DEA protecting American birds from getting high?

Winnipeg, Ontario

October 6, 1999

Birds getting high?
Canadian hemp seed could lead to breakdown of avian society is U.S. Those crazy, nature-loving Americans are at it again.

Winnipeg, Ontario – In an attempt to protect the U.S. bird population from falling into the clutches of an evil Ontario farmer, the U.S. Customs Service recently confiscated, and is currently holding, 20 tons of his birdseed at the border.

Why? Because apparently U.S. Customs believes that the birdseed is question is just another enemy in the war on drugs. It’s made from sterilized hemp seed, which is a type of cannabis, and has a street value of $25,000. They believe that if American birds get the stuff, they’ll get so high that they’ll turn into avian hippies and hitchhike to Canada where the stuff is being grown all nice and legal-like. 

PBS in jeopardy

It’s not just the mass exodus of backyard birds they’re worried about, it’s the very real possibility that it will all end with a bloody collapse of the entire public broadcasting nature TV show industry. Because once the birds go, it’s only a matter of time before all the other species follow. You get it? It’s all just part of a huge conspiracy.

Anyway, before I got around to calling Oliver Stone to get his take on the whole thing, I tried to imagine the effect of feeding hemp seed to the birds that hang out at our feeder. To begin with, our back yard birds aren’t that bright. It took them a year to find the feeder in the first place. So getting them stoned would make them the equivalent of Spicoli from Fast Times At Ridgemont  High. With wings!

Of course the provision of high-grade seed would undoubtedly attract the attention of my neighbors’ birds, so things would get a little crowded outside the dining room window. And instead of just flying into the patio doors once a year (just often enough to go back and warn the others), they’d be crashing into it hourly, littering my deck with the stunned bodies of the little stoners…who would be laughing.

Then one of them would get the idea to start a commune and birds would start coming for miles around to live in the spirit of freedom and make pottery. And eat Oreos. 

Yeah, they’d come to feed in the early morning, and then by 10 a.m., they’d be lying around on the grass, twisting dandelion chains, warbling Joan Baez songs, and taking turns body painting each other. And when the cats started showing up there’d be the big showdown with someone trying to jam a daisy into the mouth of some feline who is only doing his job.

Then the chanting and the protests would start. Then more birds would come and someone would get the idea that they should call it a love-in and hire some bands. And the next thing you know… Woodstock. And maybe Snoopy. Or at least Snoop Doggy Dog. This is 1999, after all.

Time for detox

Afterwards, the whole commune thing would just collapse once the seed ran out and they’d tried growing their own and realized they couldn’t because it was sterile in the first place. The fighting would start and accusations of “selling out to the man” would begin flying around. Body paint and daisies would be thrown and then some of the angry young birds would head east where the hemp seed is free and a bird can live by his own rules, dude.

A lot of birds would end up in detox, and some might even try to head back to the U.S. and try to make a clean start selling high-tech camping gear. And some would just keep hanging around my backyard, crashing into my patio doors, dreaming of the old days and wondering if another shipment will come in.

And that’s what happens when the first one’s free. (END)