunter's marijuana and hashish now -- we don't know what they are yet. In the past, there was no legal way for us to extract the DNA. But I recently I found a lab in Boston that will determine the strains from the DNA sent over state lines (legally) from a Colorado lab.
“Hunter was rich in every way -- but not financially and left debt. He was a great man, and a great American Writer which always came first. And he was also proud of the Gonzo clothing line even though I don't market it much. Now, I'm happy to make his strains available to those who want to try the authentic weed that Hunter loved.”
There’s no word on when the weed will be available – or whether there’s any way to legally (or illegally) get your hands on it in the UK – but the king of gonzo would have undoubtedly been proud.
[Images: Rex, Getty]