Pakalolo: Hawaii’s second largest unofficial industry


Before getting into this let me explain the meaning of the word pakalolo. It is the Hawaiian word for marijuana.
Paka means weed and lolo means crazy – “crazy weed”. I guess that sums it up nicely.

When I got to Maui in 1975 it was the best thing I ever did because it gave me the opportunity for a fresh start. Not that I was a criminal or a drug addict or anything like that, but I just needed something fresh where I could be me without anyone having expectations.

One of Maui’s distinctions was that it was one of the main producers of pakalolo where “Maui Wowwee” was a huge commodity and in general, the second largest industry behind tourism. Within a week or two of my arrival one of my new friends was a guy named “Pakalolo John”, one of the biggest distributors on Maui. He would always try to get me to smoke a joint but those were days gone by long ago.

I was curious. Not of a smoking curiosity but of a business curiosity. I learned that one of the crime bosses in Hawaii had a very lucrative business in exporting pakalolo to the mainland in containers shipped from the big island (the island of Hawaii) and I wondered how that could be done. The guy was a former policeman and had insane contacts.

Yet, the little guys were always hassled and did what they did in the tourist towns like Lahaina and Waikiki. When I asked John why he did what he did, he simply said. “It makes people happy and it’s my job. And it sure beats a nine-to-fiver”.

Despite John’s undying efforts, law enforcement was always eager to publicize its vigorous counter-offensive against this lucrative illicit trade.

Police vice squads and Hawaii National Guard units launched regular raids that resulted in press releases recounting multi-day helicopter and field operations that uprooted vast numbers of plants that turned out to be ballpark estimates rather than the 1.2 million plants that were alleged.

In 1985, the State department of Land and Natural Resources joined the party by going after the pakalolo grown on public lands, especially on the big island and up-country Maui.

Within a year, the DLNR had developed a new weapon – a spray rig that could be operated from a helicopter to apply a dose of herbicide to specific plants. This method proved to be more effective than manual eradication methods resulting in a dramatic increase in the number of plants wiped out. Within two years Hawaii was engaged in a year-round wipeout program called, Operation Sweep.

But all that manpower, money (over $1million a year), and herbicide wasn’t enough. Because of an insatiable demand the industry still flourished and the Islands’ pakalolo crop was estimated at about $1 billion to $10 billion. It was way more than the combination of sugar, pineapple, and tourism. So, they clamored for federal aid.

So, Dick Cheney, who was the former Defense Secretary, supported using the military in domestic raids to deflect criticism from Bolivia and Peru that the U.S. was targeting drug crops overseas while ignoring pakalolo cultivation at home.

In 1990, the military and the DEA joined Hawaii’s efforts and Operation Wipeout was created just in time, hopefully, to destroy the summer harvest. It’s amazing how creative government can be when others are making more money than they are.

The entire state of Hawaii was photographed in grids, with pakalolo cultivation areas identified for aerial spraying or manual eradication. It was then biggest joint-agency action in the state’s history, and one of the largest in the nation.

And guess what the most used and devastating pesticide was? GLYPHOSATE! The one that is used on GMOs and raved about how safe and effective it is to ingest.

What happened was that the growers were forced off public lands and into more expensive indoor facilities, driving up the price of pakalolo from $2,500 a pound to $6,000 a pound. It also resulted in 25 arrests, the seizure of $1,200,000 in assets, and the destruction of almost 400,000 high quality, high THC content pakalolo plants aka sinsemilla.

In 1981, 54 pounds of pakalolo were confiscated at the Honolulu International Airport coming from Phoenix, Arizona.

Now, years later, Hawaii is still conducting periodic raids funded by grants from the feds and what they are finding is that most of it is imported from Northern California and British Columbia, because pakalolo prohibition has been eased there.

In Hawaii, attempts to ease pakalolo laws have met with favor in our Senate, but only to meet opposition in our House. I would think that our Governor at the time would intervene due to being a pothead back in the 70s when he used to drive a Checkers vehicle and was a hippie. I guess going to Washington as a Representative and then becoming our Governor gave him a change of heart.

But recently, a bill was introduced in our House, which would have taxed and regulated pakalolo like alcohol, using the same model that the Colorado voters adopted in the past. But it didn’t pass. I guess our politicians figured it was better to be drunk and have liver cancer than to be stoned and just sit around listening to the Rolling Stones.

Actually, Hawaii was one of the earliest states to legalize medical marijuana by legislation. I guess all the politicians saw a way out against lessening their liver cancer pain. But, they are frightened by improving upon what was passed.

The politicians understand that patients have no way to legally obtain medical pakalolo if they cannot grow their own. Yet, when they do grow their own, they are harassed like crazy. They have even been threatened by the police to limit their access to medicine.

But a bill is being contemplated that would allow caregivers to grow plants for up to three patients rather than the current ratio of one to one. The bill would also increase the amount of dried pakalolo that a patient can possess from one ounce to three but increasing the number of plants they can have to 10 from 7 is a no-no.

I guess it’s better to drive drunk and kill people in a car than to stay home and watch TV or listen to music in a relaxed state of mind.

Finally, one of Representatives has been pushing for the legalization of hemp cultivation for years. The hang-up lies with the feds because they are unable to see the distinction between high-grade paka and non-intoxicating industrial hemp.

Despite voicing the ability of hemp to produce paper, cloth, oil, food and fuel and the potential to revitalize economically troubled states, the feds won’t budge.

Interestingly enough, a state House bill was passed to test hemp’s ability to cleanse the soil of the multitude of toxins left by decades of plantation agriculture that polluted our underground water systems and also authorizes it to be used as an environmentally friendly feedstock for biofuel production. It now goes on to our Senate that adamantly refuses to even consider GMO labeling bills.

What’s bizarre is that despite a program in 1999, which made Hawaii the first state to legally grow hemp under a special research license from the DEA, it proved that hemp would thrive in Hawaii and led the way for Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, and West Virginia to authorize cultivation of industrial hemp, but yet, Hawaii is still held back by the feds. Meanwhile, Canada, China, and other European nations grow and export hemp and fiber, paper pulp and the seed oil produced from it.

I guess the Hawaii pakalolo madness way back when, left its financial toll on the federal government.

But two houses away from me are a bunch of young guys that have grow-lights in their basement and they are the mellowest guys ever.

One would think that Obama being from Hawaii and dealing paka when he was a student at Punahou School would cut Hawaii some slack. Oh well!


About Hesh:

I have been doing a radio show in Honolulu since 1981 called “Health Talk”. To listen to the show please tune into 1080 or 108 am or go to on your computer at 8am Hawaii time. FYI, 8 am Hawaii time is 10 am on the West coast and 2 pm on the East coast. To call in, the number is (808) 524-1080.

Now, American Voice Radio will be picking up my streamed show and playing it all week until the next one takes place. To listen, go to and click on my link at AVR 2. Starting in December I will be doing another radio show on AVR at 9:00 am Hawaii time on Thursday mornings. Just go to the website, click on AVR 1, and listen live or tune in later and listen via the archive to Health Talk with Hesh.

See you on the radio!

In 2007, I was “forced” to get a masters degree in Nutrition to stop all the doctors from calling in asking what my credentials were. Besides that, they never liked it when I asked them what their credentials were that would enable them to treat an illness without drugs or surgery.

If you go to and click on Podcasts and Articles, there are years of shows there as well as hundreds of health related articles that are completely free to listen to and read.

I am an activist. I am vehemently opposed to GMOs, vaccines, processed foods, MSG, aspartame, fluoridation, and everything else that the “pimps” (big pHarma, Monsanto, and the large food companies), and the “hookers” (the doctors, the government agencies, the Public Health officials, and the mainstream media) thrust upon us, the “tricks”.

At 75, I am in 3 softball leagues, racewalk, do stand-up paddling, hike, swim, do weights and cardio, and teach women’s self-defense classes based upon 20 years of Wing Chun training. I have been a vegetarian since 1975 and a vegan since 1990, have no illnesses and take no meds.

After being vaccinated with the DTP vaccine as a child, I developed asthma, which plagued me until 2008 when I learned about and started taking the organic sulfur crystals. My asthma was reversed in 3 days and has not come back.

So far, 26 cases of autism that we know about have been reversed, as has cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, asthma, osteoarthritis, joint pain, gingivitis, and erectile dysfunction. The sulfur has increased sexual activity, eliminated toxins, heavy metals, radiation, and parasites. It speeds up athletic recovery time, increases blood circulation, reduces inflammation, increases resistance to the “flu”, reduces wrinkles, allergies, PMS, monthly period pain, migraines, nausea, lowering high blood pressure, raising low blood pressure and way more, because the oxygen that the sulfur releases floods and heals the cells in the body.

The sulfur, as proven by the University of Southampton in England, enables the body to produce vitamin B12 and the essential amino acids.

You can find out more about this on my website under Products.

My book, “A Sane Diet For An Insane World”, which has been published, can be viewed and purchased at The book clearly explains why what you eat, for the most part, is designed to keep you in a state of declining health.

I have recently discovered two amazing super foods – Zeal and Shakeology – Zeal contains 30 amazing probiotics, anti-oxidents and more, all designed to build and strengthen the immune system and Shakeology contains 42. What’s great about Shakeology is that it is filling, replaces one meal and keeps you full for hours and helps with weight control and loss. For more info about Shakeology please email me or go to The good news about Shakeology is if you are not satisfied after 30 days the company will refund you.

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My daily regimen consists of one teaspoon of the crystals twice a day, one scoop of the Zeal in cold water, one packet of Shakeology either in 8 to 12 ounces of water or added to my smoothie and a heaping tablespoon of bee pollen. For more about Shakeology please go to

Hesh Goldstein, MSNutri
“Health Talk” Moderator, K-108 Radio
POB 240783, Honolulu, Hi 96824
(808) 258-1177
[email protected]

Hesh Goldstein
When I was a kid, if I were told that I'd be writing a book about diet and nutrition when I was older, let alone having been doing a health related radio show for over 36 years, I would've thought that whoever told me that was out of their mind. Living in Newark, New Jersey, my parents and I consumed anything and everything that had a face or a mother except for dead, rotting, pig bodies, although we did eat bacon (as if all the other decomposing flesh bodies were somehow miraculously clean). Going through high school and college it was no different. In fact, my dietary change did not come until I was in my 30's.

Just to put things in perspective, after I graduated from Weequahic High School and before going to Seton Hall University, I had a part-time job working for a butcher. I was the delivery guy and occasionally had to go to the slaughterhouse to pick up products for the store. Needless to say, I had no consciousness nor awareness, as change never came then despite the horrors I witnessed on an almost daily basis.

After graduating with a degree in accounting from Seton Hall, I eventually got married and moved to a town called Livingston. Livingston was basically a yuppie community where everyone was judged by the neighborhood they lived in and their income. To say it was a "plastic" community would be an understatement.

Livingston and the shallowness finally got to me. I told my wife I was fed up and wanted to move. She made it clear she had to be near her friends and New York City. I finally got my act together and split for Colorado.

I was living with a lady in Aspen at the end of 1974, when one day she said, " let's become vegetarians". I have no idea what possessed me to say it, but I said, "okay"! At that point I went to the freezer and took out about $100 worth of frozen, dead body parts and gave them to a welfare mother who lived behind us. Well, everything was great for about a week or so, and then the chick split with another guy.

So here I was, a vegetarian for a couple weeks, not really knowing what to do, how to cook, or basically how to prepare anything. For about a month, I was getting by on carrot sticks, celery sticks, and yogurt. Fortunately, when I went vegan in 1990, it was a simple and natural progression. Anyway, as I walked around Aspen town, I noticed a little vegetarian restaurant called, "The Little Kitchen".

Let me back up just a little bit. It was April of 1975, the snow was melting and the runoff of Ajax Mountain filled the streets full of knee-deep mud. Now, Aspen was great to ski in, but was a bummer to walk in when the snow was melting.

I was ready to call it quits and I needed a warmer place. I'll elaborate on that in a minute.

But right now, back to "The Little Kitchen". Knowing that I was going to leave Aspen and basically a new vegetarian, I needed help. So, I cruised into the restaurant and told them my plight and asked them if they would teach me how to cook. I told them in return I would wash dishes and empty their trash. They then asked me what I did for a living and I told them I was an accountant.

The owner said to me, "Let's make a deal. You do our tax return and we'll feed you as well". So for the next couple of weeks I was doing their tax return, washing their dishes, emptying the trash, and learning as much as I could.

But, like I said, the mud was getting to me. So I picked up a travel book written by a guy named Foder. The name of the book was, "Hawaii". Looking through the book I noticed that in Lahaina, on Maui, there was a little vegetarian restaurant called," Mr. Natural's". I decided right then and there that I would go to Lahaina and work at "Mr. Natural's." To make a long story short, that's exactly what happened.

So, I'm working at "Mr. Natural's" and learning everything I can about my new dietary lifestyle - it was great. Every afternoon we would close for lunch at about 1 PM and go to the Sheraton Hotel in Ka'anapali and play volleyball, while somebody stayed behind to prepare dinner.

Since I was the new guy, and didn't really know how to cook, I never thought that I would be asked to stay behind to cook dinner. Well, one afternoon, that's exactly what happened; it was my turn. That posed a problem for me because I was at the point where I finally knew how to boil water.

I was desperate, clueless and basically up the creek without a paddle. Fortunately, there was a friend of mine sitting in the gazebo at the restaurant and I asked him if he knew how to cook. He said the only thing he knew how to cook was enchiladas. He said that his enchiladas were bean-less and dairy-less. I told him that I had no idea what an enchilada was or what he was talking about, but I needed him to show me because it was my turn to do the evening meal.

Well, the guys came back from playing volleyball and I'm asked what was for dinner. I told them enchiladas; the owner wasn't thrilled. I told him that mine were bean-less and dairy-less. When he tried the enchilada he said it was incredible. Being the humble guy that I was, I smiled and said, "You expected anything less"? It apparently was so good that it was the only item on the menu that we served twice a week. In fact, after about a week, we were selling five dozen every night we had them on the menu and people would walk around Lahaina broadcasting, 'enchilada's at "Natural's" tonight'. I never had to cook anything else.

A year later the restaurant closed, and somehow I gravitated to a little health food store in Wailuku. I never told anyone I was an accountant and basically relegated myself to being the truck driver. The guys who were running the health food store had friends in similar businesses and farms on many of the islands. I told them that if they could organize and form one company they could probably lock in the State. That's when they found out I was an accountant and "Down to Earth" was born. "Down to Earth" became the largest natural food store chain in the islands, and I was their Chief Financial Officer and co-manager of their biggest store for 13 years.

In 1981, I started to do a weekly radio show to try and expose people to a vegetarian diet and get them away from killing innocent creatures. I still do that show today. I pay for my own airtime and have no sponsors to not compromise my honesty. One bit of a hassle was the fact that I was forced to get a Masters Degree in Nutrition to shut up all the MD's that would call in asking for my credentials.

My doing this radio show enabled me, through endless research, to see the corruption that existed within the big food industries, the big pharmaceutical companies, the biotech industries and the government agencies. This information, unconscionable as it is, enabled me to realize how broken our health system is. This will be covered more in depth in the Introduction and throughout the book and when you finish the book you will see this clearly and it will hopefully inspire you to make changes.

I left Down to Earth in 1989, got nationally certified as a sports injury massage therapist and started traveling the world with a bunch of guys that were making a martial arts movie. After doing that for about four years I finally made it back to Honolulu and got a job as a massage therapist at the Honolulu Club, one of Hawaii's premier fitness clubs. It was there I met the love of my life who I have been with since 1998. She made me an offer I couldn't refuse. She said," If you want to be with me you've got to stop working on naked women". So, I went back into accounting and was the Chief Financial Officer of a large construction company for many years.

Going back to my Newark days when I was an infant, I had no idea what a "chicken" or "egg" or "fish" or "pig" or "cow" was. My dietary blueprint was thrust upon me by my parents as theirs was thrust upon them by their parents. It was by the grace of God that I was able to put things in their proper perspective and improve my health and elevate my consciousness.

The road that I started walking down in 1975 has finally led me to the point of writing my book, “A Sane Diet For An Insane World”. Hopefully, the information contained herein will be enlightening, motivating, and inspiring to encourage you to make different choices. Doing what we do out of conditioning is not always the best course to follow. I am hoping that by the grace of the many friends and personalities I have encountered along my path, you will have a better perspective of what road is the best road for you to travel on, not only for your health but your consciousness as well.

Last but not least: after being vaccinated as a kid I developed asthma, which plagued me all of my life. In 2007 I got exposed to the organic sulfur crystals, which got rid of my asthma in 3 days and has not come back in over 10 years. That, being the tip of the iceberg, has helped people reverse stage 4 cancers, autism, joint pain, blood pressure problems, migraine headaches, erectile dysfunction, gingivitis, and more. Also, because of the detoxification effects by the release of oxygen that permeates and heals all the cells in the body, it removes parasites, radiation, fluoride, free radicals, and all the other crap that is thrust upon us in the environment by Big Business.

For more, please view and