VIP David Crosby

David Crosby (August 14, 1941 - January 19, 2023)

Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter extraordinaire David Crosby was present at and participant in many of the landmark events of the 1960s and beyond, as documented in his terrific book Stand and Be Counted (Harper San Francisco, 2000). The title is from a Crosby-penned song on the 1999 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young "Looking Foward" CD, both of which prove the excellence, depth and virtuosity of CSN&Y.

Crosby writes, "At the risk of calling into question my own current choice of staying straight, I still believe we were right about acid and we were right about pot. They did blow us loose from the past and they did give us a new perspective, a way of setting ourselves apart from the rest of straight society. There is a kind of knowledge that acid gives you on a cellular level, about what's really going on with birth and growth and death and everything else. Like it or not, it's true that psychedelics are a way--not the only way but clearly an effective way--of gaining tremendous insight into life.

"The government lied to us about so many things that we just assumed that everything it said was a lie. 'If you take that acid you'll stare at the sun and burn out your eyes.' Wrong. 'If you take that acid, you'll have bad babies.' Wrong. 'If you take that acid, you'll immediately think you can fly and jump off a building.' Wrong. So when they said marijuana was a gateway drug and would lead to harder drugs, we just went, Right, just like all the other stuff you told us that wasn't true.

"That's where we were wrong. Unfortunately, marijuana was illegal and you had to go to illegal people to get it. Those people would then hand you a gram of cocaine and say, If you think that's fun, try this. And you'd take some and you'd say, Holy shit, energy for free! I feel like I’m ten feet tall, covered with chrome, and I've got wings. This is fantastic! Give me more! Not figuring out that you've just made one of the worst mistakes of your life. But we didn't know any of that then."

Crosby's 2007 book Since Then: How I Survived Everyting and Lived to Tell About It speaks of advice he gives his children: "There is a time and place for grass. You're high on life right now, that's the safest intoxication....There are two kinds of smokers: those who do nothing and those who do it to enhance life's experiences. Don't be the first kind."

I interviewed Crosby (and got a picture with him) before a show he did in Monterey, CA in 2018 for Cannabis Now, just as he was announcing his cannabis brand name "The Mighty Croz" and joining the advisory board for NORML. “Laws against marijuana should change because it’s correct to change them,” Crosby said. “It’s an innocent substance and it does no harm at all. We drive slow and eat ice cream, that’s our big crime. We don’t rob stores, we don’t go out and rape and pillage. I’ve been in prison, I know what it’s like. And to be in there because you smoked or sold some flowers, it’s a travesty.”

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