Swaziland has adopted the fifth position on my top 5 list of best places I’ve been to.
TOP 5 LIST:
1. San Jose, Ca
2. New York
I traveled to Swaziland on an assignment to document a story about a strain of cannabis called Swazigold with my good friend Hamilton Morris. Sitting beside Hamilton is Andrew Mgaga, our lifesaver. He speaks 12 languages, and got us out of every hostile situation using each one of those languages, and his charm.
His face may look nice there graphically printed on this Swazi farmers skirt, but don’t be fooled, King Mswati is a greedy king who claims the majority of the countries GDP for himself. For this reason, the strain Swazigold has become an important product in the black market. It’s the one cash crop made by the people, for the people.
Hamilton gets a close-up look at a Swazigold plant that matches his height.
Fresh Swazigold, right from the farm is sold very inexpensively, but it’s value is 20 times more than any other crop. Plus it grows year-round.
This bag of Swazigold would sell for 50 cents in Swaziland. In the US, around $200.00.
We stumbled upon this wild, fully budded plant and picked it from the hillside. It’s ready to go once the leaves are trimmed and the buds are dried. It’s then brought into South Africa, where the plants new value can give Swazi-smugglers, the fancy automobiles they want/need.
There is a fancy automobile behind this squad, all because of piles like this:
They might need to get a bigger tarp soon.
Dr. Ben Dlamini spoke to us about the efforts he has been putting towards the legalization of cannabis in Swaziland. He was so well spoken and had the most interesting philosophies about cannabis culture and how it relates to our ancestors.
I think we saw around six farms in one day and everyone we met had some produce that they wanted to give us. Farmers, hotel staff, pipe makers, it seemed that everyone we met had a secret burlap sack of Swazigold that they wanted us to take from. Do you see why it made my top 5 list?
We rolled a thick paperless joint. When you have large bags full, it’s fun to experiment.
Andrew Mgaga was very relaxed about this underground operation we were on. Even though it looks peaceful at the farms, it’s still a very illegal and very dangerous game to play.
It was tuff to see the poverty of the farmers we met, but it was good to hear that there was hope and that mouths were being fed thanks to this plant.
Special thanks to the farmers and friends we made in Swaziland, a place where the grass is always greener.