Everyone loves heroes. If worshiping a complete stranger because they like the same recreational habit as I do is wrong then I don’t want to be right. How does one define a marijuana hero? There’s people like Dennis Perron who fought against prohibition and helped those in need. Then there’s Seth Rogan. He’s an actor who smokes dopes. Cool.
This is a blog post for those that went against the grain and contributed to a counter culture that ultimately led to legalization. Behold, our favourite marijuana heroes!
5.) Tommy Chong
This is THE pot head. Not all heroes wear capes but this one wore glasses, a pony tail and a vocal tone that defined a true pothead. For those of you who were born with an iPad in the cradle, Tommy Chong was the king of pot culture back in the day.
Tommy Chong was part of a comedy duo that included Cheech Marin. They made a number of movies and release multiple comedy albums. Their most famous film, Cheech and Chong Up In Smoke is not only a staple of marijuana culture but an all time comedy classic.
Tommy Chong would follow up this success as a regular character in That 70s Show where he carried over the same character traits as his film alter ego. As a marijuana icon Tommy Chong sure got a lot of attention but unfortunately the US government was paying very close attention. In the land of the free, Tommy Chong was selling bongs using his likeness to run his business with his son. The government entrapped him by tricking him into selling bongs to a state where selling marijuana paraphernalia over the internet is illegal. The result was Tommy Chong going to jail. The entire story is covered in a documentary called AKA Tommy Chong and I highly recommend it.
Tommy Chong was running a legitimate business and was sought out because he is a marijuana icon. His story is an inspiration and also a warning about the war on drugs being a complete waste of time and money that ruins lives. Bill Maher summed it up best: “I can’t think of a more ridiculous diversion of manpower than to bust Tommy Chong. If anyone feels safer because Tommy Chong was put in jail, that’s a ridiculous human being.”
4.) Snoop Dogg
It’s hard to discuss marijuana without mentioning Snoop Dog’s name. It’s hard to discuss Snoop Dogg without mentioning marijuana. The two are synonymous with each other. That’s in no small part to Snoop branding himself as a cheeba champion.
It almost feels like Snoop Dogg has a monopoly on marijuana pop culture. Wherever there is a popular film or tv show that centers around weed you know the Snoop D oh double G be sparking a J with his mind on his money and his money on his mind. He even guest stared in a season of Trailer Park Boys. Not an episode- a whole season alongside Tom Arnold and Doug Benson. Never in my lifetime would I have thought Snoop Dogg would perform at a Legion in Nova Scotia. What a great time to be alive.
What Snoop Dogg has done for marijuana legalization was probably not directly intentional but he did help being weed into the mainstream. Due to Snoops constant appearances and branding himself as a king of pot, discussing weed has become much less taboo. There a lot of celebrities who have branded themselves within marijuana culture but you can’t argue that Snoop is the top Dogg in that regard.
Currently Snoop Dogg is selling his own brand of weed called Leafs produced by Canopy. Unfortunately in Canada, MLSE is a monster corporation with a closet full of lawyers. The Toronto Maple Leafs have filed a lawsuit against Leafs by Snoop Dogg for copyright infringement. Who knew a celebrity and billion dollar corporation would fight over a misspelt word and in Canada of all places?
3.) Jeffery Lebowski
“Sometimes there’s a man- I won’t say hero because what’s a hero? But sometimes there’s a man- and I’m talking about the Dude here. Sometimes there’s a man who well, he just fits right in there. And that’s the Dude.”
The Big Lebowski is a comedy from the Cohen brothers that was criminally under-rated when it released. I personally believe The Big Lebowski is an Oscar worthy film with fantastic performances. Just look at the cast: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buschemi, Julianne Moore, John Tuturro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
In the years that passed since its release it became quite possibly, the greatest cult film of all time. In certain parts of the country people celebrate Lebowski-fest. Not unlike Comic-Con, fans gather dressed as their favourite characters and refrain from showering for days.
The Dude became a marijuana icon because of his pacifist attitude during his adventure to replace his rug. The film Big Lebowski is filled with counter culture and that is marijuana culture at its core. There’s big money like the Big Lebowski using his fortune to screw over the little guy. You have the ultra patriotic PTSD suffering Walter who contrasts the Dudes easy going demeanor. There’s also the beauty of wanting to live like the Dude. He’s unemployed and doesn’t have a care in the world. He sparks a J and is only concerned with his bowling team. Somehow he’s able to live and pay his rent. Up until Woo peed on his rug the Dude was living the high life.
If you see someone in a bathrobe buying a carton of milk at the grocery store and paying by check, keep your distance. Also, take comfort in knowing this world is not so bad because someone like the Dude can exist in it. That’s why even though he’s a fictional character we abide the Dude as one our marijuana heroes.
2.) Elon Musk
If you were the richest man in the world (or close to it) what kind of trippy thoughts must go through your mind? Would you think about making spaceships and tricking millennials into buying Dogecoin?
For every entrepreneur that thought marijuana is holding them back maybe it’s not the weed. Or maybe it is, I don’t know your life. At the end of the day the worlds most successful entrepreneur smoked dope on camera while on the Joe Rogan podcast. This is significant for a number of reasons.
As the most famous spaceship and car builder Elon Musk is a modern day tycoon. He’s living the American dream and currently he’s trying to inject our red neighbour, Mars with some ole fashion freedom! The act of smoking a joint sends a strong message to the legislative branch of the United States aka politicians.
It fights the stigma that marijuana makes you a loser. Even though it’s legal in California (where Elon got blazed) there is still a stigma surrounding it’s use. People are still hesitant about admitting they’ve smoked weed in the past or still do so. Why shouldn’t they be? We are not that many years separated from being thrown in jail just for having a joint. The excuses can’t be used anymore. They tried and still try to label us as criminals just for possessing a plant. You’ll screw up your future if you keep smoking that. Will I? Or will I build a fleet of electric luxury cars and fly to Mars?
Elon Musk is not Snoop and he’s not Tommy Chong. Those two engrained themselves into marijuana culture and created a brand for themselves. Elon is a business man with the ambition the size of Texas (where he now resides). He also likes refer and that’s ok. You guys lost the argument. Lets legalize it everywhere and move on.
1.) Dave Chapelle
How can anyone not love Dave? He gave us Half-Baked, 3 seasons of comedy gold and multiple stand up specials. When we think of Snoop or Seth Rogan they usually just have a big fatty in their mouth and everyone is like, “alllllrigght.” There really isn’t more substance to it other than they are being very loud about the fact they smoke weed. That’s all well and good but they’re contributing to marijuana culture instead commenting on it.
Dave Chapelle had an ingenious way of looking at the culture from the outside in. A lot of that is in the film Half Baked. He’s perfectly described the way it felt the first time smoking cheeba to the very different types of smokers which include:
- Creative smoker. Can only be creative while high.
- McGyver smoker. Can build a pipe or bong out of anything
- Enhancement smoker. You ever read a blog…on weeeeed?
- Scavenger Smoker. Seems to appear out of nowhere and mooches off of your joint.
- Straight up pothead. Lazy, mood swings and low sperm count.
While commenting on weed culture he also shows some of its short comings which is why it’s so funny. He expresses this as marijuana taking over someone’s complete daily routine. They go to work to get money only to spend it all on pot then rinse and repeat.
Chapelle’s take on the culture celebrates it but also comes with a warning. Half Baked came out in 1998 which was 14 years before weed was legalized anywhere. At that point medical marijuana was closer to legalization but it was still a taboo subject. Way back in the early 90s magazines such as High Times was considered obscene in Canada and therefore illegal. That means you could sell a stack of Hustlers but not a glossy publication of a plant because we have to think of the children. Half Baked showed us the ridiculousness of marijuana culture by making fun of it. It also put a common sense mirror up to society’s bias against smoking weed. That’s the true sign of a great comedian. Like TJ Miller says (not saying he’s a great comedian but I like this quote) “Comedians are just like priests except they tell the truth.”
Once marijuana prohibition is truly a part of history and not part of our present we can look back and thank people like Dave Chapelle. He not only shone a spotlight on the culture but also its injustice. The role marijuana played in the incarceration of minorities cannot be over looked. We thank Dave for that and that’s why he’s one of our marijuana heroes.