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Late-Nite TV Marijuana Humor: Colbert, Kimmel, South Park And Daily Show Have Cannabis Quips

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Since Canada became the largest country in the world to legalize marijuana this week, naturally it’d be on the late-night television radar. Unfortunately, as we see global cannabis policy progressing, comedy largely doesn’t seem to be catching up.

Late Show host Stephen Colbert, for example, suggested during an opening monologue this week that Canada’s national anthem would turn into “Oh, Cannabis, I’m staring at my hand.”

A mock Canadian tourism ad followed, but the piece fell into many of the already played out stoner stereotypes. A voice with a Canadian accent starts talking about the reasons to visit our neighbors to the north, including legal marijuana, then gets distracted.

“Visit today,” the voice says, “because you’ll never know if we’ll be here tomorrow.” Then the faux philosophical pondering begins. The most confusing part of the ad is a Barenaked Ladies song popping up. Is the 90s one hit wonder an artist marijuana consumers really relate to? Maybe they’re big in Canada and Americans have no idea, like all-dressed chips. Either way, we should expect more sophisticated humor from the current king of late night TV.

And then Trevor Noah brought up Canadian cannabis legalization on The Daily Show.

He referred to the home of hockey and maple syrup as America’s so-called “Plan B,”, a nod to the idea that many Americans might move north due to the current leadership or, you know, so many other reasons. Noah went on to say the country has lots of elements that we south of the border envy. Silly things to some U.S. citizens like universal health care and a “handsome, not-crazy leader.” And, of course, now legal weed, too.

Most of his jokes landed and stayed away from the traditional heavy peaches of marijuana humor.

“I assumed that they were all already high up there. I mean have you seen their horses?” he said as a picture of a moose appeared next to him, a joke that got some laughs—certainly not a cannabis quip I’ve heard before. He then expressed his frustration with the relative progress in Canada compared to the U.S., because New Yorkers and their well-known high tempers could really use marijuana, he said. Mr. Noah could be closer to getting what he wants after the elections this November.

South Park got in on the marijuana fun, too.

And turning the focus back to the States, South Park’s recent episode featured Stan’s dad Randy moving the family out of town and onto a cannabis farm. The Marshes get uprooted because Stan’s sister is bribing the recess monitor to look the other way when they vape nicotine, and Randy just can’t handle it anymore.

The cannabis farm on which the Marshes take up residence, also known as a “Colorado farm,” is nestled in with a handful of other marijuana cultivation facilities. Shortly after the Marsh’s Tegridy Farms is up and running, Randy gets approached by an executive from a vaping company. Offended at his offer and defending his “tegridy,” Randy turns him down. The exec walks away and yells back “You can be a part of progress, or you can be run over by it!”

The irony here shouldn’t be lost on any marijuana reform advocate. Eventually one of Randy’s neighbors sells out to the vape company. Then the episode comes to a neat and satisfying conclusion. Life goes on in South Park. The episode does seem to toss around hemp and marijuana almost interchangeably. Other than that, the whole story is as poignant a commentary on the green rush as South Park could do it. A well-done country music parody accompanies the family’s move:

And even Jimmy Kimmel gave pot some screen time.

The normally LA-based host debuted a California Guide to Getting a Medicinal Marijuana Card as part of an away show from Brooklyn. It was a gift to New Yorkers, he said, in light of Brooklyn getting their first dispensary.

Kimmel explained that since California has had medical marijuana for so long he thought they could help their friends in the Empire State.

The list of “reasons we used in LA” to get a medical marijuana prescription were hilarious and timely. “I’m depressed that my avocado turned brown” and “I’m worried that Donald Trump might be president one day” were some of the best.

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Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

Chris Wallis is a filmmaker and content creator based in Oakland, California. Over the last six years, along with extensive work with the cannabis industry, he's helped international nonprofits, national advocacy groups and political campaigns tell their stories to hundreds of thousands of eyeballs across media. He watches a lot of TV and movies, often while consuming cannabis.

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California Lawmakers Use Cryptocurrency To Buy Marijuana From Dispensary

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Two city councilmembers in California became the first elected officials to use cryptocurrency to purchase marijuana from a dispensary—at least publicly—on Tuesday.

Berkeley City Councilmember Ben Bartlett and Emeryville City Councilmember Dianne Martinez visited the Ohana Cannabis shop in Emeryville to demonstrate how the technology can reduce transaction fees and improve financial transparency.

The technology they used, called stablecoin, is a form of digital currency that has “price stable characteristics” linked to the U.S. dollar, meaning the sale and tax proceeds were settled in a way that’s consistent with cash.

Blockchain Advocacy Coalition, which is backing the technology, is advocating for legislation that would enable local jurisdictions in California to “determine and implement a method by which a licensee under [the state’s legal cannabis program] may remit any city or county cannabis license tax amounts due by payment using stablecoins.”

“By providing a cash-free method of cannabis tax collections, AB 953 can reduce costs and safety risks for cities and businesses,” Bartlett said in a press release. He added that the marijuana industry is “a 21st-century industry” that “deserves 21st-century legislation.”

“Tax collections leveraging stablecoin technology will help bring this new industry into the light.”

In a photo taken at the dispensary, Bartlett is holding up a pamphlet for VetCBD, a low-THC, high-CBD tincture that’s used to treat conditions such as anxiety and pain in pets. It’s not clear what Martinez purchased from the shop.

The bill to provide for alternative payment options at marijuana businesses is timely given that federal prohibition has made banks skittish of servicing such companies and results in many firms operating on a largely cash-only basis—an issue that has captured the attention of federal regulators and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Congress.

In California, legislation that would allow credit unions to accept cannabis business clients was pulled by its sponsor on Tuesday. Sen. Bob Herzberg (D) said he plans to reintroduce the bill next year.

“We are thrilled to build technology that solves real problems for customers, merchants, and politicians which will help usher in the next 100 million users of crypto,” said Dan Schatt, co-founder of Cred and the Universal Protocol Alliance, which developed the stablecoin technology, said.

“Not only does crypto result in significant cost reduction for consumers and merchants, but it also enables highly productive tax collection, transparency, and predictability for city and state governments,” he said.

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Photo courtesy of Twitter/Rigel Robinson.

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Seth Rogen Hosting Marijuana-Fueled Charity Carnival For Alzheimer’s Research

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Actor Seth Rogen will be the ringmaster at an adults-only charity carnival next month featuring comedians running game booths and marijuana aplenty.

Proceeds from the Hilarity for Charity County Fair will go toward research into combating Alzheimer’s disease, an issue close to Rogen.

“We here at Hilarity for Charity love to fight Alzheimer’s disease, but we also love rides, alcohol and weed!” Rogen, who launched his own cannabis company in March, said in a promotional video for the Los Angeles event. “We also love trying to be good people so that in the event there is an afterlife, we don’t go to hell.”

Comedians Adam Devine, Andrew Rannells, Ben Feldman, Casey Wilson, Ilana Glazer, Ike Barinholtz, Jeff Ross, Josh Gad, Kate Micucci, Nick Kroll, Regina Hall and Riki Lindhome are participating in the event. Skateboarder Tony Hawk is set to do a halfpipe performance. And rapper Anderson Paak will also put on a show.

Details of where cannabis fits into the program aren’t available on the event site. But Gad, one of the comedians participating, noted in a tweet that this is “the only fair I will attend this year other than my children’s book fair which has a lot less readily available weed.”

Rogen’s passion for fighting Alzheimer’s isn’t new. He’s become an outspoken activist for research into the disease after he witnessed his mother-in-law develop early onset Alzheimer’s.

In 2014, the actor opened his testimony before a Senate committee hearing on Alzheimer’s research by joking that he wasn’t there to discuss the topic some might expect: marijuana.

“First I should answer the question I assume many of you are asking, yes I’m aware this has nothing to do with the legalization of marijuana,” he said. “In fact, if you can believe it, this concerns something that I find even more important.”

Though he didn’t bring it up at the hearing, research has demonstrated that cannabis can help eliminate a toxic protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Last year, the federal government asked the public to submit additional scientific research into the potential therapeutic benefits of marijuana in the treatment of the condition.

Disneyland Busted Robert Downey Jr. For Smoking Marijuana, He Reveals While Accepting Disney Award

Photo courtesy of Twitter/Seth Rogen.

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Disneyland Busted Robert Downey Jr. For Smoking Marijuana, He Reveals While Accepting Disney Award

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Robert Downey Jr. said he was once detained at Disneyland after getting caught smoking marijuana on a gondola ride.

The Iron Man and Avengers actor shared the anecdote while being honored at the Disney Legends award show on Friday, describing his first trip to the California park.

“Here’s a bit of trivia for you. The very first time I went to Disneyland, I was transported to another place—within moments of being arrested,” Downey said, drawing laughs. “I was brought to a surprisingly friendly processing center, given a stern warning, and returned to, if memory serves, one very disappointed group chaperone.”

“I’ve been sitting on that shame for a while and I‘m just going to release it here tonight,” he said. “I would like to make amends to whomever had to detain me for smoking pot in a gondola without a license.”

“And I don’t wanna further confuse the issue by insinuating that pot smoking licenses for the gondola are in any way obtainable or for any of the other park attractions,” Downey added.

“Maybe for the Imagineers, but that’s their own business,” he joked, referencing Disney’s research and development team.

It’s not clear when Downey was detained in the so-called “Happiest Place On Earth,” but he’s previously talked about starting to use cannabis at an early age.

The actor isn’t the only high profile figure to get booted from Disneyland over smoking on the gondola ride.

Former President Barack Obama said last year that the same thing happened to him and some friends during college. He said during a speech at a political rally that they were smoking cigarettes on the gondolas, but also seemed to wink, raising questions about exactly what sort of plant material he and his friends were inhaling at the time.

In any case, Downey is right that there are no gondola marijuana smoking licenses available, even in California where cannabis is legal. In fact, Disney specifies on its park rules site that “[s]moking marijuana or any other illegal substances is not permitted at any time.”

There are designated cigarette smoking areas, however, which the former president presumably could have taken advantage of, if he really was simply imbibing tobacco.

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Photo courtesy of YouTube/Spokesmayne.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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