Wouldn’t it have been nice if…


Fifth Estate # 63, October 3-16, 1968

Cartoon, cop action against furry freaksIt must have been like watching one of his own underground movies.

There was Ralph Pickett, manager of the Detroit Repertory Theatre and a friend, Bob, running around in the back woods of Ft. Wayne, Indiana harvesting acres of grass with Sheriff’s deputies lurking down the road waiting to make a bust.

Ralph heard about a miraculous field of grass growing wild from a freek returning from the battle of Chicago and decided to go down and get some of the good dope for himself.

So Ralph and Bob loaded up their VW Micro Bus with 50 plastic garbage bags and two machetes (implements of destruction) and drove down to Indiana.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” said Ralph. “The plants were 12-15 feet tall and the most beautiful things I’ve seen. A whole field of dynamite just waiting to be picked.”

And pick they did. For two solid hours the industrious lads hacked away at the potent plants until all the bags were filled. “We would have had 25 cleaned kilos if we would have pulled it off.”

Jumping back in the bus the two prepared to leave for home when—GANGBUSTERS! The whole bit. Out jumps the deputies with drawn pistols. “Up Against the bus, motherfucker, this is an arrest.”

And so it was. Off to the county jail. $2,000 bond on each. It seems, though, that our heroes had the last laugh.

There was a jail trustee that was ordered to burn all the grass in the incinerator (must have done wonders for the countryside), but as an act of kindness saved one branch and slipped it to the prisoners (five other persons were busted at the same field that week-end). “A fantastic smoke and it wasn’t even cured,” said Ralph.

Ralph, out on bond and back in Detroit, doesn’t appear to be too worried about the consequences of the bust although the possible penalties are two to ten years in prison. “I can’t believe a judge would send me to jail for ten years for picking flowers.”