Some stories are so crazy, they have to be true.
If someone told you that fisherman were dragging hash off the bottom of the ocean off the coast of Maine back in the day, it would automatically sound like an urban legend. Like, straight folklore. It literally sounds like something right out of a movie. Fishermen, hauling hash out of the water in their nets. But I have a friend who was in his 20's at the time, and confirmed the tale. And that he had perhaps smoked some of the infamous "sea hash".
In the early 80's, there were hushed stories of fishermen who'd haul the black bounty from the briny bottom, and all "high" five each other. And we're not talking a small amount. They'd often find deposits that would yield pounds and pounds of it. And for a struggling fisherman trying to make ends meet, a bunch of free hash from the murky depths would feel like hitting the lottery.
So how did all that hash get down there?
According to the Boston Globe, there was a pretty large weed and hash smuggling ring on the west coast called the Coronado Company. Things were heating up out west, so they decided to move their entire operation to the east coast. With all it's coastline, islands, and inlets, Maine seemed like the perfect spot to set up shop. During the few years they were in business in Maine, it's estimated they may have made well over $100 million in drug proceeds.
In the late 70's, after many successful drug runs into Maine, one of their boats was spotted by the authorities. This triggered the crew to start chucking huge containers of hashish overboard. There were six tons aboard the ship, but authorities only managed to recover about 500 pounds. The rest went in the water.
"Uuuuhhh, those aren't scallops..."
Over the next few years, fishermen along the coast in the area of Cutler began hauling bounties of the sunken hash up in their nets. Scallop draggers in particular seemed to be finding lots of it. Some threw it back out of fear, others smoked it, and others sold it to put food on the table. Money is money, after all.
Here we are 40 years later, and it's all a memory. But you gotta figure, if some 13,000 pounds of hash was thrown overboard, there's probably some nasty, old, salty hash that sitting around being eaten as fish food. But what a crazy time in Maine history, when fishermen were hauling hash instead of fish.
And by the way, the full article in the Globe is amazing. It's written by a woman who's father was a fisherman at the time, and never told her the story for a couple dozen years. Truly fascinating stuff...