Wonder of wonders, it turns out the collection survived for 30 years and, thanks to my sister Lynda to mailing it from Alabama, it now returns to the light of day. It was very much like opening a time capsule to again see these little relics of a bygone era.
Upon viewing the collection of 50-plus varieties of rolling papers — many of which are no longer available, or at least no longer being manufactured — I thought about how the tides of social change, i.e. weed culture, rolled across America in the late 70s, only to be turned back in the early 80s during the “Just Say No” Reagan years.
The change was very pronounced. It the late 70s it became perfectly fine to have brands of rolling papers called “Joint Wides” and “Reefer Rollers;” nobody thought twice about naming a brand of wraps “Insta Roach” or “4:20,” or calling them “Leaves” and putting a big ol’ cannabis plant on the pack.
Another sign of the times were the “social protest” types of rolling papers, prominently among them Patriotic Rolling Papers. Patriotics came in at least three varieties: American flags (so that you were burning the flag each time you smoked a joint); $100 bills (so that you were burning money); and draft cards (so that you were burning a draft card; unfortunately I never got a chance to buy a pack of the draft cards, so they aren’t in the collection).
Here are some ghosts from the past, and a few which have survived in one form or another to the present.
What were your favorite vintage papers? Why? Did you happen to save a pack?