Zateeva Smokes

Florida Today - Apr 20, 1974

In 1974, a cigarette named Zateeva Smokes began to be sold in America. It was advertised on its label as having the aroma and taste of marijuana, but it contained no marijuana and produced no high whatsoever. Therefore, it was entirely legal. The name was a play on the Latin name for marijuana, Cannabis sativa. From an article in Florida Today (Apr 20, 1974):

The pack of Zateeva says it's "An exclusive smoke that captures the heady flavor and grass-like aroma of Cannabis Sativa. All natural ingredients, non-psychoactive, no tobacco or nicotine."

The pack says Zateeva's sole distributor is the House of Imagery Inc. in Montclair, N.J., but the phone company has no listing for that firm. Officials say no cigaret manufacturing firm exists in that town.

Unlike Bravo Smokes (the lettuce cigarette) that I posted about yesterday, Zateeva Smokes were not intended as a harmless substitute to help smokers quit. Instead, their primary purpose seems to have been to prank cops. They allowed pot enthusiasts to stand on street corners, smoking away, and if challenged by a cop, they would inform the officer that they weren't doing anything illegal. They were simply smoking a Zateeva.

So they were essentially a gimmick, and it doesn't seem like they ever gained much popularity. The sole reference to these Zateeva Smokes that I've been able to find is the 1974 Florida Today article. And I'm not sure if it's significant that the article itself ran on April 20 (4-20). Probably just a coincidence.

Florida Today - Apr 20, 1974

     Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 06, 2016
     Category: Drugs | Smoking and Tobacco | 1970s

I used to work in a liquor store with an old black guy who would load his cigar with a little weed. Not enough to be obvious, but just enough to have an effect. Cops walking along the sidewalk in front of the store suspected someone in the area was smoking weed but couldn't pin it on anyone. He told me he learned the trick back in the bad old days of the 1950's in Alabama, where he grew up.
Posted by KDP on 09/06/16 at 11:39 AM
In Canada in about 1975, a start-up company bought an old brewery to make generic style soft drinks for the grocery stores. The bottling line was set up for beer bottles and the beer bottles were much cheaper to buy than if they were to source their own. This of course led to people drinking them as they drove past police. Also, of course, some people drank beer.
Posted by BMN on 09/06/16 at 12:31 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if the cops could still bust you. In most states, 'attempted possession' of illegal drugs is the same as possession, and the drug test kits used by many police will give false positives in the presence of tobacco.
Posted by Phideaux on 09/06/16 at 03:57 PM
Most guys I know found interesting things to do other than pranking cops once they got out of their mid-teens. One exception I can think of went on with it at least into his 20's. He later became a judge.
Posted by Virtual on 09/07/16 at 12:01 AM
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