Why The Caged Bird Sings - He's Stoned

Why The Caged Bird Sings - He's Stoned
Posted by CN Staff on October 28, 2004 at 14:25:52 PT
By J.D. Mullane
Source: Courier Times 
The other day I was at a friend's house when I heard the family's parakeet, Cupcake, singing.It wasn't the normal cheep-cheep-tweet-chirp you usually associate with parakeets.It was robust. Lighthearted trills and long liquid warbles filled the room.
"That bird sounds like he's having a good day," I said. "Why is he so happy?""We bought songbird food and he's been singing ever since," my friend said. "We know why, too. My wife looked at the bird food and it's loaded with pot seeds.""You mean your parakeet's stoned?""Pretty much."It was hard to believe. I thought the government's war on drugs had curtailed, if not eliminated, such dark threats to innocents like Cupcake.As everyone knows, pot is a "gateway" drug. If pot seeds are permitted in bird food, what's next for an addicted songbird? Poppy seeds? Catnip?Think of the injuries this drug menace can cause, with bleary-eyed parakeets, canaries and finches falling backward from their perches, cracking their little skulls. Not that they would care.Still, I was skeptical that the nation's songbird food supply contains pot seeds.I called a few bird food distributors to find out. They seemed reluctant to comment."I don't know what you're talking about. There are no pot seeds in songbird food. I think you better find yourself another story," said a man who answered the phone at went to Schults Bird Farm in Langhorne where, among myriad bird food mixes, I found one marked "Sterile Hemp Seed." Aha."It's sterile so if you try growing it, you won't get a pot plant," said employee Jerry Wilson.Wilson doesn't believe hemp seed will get a bird stoned."We had an African Gray on hemp seeds. It didn't seem to make a difference in his personality at all. Even Prozac didn't change his personality," he said. Meeghan Hall, a bird specialist who has worked at Schults for 11 years, said hemp seed calms a bird."Maybe it makes them happy or high, so that's why they sing," she said.Actually, hemp seed, from which pot is grown, has been an ingredient in songbird food for decades, said Alan St. Pierre, spokesman for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws."It's more than folklore that songbirds will pick out the hemp seeds more than other seeds from their food, in the wild as well. These seeds make birds very happy, so much so that birds known for their beautiful songs will sing much more," he said.Since the "reefer madness" years of the 1930s, the federal government has tried to keep hemp seed from birds as part of its crackdown on illegal marijuana growing.The bird seed lobby (yes, there is one) stepped forward and blocked it, telling Congress that birds would stop singing without the magical seed. Just three years ago, the feds tried another crackdown on commercial hemp seed, but lobbyists battled back, St. Pierre said.Like Wilson, he doesn't believe songbirds can get stoned on hemp seed, since regulations require the seed to be rendered sterile prior to sale."The federal government really has taken the buzz out of bird seed. But maybe it's something else in the seed. The oil or something," he said.I wonder.I looked at Cupcake, who was on his perch, singing. He stopped and cocked his head at me.I swear he had a silly stoner grin on his beak.As I walked off, he launched into another long, happy liquid song.J.D. Mullane's opinion column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.Newshawk: SukoiSource: Bucks County Courier Times (PA)Author: J.D. MullanePublished: October 28, 2004Copyright: 2004 Calkins Newspapers. Inc.Contact: jmullane Website: Hemp Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Post Comment