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American Soldiers Smoking Cannabis In Vietnam

The use of cannabis was not appreciated by commanding officers, but was more tolerable than the alternatives. While punishable by law, cannabis use was often ignored by leaders to keep their men mellow and focused, as well as defuse social tension in the group. The other drugs of choice, alcohol and heroin, are much more debilitating. Later on, widespread cannabis use helped form the pacifist movement within the military that helped end the Vietnam War altogether.

The picture above shows a classic landrace Vietnamese sativa in the Hoàng Liên Son Mountains of northwestern Vietnam. Her tall and lanky nature make her a difficult strain for indoor cultivation, but even worse is her flowering time: up to 26 weeks! Vietnamese Sativa is very similar to landrace Thai strains that have been popular for decades. This insanely long flowering period is also the reason our Royal Thai regular seed line is a cross with Skunk #1, bringing the 20+ week flowering time down to about 12.

All in all cannabis played a significant role in the Vietnam War, and is one of the few good things that troops brought back home. As cannabis enthousiasts that try to look on the bright side, we’re glad we had a chance to become familiar with the beautiful cannabis strains South-East Asia has to offer.

[wpusb] In this video you see a group of young American soldiers smoking cannabis together,…

Soldiers smoking weed

Image: Jim Wells/AP

In 1970, the U.S. military was transitioning out of its offensive combat role in the Vietnam War, tasking its soldiers with training South Vietnamese troops and maintaining defensive garrisons.

To contend with boredom and low morale, many GIs turned to smoking marijuana, which grew plentifully throughout the country.

On Nov. 13, 1970, a documentary crew captured footage of American soldiers unwinding at fire support base Aries, a small clearing in the jungles of War Zone D, 50 miles northeast of Saigon.

The squad leader, Vito, a 20-year-old draftee from Philadelphia, demonstrates for the camera how his squad uses “Ralph,” a 12-gauge shotgun.

After ejecting a number of shells from the weapon, Vito places a bowl of marijuana in the chamber, and offers long drags from the business end of the shotgun to his comrades.

A similar scene would later appear in the 1986 film Platoon, written and directed by Vietnam veteran Oliver Stone.

No, we do not condone ever attempting this method.

In case you thought that one scene from 'Platoon' was made up… Also, don't ever try this. Ever.