DOWNTOWN LA - As many know, Los Angeles is a hub of Cannabis Culture and is always in the forefront of marijuana rights and recreation. And while Washington and Colorado have already realized some of these dreams - California, and Los Angeles specifically, still live in an undefined, underground but open culture. A place where weed is smelled, but not flaunted, where the cannabis community is talked about, but not quite heard. At this point, everyone is looking the other way and letting us do it for ourselves, and we're doing it right.
“Stoney Speakeasy's” or “Weed Events” in Los Angeles are a relatively new thing (so new, they actually don't even have an official name yet, so you can credit me for coining those terms later on). It's really only been in the past two years (the same time that weed was legalized in two states) that these events have really started to take off. Of all the Stoney Speakeasy's spread around L.A - Secret Sesh, hosted by Adam Ill, is the most established and consistent in quality turn out. Though it's called Secret Sesh, there was a line outside the venue and up the block of people waiting to get in. There is a cover at the door, but it's worth it, considering the scene inside and the large amounts of give aways handed out. This particular Secret Sesh was held in an art warehouse near downtown L.A, in the shadow of the Bonaventure Hotel.
As soon as I walk in, wafts of Jet Fuel and sweet dabs caress my face, and I know it's gonna be a stoney time. Not everyone knows each other, but everyone gives a head nod - acknowledging that we're here for the same reason. I walked up the stairs, down the big hall, and into what looks like the best science fair ever. Vendors of all types wrapped around the walls with illuminated slabs, jars of fine flower specimens, rigs of every shape, and e-nails billowing smoke from still burning dabs. Aside from the crazy heat inside the room, the general feeling is that of something fresh. All the different crews, growers, oilers, and vendors representing made it feel like an old school break dance battle was about to go down. There was a feeling of a new scene being created, even amongst the most dabbed out heads, there is an excitable energy - the joy of being able to smoke at a semi-public event without fear of repercussion.
I took a stroll around the room with my musician friends DJ Hoppa and Demrick who are known in the scene, we sampled a few dabs from different vendors. Hoppa and Demrick have an upcoming release, Stoney Point, coming out soon and are talking business in between the passing of slow burning joints. After about the 5th dab and second joint, I was feeling pretty right. I actually noticed quite a few influential faces in the Cannabis Community there. Artists, businessmen, and musicians - all passing joints and shooting the shit. It was like a 2015 version of an Andy Warhol soiree. Word was that B Real might show up to shoot part of his video for his new single (Dabs) at Secret Sesh. The hip-hop legend and West Coast weed pioneer comes to these events every once in a while, but this was anticipated to be an extra special visit. B's presence is almost diplomatic as he shakes hands with fans and takes pictures with people. DJ Salam Wreck and Adam Ill of B-Real TV hyped the crowd as they shot a sequence for the new music video. I've never seen a group of so many dabbed out party-goers turn up so hard for 45 seconds at a time. I literally saw torches being lit up while people were jumping - they were smoking a joint that was rolled into the shape of a small Turkish sword. At one point everyone let out a hit at the same time while the camera craned overhead. It was pure stoney awesomeness, and everyone was having a good time. DJ Salam Wreck kept yelling at the crowd, "Show them how WE do it! It's our turn!” And though it was funny the way he yelled it, it was true. Washington and Colorado may have legalized it, but L.A is really leading the way in how to do it.
The rest of the night had an upbeat feel after the video had wrapped up. Adam Ill worked the room and got the crowd going with the giveaways from the stage, people were doing "Flip and Rips" for e-nails, trading joints for rigs, and just getting all kinds of swag and wax thrown at them from all the different sponsors. DJ Salam Wreck kept the vibes going by dropping heavy selections, and Demrick even came up and performed a few impromptu songs. Though it was a little steamy and hot in the venue, people stayed till the end and still had a good time. These types of events will undoubtedly become more common and popular, but Secret Sesh is one that will always be acknowledged as an originator. 5 years ago this wasn't even happening, but now it feels like 5 years from now this will be completely normalized. We've always been able to smoke with friends, but we've never been able to reach out and meet new ones through something as simple as passing a joint. And while California waits for weed laws to normalize, we're waiting on everyone else to get on our level. Yika.