A very Brazilian tale: Discover the crazy history of the can’s summer

Pothead history, urban legend or reality? The Can’s Summer marked a lot of people, and here we will tell you exactly what happened at that magical time.

Imagine this: you are having a good time at the beach, listening to some songs, as you decide to get your feet wet in the water and find a mysterious can. When you open it, you discover about a pound and a half of cannabis. It seems like a lie, but that would be quite possible during the summer of 1987 – or, as it is better known, the Summer of the Can.

The fact has already yielded music, carnival songs and, of course, a great story to tell. A lot of people still think it’s a legend, but it’s a documented fact (and there is even a book about it)!

Do you want to know more about this crazy story, which has given a lot of greens to people on the coast of Rio de Janeiro? Here, we tell you everything!

Can’s summer news Source: Veja SP

How did this herb get here?

Our story today begins with a ship – the Solana Star. It left the sunny lands of Australia in 1987, and was due to arrive in Panama. However, on his route, there were some “detours”: the first was in Singapore, in Southeast Asia, where the precious cans were received. They were to enter the United States from Miami.

However, at the end of August, the Federal Police of Rio received a statement from the USA that the ship was off the coast of Rio de Janeiro carrying 22 tons (!!!!) of cannabis, which would later be transferred to two other boats bound for Miami. The crew discovered that the boat was being sought and dumped their entire arsenal at sea. Around September 20, several cans began to be found on the coast of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

Fishermen were the first to come across them: 18 cans similar to those found in supermarkets to sell powdered milk were found floating near the coast of Maricá, in Rio de Janeiro. Frightened after opening some of them, local fishermen handed the cargo over to the Military Police. But only about two thousand of them were seized – very little compared to the total number.

In all, 15,000 cans of the highest quality cannabis ended up in the sea – for the luck of those who found them!

Can’s weed Source: UOL

Jeez! And what happened next?

If you did the math, you must have realized that, in the year of the Summer of the Can, we were living in a military dictatorship – and we know well that the police are not fans of potheads. But the outcome of the story is pretty smooth, actually.

What happened was that, after getting rid of their cargo, the Solana Star crew asked to enter the ship in the Port of Rio to make some repairs to the engine. The boat was moored and almost all of the team fled out of the country – with the exception of poor cook, Stephen Skelton, who was eventually arrested.

According to Wilson Aquino, journalist and writer of the book “Verão da Lata”, which tells this whole fateful story, Skelton was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but was only one year in jail. At the time, the Supreme Court found that the amount seized on the boat was too small to convict him for international trafficking, and there was also no way to prove the ex-cook’s relationship with cannabis cans.

The cans were adrift, and there are records that they were found from Praia do Tombo, in RJ, to Praia do Cassino, in RS. Solana was responsible for a very interesting summer for much of the country, and a lot of people went hunting for cans by the ocean.

And it was the good stuff…

There are people who found the can (or who knew someone who found a can) and said that it was the best herb that they ever smoked in life. Legend has it that the can’s herb was dipped in a kind of cannabis oil, which further increased its potency. Several nicknames came up for her, like Veneno da Lata and Mike Tyson (every drag got you punched).

This story is over thirty years old, but it helped shape Brazilian cannabis culture. Even today, there is talk of the Can’s Summer – and, let’s face it, it wouldn’t be bad if it happened again, right?

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