Flower power has never really gone away. Since the times of the sit-ins of the 1960s and 1970s, the idea of flower power has resonated with those who identify themselves as peace-loving folks.
Many of the flowers that grow in San Francisco are miracles, considering how little sunlight and warmth we get here. The flowers that do grow here have to be like the residents: stubborn and radiant. This is not an environment that will allow for the growing of delicate flowers.
When I’m walking through the city, I like to consider the flowers that make San Francisco famous. When people hear that old song “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”, we may think of people wild and free with painted faces and colorful posies braided into their hair. But how did they get so happy? By one’s perception, it can only be marijuana.
Strange to many, marijuana is a flower of the hemp plant. This is a flower that has revolutionized the way many have thought or expanded on a thought for centuries. From the Jazz era that erupted in the early 1920’s, the use of marijuana was seen as below the standard accepted normal practice of society. It suddenly became apparent to them that this flower would influence many, and it was banned summarily in the 1970’s, especially after the Summer of Love in 1969, where it’s acceptance and freedom became the ideal of what San Francisco lifestyle, politics and society would come to be as a factor in our homes.
The effect of marijuana is one that has a very polarizing effect. Acceptability or even acceptance is still looked at with question within the culture of San Francisco, the nation and the world. It can easily be said that of all the flowers in San Francisco, marijuana is that one flower that still holds sway over who we are, what people think of us and it’s placement in the fact and mythology of flower power from the time of the late Sixties into our present century.