“David Crosby, I read your chart man” is how Kirk starts his long-awaited chat with one of pop-culture’s most notorious Cannabis influencers. In 50-years, David Crosby has had a very public relationship with cannabis, addictions, incarceration, and relationships, which he willingly discusses. With thoughtful understanding that these past behaviours are well reported elsewhere, Kirk digs into current events asking his guest to speak to his new relationship with legal and medicinal cannabis. They discuss his involvement with NORML, his “Mighty Croz” branding, focusing mostly on his medical uses of cannabis; they even exchange their wives’ cookie recipe and how cannabis has become a very calculated element of David Crosby’s day-to-day creative life-style.
E47 - David Crosby: Mighty Croz
Music ByDavid Crosby
(Yes we have a SOCAN membership to use these songs all legal and proper like)
Kirk: David Crosby, I've read your chart, man. My first question for you. Did you ever think you'd see the day? Did you ever think you would live long enough to see the legalization of cannabis?
David Crosby: No. No, absolutely not. I mean, I come from, you know, I've been smoking it for 50 years, so when I and I started, you know, it was really dim old dark ages. I I am really happy to see it, though. I you know, I've seen people who were in jail for, you know, two, three joints or something like that. And it just totally wrong, you know. So, yes, it's an enormous step forward. And I know I never thought I'd see the day.
Kirk: Very cool. Can you speak to how your relationship with cannabis has changed over the decades?
David Crosby: Well, it started out. I just was curious, you know, because the other musicians that I was with were doing it. And they said, hey, well, let me try it. And I like it. Then there was a long period of time that it was, you know, it just how you do. You did it back then. We got terrible, terrible stuff. And it it it barely got us high. But eventually it it it grew into, you know, really good thing. I got sidetracked into hard drugs and it took me many, many years to get out of there. And then I did about fifteen years sober to make up for that, to get myself away from that. And then I started smoking pot again because I was it had stopped snapping at my heels and I felt comfortable with it. And then then it started to expand. Then we found out that there were a whole lot more compounds in the pot, that there was CBD. There were Terpenes is that there were all kinds of other things in there. And at least one country I think it was Israel started making it possible to study pot. And then we really started to find out more about it. And so my relationship to pot changed as it went along. And my relationship to the CBD and the medicinal stuff, you know, obviously didn't start until we knew about it, which was just seems like just last week was a couple of years now. But that I think this is you're going to think I'm crazy, but I think the the medicinal stuff of marijuana and I don't think we've found out anywhere near all of it yet, may, in the long run, be bigger than the. Getting high part of marijuana. The reason I think that this is painkillers, right, the ones we have, the NSIADS and the opioids, that's our two main groups, right? I have terrible side effects. Opioids, especially, you get strung out its death. They're absolutely a bad thing, but you need them. If you're in terrible pain, but they're they're really not a good thing for you. OK. So in the NSAIDS aren't good for you either. They're bad for your kidneys and they're not good for your liver. So here we come with CBD. If this new family of it's a mild painkiller, one, I think everybody gets done with concentrating it and refining it and, you know, making it. I think as it's developed, as it as you know, as it's refined and made stronger, eventually they're going to be able to drop, you know, the equivalent of an ibuprofen, you know, five hundred in your hand and it'll work and it doesn't have the side effects. So far, it doesn't have any known side effects that are bad at all, which is a freaking miracle. Half of the people in America are in pain right now, for one thing or another if it isn't there busted toe. It's where they bang their head. And and if we can come up with and supply another painkiller family that doesn't have those bad side effects. Well, you're changing millions and millions of people's lives.
Kirk: Yeah, that's that's that's fantastic. We're on the same page with that. So you sort of lead me into the next question. You're medicinal user of cannabis. Now, are you are you working with health professionals? I mean, your your health issues over the decades is well publicized. So are you working with health professionals? So you're dosing. How are you? How you determine your dosing?
David Crosby: I do that by myself. I am. You know, as a 50-year pot smoker, I pretty much have gone down what they want and how I do it. But my health care professionals, which are some of the top line in the country, are fully aware of what I do. And they approve. You know, they know that everything that you know about it, they know about it. And they are anxiously awaiting its arrival as a legitimate competitor to the existing system.
Kirk: And I find that fascinating because, you know, there as you probably know, there are this branch of health care providers, doctors that say there's not enough research for cannabis. And you've got this other branch of health who's saying, go for man, what's the worst thing that can happen?
David Crosby: So, yeah. Where could it be? Well, when you have people say not enough research. Well, do some more research. Yes. Yeah. It's been difficult to do research in the United States of America because we have a backward and stupid government are stupid. Government has it's so classified along with the Class five drugs. The big you know, marijuana is classified the same as heroin. That's a goddamn joke. And so nobody could work on it. Israel, however, had a much saner set of laws. And so a lot of the research on cannabis has been being done in Israel. And some of the leading experts in the world on cannabis are in Israel.
Kirk: You know, it's funny, David, in Canada, we are legal for recreational and medicinal. But when we talk to researchers, they're finding it really, really difficult to do research on cannabis in our country because of the politics and that's happening. So. So you here we've got two countries, your country, that it's illegal and it's considered on narcotics and it makes it difficult. We're illegal and it's still difficult.
David Crosby: Well, I think it's going to change. I think it's going to change in Canada because you have an inherently saner system than we do. But I think it's going to change everywhere for this reason. It's going to change in every state in the United States. I can guarantee you that. And soon it's going to do it because. In the United States, we pay in tax money, income tax mainly, but all kinds of tax money goes into the federal government. Some of it gets transmitted by the Federal Reserve back down to the states. For health, education, welfare kind of stuff. Now that pipe from the federal government down to the states has always been constricted and it's always been difficult. The states have always been hurting for money. That pipe now is constricted even more because our government does not want to send any money down that pipe to black people or brown people or young people or old people or really any people except the bill themselves. So. Now, all those states are hurting. They're always hurting for money. OK. Colorado and Oregon and they're looking at Colorado and Oregon and Colorado, an Oregon man can buy a school or a road or a hospital today, not even next week. Today they can sign the check today and it will not bounce. They can buy anything they need. They can they can take care of the people in their state. That's state controlled tax money, state-controlled tax money. Right. And it's billions with a B. So I guarantee all those states, all of them, every single does not matter of anything about the posturing and posing that they're doing right now. All of them will legalize it because they need the money.
Kirk: So so what is what is Colorado and Oregon doing that California is not because it it's legal in California to. Right. Recreational and medicine.
David Crosby: California too California to now. But they were all what you know, the initial the initial pair were were Oregon and Colorado. And they're ahead of us. Right. You know, they they did it sooner and they've got it worked out better. California is going that way. California had a lot of money already. So it's not as good an example. But I guarantee you, man, in every state. States that are just as red as a as you can imagine. Are there going to legalize it no matter what they said, they're going to legalize it, could they need the fucking money?
Kirk: Wouldn't it be ironic if the if the current administration, federal administration was there was the one that signed the bill like you're involved with NORML, right. The organization working to reform marijuana, say, in America. So are you getting any of your information from them? Isn't isn't Trump's administration threatening to actually sign it? It go, isn't it? What? It's in the Congress now, isn't it?
David Crosby: There's tremendous pressure on him for them to do it. And here's why. Hey, you're going to like this. You know, it's really pressuring him to do it. It really pissed at all the money is going to the Canadian banks. Isn't that dumb? Yeah, they are. Right now all the cannabis money is getting bank in Canada. I mean, Canopy and all those big outfits, they're all based out of Toronto. My lawyer that works in cannabis is up Toronto. Because you guys were smart and ahead of time, you scooped the business right up there and they're pissed. The people who run money in this country want to have money in their banks. They don't care where it came from. They want it. And so they are pressuring the federal government to legalize right away. And it's mainly because of that.
Kirk: We were traveling through Colorado about a year ago and made it down to Arizona. And I did a couple of interviews in an episode out of there. And they were telling me that they had basically taken cash, like real cash into Credit Unions. So a lot of the a lot of the state businesses were dealing with Credit Unions because they couldn't deal with the National Bank. So they just had this cache of money they couldn't dump.
David Crosby: Yeah. They have tremendous amounts of cash and it's costing them money to have cash because it means they have to have guards. They they they want to legalize it. The states want to legalize it, the feds want because of the banking, want to legalize it. I don't think any questions are going to happen. Any question and its for the wrong reasons. It should be legalized because people shouldn't go to jail for smoking pot. It's like drinking beer. Hi. Yeah, but but and it should be legal because it can help people. If you saw what it can do for somebody with Parkinson's, you would be really pissed at anybody trying to keep it illegal.
Kirk: You know, I grew up on the West Coast, so I grew up in Victoria on Vancouver Island and the west coast of Canada. So we were in the 70s you lucky fuckerr. Yeah, I know, I know, I know, I know. I sit I sit in the center of the continent. But in those days, in the 70s, we had access to Maui Wawi. Wow. We had Thai steak. We had Columbian gold. We had we had really good weed back in the 70s. And I was thinking, you know what? I live long enough to see this. What I find so interesting David Crosby is I'm talking to an old hippie that now you're involved with federal organizations to change the laws in your country that must excite you.
David Crosby: Yeah. I like the change. I think change is good. And I and in this particular change has been needed for a long time. It is exciting to me to see it happen. I I don't want people to not be able to get a medicine that they should be able to get. I don't want people to go to jail for something they absolutely shouldn't go to jail for. Yes. And I don't think we really and this is now I maybe this maybe, you know, maybe and hopeful, but I don't think so. I think that we haven't even really yet figured out half of what this plant can do. And I think we need to go all hell of a lot deeper into the research and find out what it can do. There is substantial indication that it may reduce tumors. If that's true, then you're talking about cancer.
David Crosby: Yes, serious. Yeah, yeah, but can you imagine? We do, we just don't know. We need you to get to a very, very active bunch of chemicals and it needs to get studied really heavily. And right now,.
Kirk: The skeptic in me wonders how a plant that grows in my backyard is going to be allowed to cure cancer when cancer is such a money-making commodity. So.
David Crosby: Well, you know, there is that. And trying to go up against Big Pharma is tough, you know. But, you know, there are things that trump all of big pharmas positioning like Alovera they can't do. Alovera as well as you can by simply cutting off of these and slicing that open, putting it right on the burn that you just got. Right. I they simply can't extract it and make it and sell it to you better than the plant can do it for free. So maybe we'll see some effect on them too, which would be fine with me. I don't like how big pharma in the United States works. I think, you know, she's I mean, they're so blatantly unbelievably greedy. You know, the medicine that I took to get rid of my hepatitis C. Was a thousand dollars. It was like 40 pills, it's a thousand dollars a pill. It was a little pill bottle It was forty thousand dollars.
Kirk: Astounding. And yes, I mean, you're obviously with the transplant. You're a transplant. You're obviously still on pharmacolical anti-rejection drugs and that sort of stuff.
David Crosby: So that's why I'm here. I am, yeah. But I'm also diabetic. And to know that that what costs me over 300 dollars here in the United States cost me $30 in Canada. That's really rotten, man, they shouldn't be doing that to us. We're sick people who don't deserve it.
Kirk: It's not the point of this podcast to get into politics. But I don't understand why your country's so afraid of Bernie. Bernie would make a great prime minister.
David Crosby: I'm not afraid of my vote. Yeah. Yeah. I think the establishment is afraid of them a great deal because he wants to roll it back and have it aimed at providing stuff for the people rather than providing stuff for the corporations. Right now, corporations run the United States of America. They got it. Citizens United made it possible for them to for any amount of money. They needed it to control the country. And they do. Period. That's it. But it can change. And Bernie represents that change. And so they are terrified of it. That's why I voted for.
Kirk: Perfect. David Crosby, let's let's go back to your use of cannabis medicinally in your world, explain to me how cannabis makes your day as a wellness plan. How do you use cannabis as a wellness plan in your day?
David Crosby: Well. I find that that I can't be a wake and bake. I just I have to. I have too much to do in the daytime. So I'm out here empty right now. I'm outside of my doctor's office where I'm taking my wife and she's got a cast on her leg because she broke her ankle and I'm doing that kind of stuff. And then I'm going to go to the grocery and then go to the cleaners and then all that kind of thing, the drugstore, all regular stuff that you do in your day. Right. along about evening? Well, then I'd like to, you know, get high and make dinner and, you know, hang out with my family and then I'd take your guitar off the wall and get a little bit higher and not see if there's some music out there calling for me. And that happens every night. I'm either trying to write lyrics or I'm trying to write music on every single night. And. And I vape weed that we grow ourselves. Flowers in a little packs 3 You know it does. Flowers rather than extractors. I think you extract know at shatter and all it is is good. But I it. Some people do it better than others. I prefer to just smoke the flowers that we raised. I like it better that way. I vape flowers. I like it better.
Kirk: Nice. Nice. Do you guys bake with it as well? They make edibles.
David Crosby: Yeah, we do. Yeah. My wife has come up with a ginger snap that is the superior ginger snap of my life. Never tasted a better one anywhere, ever. I can't place the pot, but it definitely works. My son makes brownies. My wife makes ginger snaps.
Kirk: That's very cool, we did the same thing. Michelle and I sat down, we were doing some cooking and we were, you know, tasting the batter and stuff. You know, it's got that earthy taste. Good, that cannabis. This is a little cinnamon and see how that balances it out. Cinnamon, double, char, double chocolate cookies, man. Unbelievable. Lovely.
David Crosby: I bet they're great. I bet you're at all great. Yeah. No. Well, I'm. Yeah. Fantastic.
Kirk: The mighty Croz. Your branding yourself. Now you're branding yourself in the new millennium as the mightyCroz. Can you explain your branding to us? What is it that your hopes, your vision of the mightyCroz?
David Crosby: Well, we hope that we're going to have a. I think probably we'll probably have a CBD hookup first because it's legal all over the country right now, so we can. And then I think we will have a pot company as well. The mightyCroz is a strain of pot that I have that's very strong, very, very strong.
Kirk: This is a garden. Yep, you're no better.
David Crosby: But in the long run, we can grow it commercially and it's very good in the long run. I think we will try. What we're trying for me is to work out a deal with a Pot company where they use my name and face to sell all of their products, CBD, pot and everything. How that's gone is nowhere near how we expected it would go. The. The expectation was that that, you know, celebrity brands, we're gonna be the thing. And everybody jumped on it. Well, if you look at the two leading ones, Willey's and Snoops, they're not generating a lot of money. So it didn't go the way we thought it was going to go on. They will generate money in the long run, but they didn't take off like a house afire, which is what everybody thought they were going to do. So that's made it much more difficult for me to make a deal for my name and face to be on a fronting for a Pot company. I Think that that's only a matter of time. I think we just have to be patient. We've been sorting through a lot of companies and looking for intelligence, looking for long range vision. Looking for good business practice. Looking for ability to communicate. Looking for qualities that we think make a company attractive to us to join up with, because if we commit, then we seriously commit. And then I bring. Well, I get a lot of access to media. I mean, a lot. Yeah. I've got, you know, hundred fifty thousand people on Twitter and probably a million on Facebook and, you know. That helps.
Kirk: Yeah. Yes. In preparing for this interview, I talked to your buddy Steven, and he was saying to me, one of your goals is you want to be seen as an educator and helping people of a generation with cannabis. Can you speak to that a little bit?
David Crosby: Yeah. You know, I have kind of a longer perspective than they do because I've been doing it for, like I said, it more than 50 years. I you know, I don't think that it's my place to preach to everybody. But I do think if somebody asks, I can give them good advice about how to manage it. Somebody says, I think it's really cool to wake and bake. I can say, well, that's great for you. For those of us who have shit to do in the day, I recommend you wait until evening. You know, it's. It's. There's a certain viewpoint that comes to you after this amount of time.
Kirk: So you're going to go out and educate people and help people understand how it can help them.
David Crosby: No. I'm sorry, go out and do tours and play music. OK. But this. But but this is part of it. This is part of my relationship to weed. Yeah. I don't mind giving advice to anybody about anything. You don't have to take it.
Kirk: Can I ask you something to clear up a little bit? The pop culture? Of course, I'm a study of it. I'll confess to you, I for I discovered you as a 15 year old boy. I bought I bought the So Far album and then I went out and bought off like all the albums of all four of you. You know, your album, your first album just blows my mind. Can you fill in a little bit of pop culture for me? Would you mind doing that? If I ask you a question about, oh, yeah, OK. Ian Tyson, great Canadian, wrote four Strong Winds. He wrote for Four Strong winds because Bob Dylan challenged them. Bob Dylan's wrote all his original music. Ian Tyson wrote his very first song Four Strong Winds, a powerful song. He credits himself for introducing Bob Dylan to weed back in the day. Now, of course, Bob Dylan is credited introducing the Beatles to weed. Now you're credited being an influencer of the day and in the sense of how you influenced pop artists. Where how did you fit into that? How did you help pop artists find good weed? How did you do that? What was your role in that?
David Crosby: So Bob may have turned him like a weed, but Bob didn't have really good weed. I did. So when when we became friends, they were very they were very interested in the Byrds. When we went over there the first time, they they were very kind to us. They came as far shows. They took us to their houses. They drove us home from gigs. They hang out, hung out with us. And it was too. It was a very good relationship. And I had. Much better weed than anybody in England. A friend of mine had just come back from Africa to London and had African weed that was just stunningly good and they had never had it. They were so at the stage where you take some hash and break it up and put it on some tobacco. You know, it's really a terrible way to get high. And I had actual weed that was really do what it's actually supposed to. That was a total thrill for him.
Kirk: That's fantastic. Thanks for sharing that. Is there a question I didn't ask you is is there anywhere you wanted to take this conversation that I neglected to ask a question?