Hunter S. Thompson—an outsized character with an intellect to match—was a man with a keen appreciation for the finer things.
Though he is most famous today for Gonzo journalism—the hellbent brand of first-person, possibly drug-induced writing immortalized in Fear and Loathing and Las Vegas—and for having an insatiable appetite for most of the intoxicants known in the western world, Thompson was a very serious journalist. He is responsible for introducing the straight world to the Hell’s Angels (and to Tom Wolfe), wrote one of the definitive dispatches on the Haight-Ashbury’s Summer of Love, and possessed a prescient political acumen that rings true today.
He also had one of the finest marijuana supplies then in existence. Thompson’s head stash was so fine that he was happy to inform NORML founder Keith Stroup that Stroup’s supply was trash by comparison. “He always told me my marijuana was dirt-weed, something no reputable stoner would ever be caught smoking,” Stroup once wrote.
That must have been some epic shit. What, exactly, did HST have his hands on? The world will soon know—and will get to smoke it.
Following Thompson’s death by self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2005, his widow, Anita Thompson, held on to his weed supply. She apparently kept it in such good condition that she knows its genetic composition, and she’s partnered with cannabis producers who say that clones of the good doctor’s head stash will soon be available in Colorado dispensaries.
“I have found a legal method to extract the DNA from Hunter’s personal marijuana and hashish that I saved for 12-15 years,” she wrote in a recent Facebook post. “I am in the process of making the strains available to those who would like to enjoy the authentic Gonzo strains in legal states.”
Proceeds from the sales will go to help create a writers’ retreat and “private museum” on the grounds of “Owl Farm,” the modest home in Woody Creek, Colorado where Thompson lived and worked for almost 40 years.
Despite intense and probably everlasting interest in Hunter Thompson’s life and work—and his notorious lifestyle—Anita Thompson had until now resisted pasting her late husband’s name and likeness on whatever consumer products came along.
She has spent the last decade making sure his legacy is mostly about the work, and also negotiated a deal to take over direct ownership of Owl Farm earlier this year.
With the real-estate situation settled and scholarships now secure for journalism students at the University of Kentucky in his home state, and for military veterans at Columbia University, where Thompson briefly studied on the GI Bill in the 1950s, a turn to commercialism can begin.
Gonzo-branded cannabis will be the first such offering under the official HST label, an enterprise Anita Thompson is undertaking on her own terms after having rejected similar offers out of hand.
“Since it became legal I get approached probably once a month by cannabis growers, dispensaries,” she told the Aspen Times. “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.”
There’s no word on exactly what the strains are—hybrid? Indica? Sativa? Landrace?—or when they’ll be made available. Suffice to say interest will be intense—and aficionados of fine cannabis as well as appreciators of HST’s life and legacy can rest assured that proceeds from sales will go towards Anita’s efforts to preserve Owl Farm.
Here’s the good doctor talking about one of his favorite subjects: