In Defense of Schwag Weed

Categories: Commentary

Terrence McNally

This is a big week for weed, with Colorado becoming the first state in the nation to have legal recreational marijuana. All across the Centennial State, fluffy buds twinkling with crystals are being loaded into swirled glass pipes and sparked in celebration. There is no pretense of medicine. People are getting stoned, as they have for years, but now it's legal under state law.

Coloradans and the rest of Marijuana America are smoking some of the best nugs in the history of ever. This is pot that's been lab-tested, groomed, pruned and doled out in a sterile room. This is the kindest bud, a high point for weed. But it's a damn shame no one smokes schwag anymore.

I'm talking about dirt weed, the dried-out marijuana that's flattened and trucked in large bricks. I'm talking about the weed a lot of people over 30 grew up with. This is the bud of Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35." This is Black Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf," Neil Young's "Roll Another Number (For the Road)." This is the Doobie Brothers, dude.

Is the quality as good as the weed being peddled by New York bike messengers and California dispensaries? Hell no. Not even close. But schwag gets a bad rap because everyone focuses on the potency instead of the process.

The high is only part of the appeal of doing drugs. Just look at any movie about heroin. The baggie, the spoon, the lighter, the needle, the rubber hose -- the ritual is integral. Cokeheads love playing with their little piles of powder, making lines, sliding the particles back together, making lines again. Smoking weed is the same.

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The Case Against Schwag....

1.) Heard it often tastes like gas, ammonia, or pesticide. That's what people told me.

2.) I'd rather buy American than "Cartel Weed" (if I purchased such things)

3.) I'm one of the 30+ peeps who grew up with it, and after 9/11 people told me it was really hard to find. They say they haven't even SEEN any Schwag since maybe 2006.

4.) I hear the higher quality stuff takes less to get you buzzed. Less smoking has to be a good thing, right?


'mexican brick' is the name for the specific type you are describing here. Low level indica that is amazingly cheap considering how many gangsters die over it.

It's for cooking with and making oils.

Can we legalize this in Texas now?


Last time I checked, "high grade" weed still comes in buds. You have to break that down just like your beloved shwag before you load a bowl. So what was the point of this article again?


This is more asinine than reading coverage from the Lights All Night festival.

scottindallas topcommenter

Schwag offers a different and in my mind better high than hydro.  And, hydro is too often a rip off.  It should be one/two puff stuff but that seldom does the trick, so you blow all kinds of dough on something that looks and smells incredible but tweaks you out more than gets you stoned.  POPCORN!!!  the happy medium


Its really disturbing that you would propagate incomplete information just to create a quasi relevant story for Texas.  "Schwag" is "trucked in" by Mexican Drug Cartels, it is full of pesticides, dead bugs, mold, mildew, and, yes, dirt.  Not too mention the LIVES that are taken to keep your precious dirt weed in the states.  And did the writer of this gem actually sit and puff down with Dylan, or The Doobie Bros?  The herb of yore may have been less potent, not manicured, but it was hardly dirt weed.  Pick up a '70's issue of High Times and you'll see chronic is nothing new, and has always been the choice of all marijuana enthusiasts.  SMH...


@agentsofgoldstein You all should listen to this person, they have very important advice on what you should be writing about. You should probably hire them.

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