Urban Legend

The Legend of G13

– Urban Legend

“Well have you heard the story about G13?  Basically, I heard that G13 was a hybrid strain stolen from the CIA back in the ‘70s.  Apparently it was leaked from some government facility out in Mississippi.  They say that it tests at 27% THC, which is pretty fucking ridiculous.  But I mean hey, I doubt there’s any way of knowing just how strong it really is, but I think they even referred to it in American Beauty.  Kevin Spacey bought it from the drug dealer guy… I forget his name, but it was sold at like a thousand dollars or two thousand dollars for just one eighth! That being said, I’m sure you can find it for cheaper out of the clubs around here though.” (JV)

Informant Analysis:

“I was actually first told this from a friend back in high school.  But since then, I’ve heard it numerous times.  Personally, I doubt it was truly stolen, but there is no way of knowing.  The growers might have just spread this story to bring publicity to the strain.  And 27% THC is way more than average.  I don’t know necessarily what context this rumor is explained within and I don’t remember the exact context of the time when I first heard it.  I suppose it is a story that is just passed amongst friends while chilling.” (JV)

Personal Analysis:

It seems difficult to discern between fact and fiction with this particular legend.  My knowledge on the subject is weak, but based on what I have gathered and heard from various informants, I would guess that this legend is pure fiction.  The informant, who wishes to remain anonymous, is probably right in assuming that this story was created by the growers in order to bring attention to the plant. Perhaps the name G13 itself helped inspire the stories.  The “G” in G13 could easily stand for “Government”.

Surprisingly, examples of the urban legend show up in popular culture.  As mentioned by the informant, this strain of Marijuana was in fact addressed in the Academy Award winning film, American Beauty.  One of the films protagonists, Ricky Fitts, refers to it as extremely mellow with no paranoia.  He then sells a small bag of it to Lester Burnham for two thousand dollars.  Most interestingly, he claimed that it was engineered by the US government.  So regardless of the variation surrounding G13, it is clear that the government tends to be the focal point of the legend.

Annotation: An example of this urban legend can be found in the film American Beauty.

American Beauty. Dir. Sam Mendes. Perfs. Kevin Spacey, Wes Bentley. Film. DVD, DreamWorks SKG, 1999.

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