Tracking the Seed

Jessica Hines had this to say about the strain:

ln a small agricultural community not far from you or me a legend was born. Like many legends it has humble beginnings, powerful enchantment & opportune occurrences.  The Paonia Purple Paralyzer (P.P.P.) is said to have been so potent that it would “paralyze one for hours” according to one 1970‘s partaker of the original strain. It is also said to have been a deep purple color due to the fall evening chill in Paonia’s North Fork Valley, hence the name. But did this abundant crop grown in the ‘70s & ‘80s originate there too?  A closer look into its roots from the pioneer growers reveals the real story. 

Journeying back to a time when America was in civil & inter-national unrest in the late l960’s, reveals a catalytic time for many free-thinking adults. In this divided time, some young people opted for an awakening within themselves & the world. Many of our young men left to fight in the Vietnam War, while others ventured across the seas to expand global awareness.  During this time in the North Fork Valley, fruit farmers & ranchers were cultivating this land in rural farming areas such as Paonia, Crawford & Hotchkiss. Shortly after the war, an insurgence of like-hearted people from all over the country came to the plentiful valley to sow seeds of their own. For these folks, hashish and other hallucinogens were the major drugs of choice. So, from far across the world, Tibetan Temple Ball Hashish &. Nepalese String hashish from the Afghani lndica Plant were carefully imported to our region.  This hash originally came from a connection who was supplying “black gummy hash” to the U.S. Although illegal in Nepal now, hashish was legal until the late l970s. Bill, a CO resident and consumer of the Temple Ball Hash says, “When I was in Nepal in the I970s, there were these balls of hash the size of baseballs that the Sadhu would bring around. l tried smoking a tiny bit of one once & my body was so paralyzed that I couldn‘t move for hours.“

Encyclopedia Britannica defines the Sadhu as a “religious ascetic or holy person” Many of the highly spiritual Sadhus live in temples and practice an art form of extracting hash from the buds of the female Afghani lndica plant. They rub the crystalline buds in a heavy muslin sheath sometimes pulling seeds along with it. Then the cloth is scraped and hand rolled into hash balls and sticks, thus making it possible to transport the hashish & possibly seeds of the purest Afghani lndica to cross all the borders and grace our valley during that time.

Construction in the early l970‘s of Sunshine Mesa (above Paonia) offered trades for this hash & cash to many young workers. Which brings us to a testimony from one of the heroes of this story — Papa Gangee a.k.a. Johnny WeedSeed.


It was around I974 & he was hanging out with a Boulder guy for whom he did masonry work. “He was a big time Boulder drug guy,” said Papa Gangee. “I did a lot of work on his house. Every time he’d go to pay me, he’d get me so stoned so that he’d get a better deal out of me. This one time, he had a coffee table and there were 3 black balls the size of softballs of black hash on this coffee table. He passed out on the couch…l get up & hit the coffee table. A ball rolls off the coffee table, and l pick it up & I’m trying to get it back together. And l look down on the floor and there’s these seeds.”   Papa Gangee then says he couldn’t resist knocking the other balls off the table & grabbing the seeds in them too, totaling I6 seeds, and leaving. He brought them to his friend Oklahoma Boy, who had property near Needle Rock in Crawford and grew the first crop of P.P.P. From there, he proliferated the attire North Fork Valley with seeds, including communes such as the Four Directions on the west end of Redlands Mesa.  Soon the P.P.P. seed flourished in the fertile volcanic soil & climate (similar to Afghanistan’s) throughout our region taking on names like P-BUD, Redlands Mesa Red & Marcellina Thunderfuck (Named after a mountain above Paonia).

By the mid l970’s people from all over began hearing enchanting tales of the paralyzing effects of this tantalizing Indica strain.  Then, another local source stated that “The Paonia Purple Paralyzer gained so much popularity that in the mid 1970’s High Times published an article about it. That’s when l was living in California, heard about it and told my friends “We have to go try that’“’ This California witness was not alone. He & his friends along with many other weed connoisseurs poured into the valley throughout the 70s & 80s. However, several sources agree, that this brought a magnified level of exposure to the Federal Drug Agencies. It is accounted by local Paonia residents that the Agents directed patrols to eradicate this notorious strain over the late 70’s and throughout the mid 90‘s. This pressure from the Federal is said to have led to the extinction of the P.P.P….Until now.

As unbelievable and amazing as it sounds, yet entirely true, 35 Years ago 2 different proprietary growers of the P.P.P. stored 100’s of these pure seeds from the original crops. Will the legend of the Paonia Purple Paralyzer be resurrected to produce the same potent effects as before? Will more holders of the sacred seed unearth? As the story unveils, decades later, it is clear to see this legend was meant to be shared and apprised. Meanwhile, a grow facility in Ridgway, CO is currently cultivating a close comeback. “We feel fortunate to have the connections to receive these seeds. We hope to honor the origins & nostalgia of this influential strain and all of the original Paonia Purple Paralyzer farmers of this area, says General Manager David Niccum. And as Greenman, another North Fork Valley farmer, holds forth: “After decades of slumber, the Paonia Purple Paralyzer will finally awaken to its rightful place in the Sun, both literally and figuratively”

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