DiscoverGreat Moments in Weed HistoryThe Grateful Dead Fight the Man (And Win)
The Grateful Dead Fight the Man (And Win)

The Grateful Dead Fight the Man (And Win)

Update: 2020-05-28
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Jerry Garcia and Mountain Girl sat rolling joints and cleaning the stems and seeds from a brick of weed when a fateful knock came at the door of 710 Ashbury Street.


Having your communal crash pad raided by the police isn’t typically the start of a great moment, but for the Grateful Dead, the October 1967 undercover police sting operation that targeted their home and headquarters turned into a pivotal inflection point in the band’s trajectory. One that would change cannabis history and spread weed consciousness around the world. 


That's because rather than pleading out or turning informant, they held a press conference right in the same room where they’d been busted, calling out the local police and the national War on Drugs as a racist, hypocritical, counter productive, unconstitutional failure.


Abdullah and Bean also discuss the huge role the band and their many Deadhead followers played in spreading high quality marijuana and seeds across the country, including classic strains like Sour Diesel and Chemdog.


Very special thanks to the legend Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, Spinal Tap) for guesting on this episode, as he actually wrote the 1967 pro-legalization statement the Dead presented at their press conference.


Read more first person accounts of this incident in Rock Skully's book Living with the Dead and in Rosie McGee's memoir Dancing with the Dead.


Hear the Grateful Dead's October 22, 1967 Marijuana Defense Benefit concert in its entirety at archive.org


Check out Grateful Dead historian Dennis McNally's book A Long Strange Trip.


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The Grateful Dead Fight the Man (And Win)

The Grateful Dead Fight the Man (And Win)

Abdullah Saeed and David Bienenstock