It was the early 70s. Two friends and I were sitting in a city park in Toronto a pound of Mexican brick weed in a brown paper grocery bag — grocery bags were still paper back then. We were waiting for a classmate’s older brother who was coming to buy the elbow from us.

This deal was that we didn’t have the money for a pound but could get fronts and flip them which we were doing that day. $50 back in the early 1970s was good cash for flipping a $300 pound of Mexican ditch weed that you got on credit.

All of the sudden a Toronto police car came driving through the park — not something you’d see back in those days. He stopped near to us, got out, and started asking us what we are doing and for our identification. While running our names, he kept asking a lot of questions like why were we there, what were we doing, and where had we come from. We were young people without very much experience with cops so were being really vague plus we are shitting bricks about the pound in a paper bag sitting right there on the picnic table.

Then the cop asked us what was in the bag. Oh shit, I thought, this is it my first major bust. But then as luck would have it, his radio went off and started squawking that they found the guy. The cop told us to have a good day, got back in his car, and left in a hurry.

You can bet that the next thing we did was stash that bag in the bushes. Before long our buddy showed and we left with our profits for the day. Live and learn. And we did. Never again did I keep my stash with me when doing deals. But hey, we’re all young once and that’s how you learn, by mistakes… Just don’t repeat them.

During one dark winter day in Toronto in the 70s, I  was sitting in my friend’s room in a low-rental rooming house with two buddies waiting for another one with an ounce of primo Afghani hash.

We didn’t wait long before he showed up but before he could even get settled in enough to roll a spliff (we rolled hash spliffs with tobacco back then) the door was kicked in and four or five cops came rushing in telling us we were all under arrest!

Now this was a small room with a stack of empty pizza boxes, a few dozen empty beer cases, a huge stereo system, bed, coffee table, dresser, and not much more than mess. The only light besides the dirty window was a small HID desk lamp on the coffee table — perfect stoner lighting but not so good for searching a very messy room with dark blue walls.

The cops cuffed us all and took us downstairs to the large common area while they tore up my buddy’s room and kicked in his speakers. They did find a set of Ohaus 2610 triple beam scales —the standard drug dealers scale back in the day — as well as a roll of tin foil, lots of residue and crumbs, and of course a box of GLAD sandwich bags. But no hash.

After more bullshit the cops had to leave and we were all wondering what the hell happened to the hash?

My pal who had brought it walked over to where he had been sitting on a bean bag chair and there stuck flat to the wall — where the cops had left it — was our hash.

Who says stoners don’t think fast?

It was 1976. I was riding in the back of a large truck with about seven or eight others in an older model five-ton flat deck stake bed truck with six-foot high sides and nothing but a rope across the back end. We were all hitchhikers that the driver had been picking up along the Vancouver Island highway headed to Long Beach for a big holiday weekend party.

As we neared our destination the driver pulled off the road at a rest stop and came back to inform us all that if we had any weed we should allow him to put it in his stash to get through any roadblocks. It was rumoured the RCMP might have spot checks set up. I didn’t know anyone in this group and I was travelling alone. I think a few others were too, and there were a few European travellers as well.

Besides the usual large backpacks young people used when hitchhiking back then, many of us had extra bags of food — as well as an impressive supply of good old Canadian beer. I had almost no money, but I did have a kilo of rice, a tin each of powdered soup mix and orange drink mix, tea, oats, flour, and sugar. The only thing I had of value was a fat sack of marijuana that I had picked up for this trip and I didn’t want to lose that! My gut was telling me to trust this old dude so I decided to bite and handed it over. The hippie driver had a small magnetic box attached under the frame of his truck and as he put my bag in it I caught a glimpse of quite a bit more ganja.

We continued the drive toward Long Beach and pretty soon we did run into the RCMP. There were lots of cop cars and even a van, which was rare back in those days. And we had target written all over us.

Five or six burly cops ordered us all to get out of the truck and then they started stealing all the beer while some other grey shirts started checking IDs for outstanding warrants. I was feeling just okay when two of the cops came over to our group and told us all to start emptying our knapsacks. Then I had a surge of relief for putting my stash in the old hippie’s secret box.

Two people who were each travelling by themselves were arrested for possession of cannabis on the spot and taken to the van with all their belongings. The rest of us were ordered to pick up our shit and fuck off. Literally.

As it turned out this old guy and his wife had a pretty elaborate camp set up on the beach and I was invited to share their fire for the weekend. A fantastic time was had.

Moral of the story: always trust your gut instinct. That time I was glad I did.