‘It’s All Good’ – John Sinclair

Commemorating John Sinclair

Michigan’s champion of legal marijuana, counterculture hero, poet and radio maker, John Sinclair died Tuesday morning at age 82.

Sinclair, renowned for managing the Detroit proto-punk band MC5 and founding the White Panther Party during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, played a pivotal role in American counterculture. He endured government persecution for his marijuana advocacy, serving a 10-year prison sentence for passing two joints to an undercover officer in 1969.

However, his cause gained momentum when John Lennon performed at the John Sinclair Freedom Rally in 1971. This catalyzed the Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling against the state’s marijuana laws, a landmark victory for cannabis reform. Sinclair’s influence sparked Ann Arbor’s annual Hash Bash smoke fest in the 1970s and contributed to the legalization of cannabis in Michigan. His legacy continues to shape marijuana policy, leaving an indelible mark on the movement.

As a tribute to his impact, the HIGH TIMES honored Sinclair at the Amsterdam Cannabis Cup, on December 6, 2011, as the fourth recipient of the Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award.

john Sinclair Hash Bash
John Sinclair reads a poem entitled “It’s All Good” to the throng gathered during the 30th annual Hash Bash rally to legalize marijuana held on the University of Michigan Diag. – April 8, 2001 (photo: Ann Arbor District Library)
It’s All Good

For Michael Veling & the 420 Café

[Hey William!
Lemme have one of them reefers.
Thanks, Greg.]

When you go to the Cannabis Cup
in Amsterdam
They got people coming there
from all over the world
bringing the finest marijuana
grown by the seed companies of Holland

for us to smoke
& get high
& enjoy the wonderful atmosphere
of a society
where people just don’t care
if you wanna get high–

that’s just fine,
c’mon over here to the coffeeshop
& order whatever kind of weed
or hash you might wanna smoke
‘cuz it’s all good–

it’s all good
it’s all good
it’s all good
it’s all good
it’s all good
it’s all good

And by the end of the week
they gonna pick the finest marijuana
that’s been submitted
for the testing
of the exalted panel of judges
here at the Cannabis Cup

& guess what? While we’re smoking
all those different kinds of weed
& trying to figure out
which one is gonna win the Cup,
every different brand we try
is gonna be the bomb

‘cuz it’s all good–
it’s all good
it’s all good
it’s all good
it’s all good
it’s all good

But when we get back to the United States
it ain’t gonna be nothing like this.
In the United States
it ain’t nothing nice
‘cuz they got a war on people like us,
they call it the war on drugs

but they don’t give a fuck about drugs,
‘cuz if you got a prescription
you can get as loaded
as any human bring
has ever been
on the planet Earth–

They just don’t like us getting high
on marijuana
or cocaine
or whatever we might want to use
to effect a certain change
in our consciousness–

Now, I like to get high.
I’m not going to make any bones about it.
I like to get high, & you know,
whatever I like to get high on,
I believe I have a right
to do this–

And you too!
And everybody in our society.
Because people want drugs.
They want to get high.
People have been getting high
ever since there’s been people.

They’ve been fucking,
they’ve been getting high
& they’ve been buying some pussy,
you know. These things
have been going on, & they will continue
to go on.

So to keep us from getting high
like we are today
at the Cannabis Cup
They got police–
they got so many police
you couldn’t even believe it–

they got electronical equipment,
they got helicopters,
they got exotic chemicals
killing the shit off in the fields,
they got people going out all over South America
& Asia

& all over the world
trying to keep this shit
from getting to the United States
& when it finally does get here,
you got to pay so much money for it
that it’s about to drive you crazy–

& that’s another thing:
they ain’t got nothing
for people like us
in terms of money–if you’re an artist
or a poet
or an authentical musician

they ain’t got a motherfucking thing for you
except the war on drugs
& a whole bunch of police,
undercover agents,
narco terrorists,
rat bastards & snitches,

they got motherfuckers coming in
through your front window
with guns in their hands–
& ain’t none of that shit good,
That’s no good
& they wrong for that,

Because the war on drugs
is about building a police state.
The war on drugs
is about building prisons
& filling them up
with more & more people like us

& employing more guards,
employing more cops,
more special agents,
more prosecutors,
more judges,
more wardens,

more jailers,
more parole officers,
more assholes testing you for drugs
so you can get some kind of job
or keep from getting evicted–
the worst elements of our society.

And not just that, but also the way
they’ve inflated the cost of things–
what you could buy
for 10 dollars in 1973,
now you’ve gotta pay
a hundred dollars–

you gotta hustle
10 times as hard today
than you did 25 years ago.
You’re living by your wits
& you’re trying to figure out
how to get some money

without having a job,
but everything costs 10 times as much–
That’s severe. And that’s one more reason why
we wanna have some drugs–
we’re out here living by our wits,
& our heads are sore.

We wanna get home at night
& put something in our heads,
or get up in the morning
& put something in our heads. We don’t know

what we’re gonna have to face
out here in these streets that day,

& we need a little something
to help us get straight–
like everybody here
at the Cannabis Cup,
smoking that reefer
& having a good time–

‘cuz it’s all good
it’s all good
it’s all good
it’s all good
it’s all good
it’s all good

So we gonna forget about America
& enjoy ourselves here in Amsterdam
at the Cannabis Cup
all week long
& on Thanksgiving Day
when they announce

who grew the best pot
for us to smoke
& get high on,
let’s give thanks
for every strain of weed
that makes its way here to us

& to all the growers of marijuana
all over the world
& our intrepid comrades
who risk life & limb
to supply us
with the substances we require

& all the warriors
doing time
in the vast penitentiaries
of America
as prisoners
of the War on Drugs–

We salute you all
& thank you once again
for all the good
you have done–
because it’s all good,
that’s right, it’s all good

it’s all good
it’s all good
it’s all good
it’s all good
it’s all good

New Orleans
November 11-15, 1998/
November 2002/
New Orleans January 13, 2006

with additional edits & emendations 11-15-98]