Sitting on his balcony overlooking the Bay Bridge, Tyler says, “Do you know what keeps me awake at night?” He pulls a chalky bong hit into his lungs and pauses for effect. “What I’m most afraid of is your fucking story.”

Tyler doesn’t want his price to plummet any further as more opportunists learn about California’s permissive weed laws. He doesn’t want any publicity to inflame Prop 215’s critics, like the syndicated right-wing radio host Michael Savage. And he doesn’t want the DEA to turn its attention to the West Coast. For Tyler, it’s best that the marijuana loophole remain an open secret. Tyler looks me dead in the eyes and exhales in my face. He says, “Don’t blow it for all of us.”