Cartagena was the epicentre of the drug trade in 1976. Probably still is. Colombia’s Caribbean littoral is perfectly suited for growing powerfully potent Colombian Gold. Like most brands, any weed from Colombia could be called ‘Colombian Gold’, even mersh (shudder). But true Colombian Gold cannot be faked. It’s in a class of its own.
Everybody in Cartagena, it seemed, had dope, but of varying quality. It really comes down to your source. Trying to buy on the street and you’ll be lucky to get anything decent. Dealers at the bars were somewhat better, but what sailor ever got a bargain in a port town? No, the best dope is from well-connected friends. The Fantasy was berthed at the Club de Pesca, the most exclusive address in the harbour and, it being Holy Week, the place was hopping.
Pepe, son of the owner of The Bandit, the yacht berthed next to us, was young, good looking and rich. And he liked to party. We quickly became friends. It didn’t take long for him to pull out his stash.
There’s no mistaking genuine Colombia Gold. It truly is golden. Big buds, thick with yellow hairs. And fluffy. Most of the Colombian smuggled into the states would have been packed tightly for weeks or months so the buds – even true Colombian Gold – would be crushed and mouldy-smelling. Still potent, but all the vitality and color had been squeezed out. Not this stuff. Pepe’s buds were carefully hand-picked, trimmed, cured and packaged. The Gold Standard.
No seeds at all, Pepe’s friends were embracing the sensimilla craze big time. Highly aromatic, as well. You can smell the buds long before you see them. And they are thick with resin. If you smoke a joint, your finger tips will be brown from the tar. Indeed, the Policia could tell dopers by looking at their fingers. Pipes are more prudent.
Never did figure out how much dope cost in Cartagena…joints just always happened to be going around any time we met up with friends. Cartagena and Colombian Gold lived up to their reputation.