Tag Archives: weedweek2017

We Asked Teens If It’s Really Easier to Get Weed Than Booze

This article first appeared in VICE Canada. 

In every possible way, the Canadian government's legalized marijuana bill made clear it had one top priority—keeping children safe from cannabis.

Liberal MP Bill Blair, a former Toronto police chief, has been the poster boy for the government's project and the loudest voice in this regard.

"Frankly, in most urban centres across this country, it is far easier for a kid, an under-aged youth, to acquire marijuana than it is to acquire alcohol," the MP said last Thursday. According to him, when the children do get weed, it's "often" from "a gangster behind some apartment building" or "a criminal in a stairwell" or even both: "a gangster in a stairwell".

The tone deaf language he used is laced with racial charge and cringe. To me, an older white man (and a former top cop!) making statements about kids getting drugs from gangsters in stairwells indicates one thing and one thing only: Narc Alert! But I wondered whether real children thought differently. With concern for their stairwell-based safety, I asked some pot-smoking teens in Toronto where they get their weed and if it truly is easier for them to do so than it is to "acquire alcohol."

Some teens, despite smoking weed themselves, told VICE that alcohol is much easier to get. Seventeen-year-old James said he only smokes weed once a month because of this. To him, "[alcohol] is not viewed as serious," so he can get it from his parents or older friends. If he smokes weed instead he must wait until he is with his friends who smoke more regularly. Newly 18-year-old high school students Brandon* and Arianna agreed. Brandon said alcohol is "definitely" easier since he is only occasionally carded while buying alcohol and Arianna explained that she simply uses an ID she borrowed from an older student who has graduated. According to Brandon, he smokes marijuana twice a week but he says it's harder now that he buys from dispensaries, which "can be uptight and much more expensive [than buying from dealers as he used to]" often charging "more than 50 percent above street value." Arianna said she smokes four to five times a week, buying only from "friends that keep it on them."

But other stoner teens told VICE they find weed-buying a simple task.

Max, 17, says he would never go buy alcohol by himself but he frequents three different dispensaries, which "don't care whether you're underaged or not".

Niki, 17, has never had trouble getting weed but if she does not have her fake ID and no one can "pick up" alcohol for her, she is out of luck. Apart from being difficult to acquire, she also thinks alcohol is a much worse substance of choice. "I feel like [alcohol] messes with your inhibitions more than weed does. You are more likely to make bad decisions when you're drinking," Niki said. This seems to be the consensus among most of the teens I interviewed, who told me they smoke weed the same or more than they drink. "You feel [weed] a lot less the next morning," Brandon said.

Minister of National Revenue Diane Lebouthillier also claimed it's much easier to get weed than cigarettes. James rarely smokes weed but he said he goes through "half a pack [of cigarettes] a week." When asked whether it is easier to acquire cigarettes or weed, he initially said "definitely cigarettes" but changed his answer to weed "if you have your card." In the latter case, he is referring to membership cards for which one can sign up in order to buy weed from specific dispensaries. Arianna has never bought weed from a dealer or a dispensary and she does not smoke cigarettes often "unless [she's] on vacation" but if she ever wanted one, she says she would just go to a convenience store and use her fake ID.

Acquiring weed and alcohol has also changed rapidly even in the past two years, according to 17-year-old Beatrice and her 18-year-old weed supplier, Ryan. Ryan said that weed is much easier than alcohol to get now that he goes to the dispensary, but at their high school in North York that was not always the norm. If they wanted alcohol, they could either steal it from parents or order it like pizza from an "old Russian lady and her step-son in a small little red car."

According to Beatrice, "You just, like, know [illegal alcohol suppliers aka bootleggers'] numbers, text them and tell them what you want and they drop it off at your house for a fee. It was really sketchy." Ryan said their "entire grade used it, like, two years ago" but now they have friends who are old enough to buy it themselves.

Despite a few manageable obstacles, weed and alcohol both seem very accessible for young people, at least in a major urban centre like Toronto. I made sure to specifically ask the children I talked to whether or not they have acquired weed from gangsters behind apartment buildings, criminals in stairwells, or any intersection of the two, and almost across the board the answer was: No. (Niki vaguely said, "It's happened before.") Toronto teens might not be targeted by the "gangsters" Bill Blair imagines, but maybe he should be warning parents about grandmas with cell phones who drive small red cars.

*Some names have been changed to protect privacy.

Follow Celeste Yim on Twitter.

Photos From Vancouver’s Massive 4/20 Party

Vancouver's 4/20 event is arguably the biggest and longest-running weed celebration in the world (San Francisco comes close, but we can all be chill, right?) and yesterday's was a special one considering it could be the last smokeout where weed was illegal.

Cops estimate about 35,000 showed up on Vancouver's Sunset Beach, and we've got the pictures to prove it.

We Fact-Checked a Bunch of Shitty Weed Myths

It's 4/20, which means everyone, including people who normally don't give a shit about weed (looking at you, media pundits) feels compelled to express their ill-informed opinions on it.

Just last week, a radio host tried to tell me that weed can send a person into a ketamine-induced dream state and that swapping spit while sharing a joint is a health concern—you can listen to the entire train-wreck interview here (it starts at the 22-minute mark).

This year is a double whammy because the Canadian government just announced its plans for legalizing cannabis by July 2018. And stateside, Donald Trump's administration seems to be pushing the war on drugs with a renewed enthusiasm.

But not all hot takes are created equal. Depending on a person's profile or platform, some can be far more damaging than others. Without further adieu, here's a handy shortlist of some of the worst ones we've seen in recent years:

Pot Makes You Drive Better

Admittedly, Marc Emery, Canadian cannabis activist, knows a lot about pot; fighting for its legalization has been his life's work. But this week, in response to the government's proposed overhaul of impaired driving laws, Emery told Global that pot actually makes you a better driver.

"This idea, one of the many myths I have to clear out in the next 18 months, is that pot impairs you. Marijuana makes you more self-aware of your situation, so you'll be a better driver if you smoke pot regularly."

Now, there are definitely potential issues with proposed Canadian regulations, which include fines and up to ten years of prison time for testing positive for five or more nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood within two hours of driving. Officials have said it's hard to assess how much THC results in impairment, further complicated by individual tolerance and metabolism.

And there are studies that show that alcohol causes far worse a driving impairment than weed.

But claiming weed makes everyone a better driver seems like a stretch. The safest bet, obviously, is to drive sober. Lulling people into thinking they might enhance their driving skills by taking a psychoactive substance is irresponsible, especially when young drivers are already statistically more likely to get into crashes, and realistically, they're probably going to have a lower pot tolerance than someone who has been blazing for 50 years.

Weed Is Almost as Bad as Heroin

US attorney general Jeff Sessions (who is definitely not down with sessions) told a crowd of law enforcement officials last month that marijuana is "only slightly less awful" than heroin.

Here's the full statement:

"I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store. And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana—so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that's only slightly less awful."

Let's compare. Weed has killed zero people. You cannot overdose on weed. While some people can become dependent on weed, it is not highly addictive and physical withdrawal symptoms are very rare.

Heroin is an opioid. In 2015, 33,000 Americans died of an opioid overdose. Meanwhile Canada is currently in the grips of a fentanyl crisis; drug overdoses were responsible for 922 deaths in 2016 in British Columbia alone—575 were caused by fentanyl.

America and Canada are the top two consumers of opioids in the world. And much of that stems from doctors' painkiller prescriptions (e.g. Oxycontin) that later led patients to become addicted. To that end, research shows that opioids are not a good treatment for long-term chronic pain, but cannabis could be and it is far less harmful.

Pot Has Ruined British Columbia

To be fair, this one is from January, but it is one of my favorite bad weed takes.

Writing in the Calgary Herald, Barry Cooper, a political science professor from the University of Calgary, said we should look to BC as a cautionary tale of all the ways pot can destroy a society.

How did he reach that conclusion?

Well, he went to an Abbotsford steakhouse and ordered a bad steak and determined that his server and the manager were "stoned." Then he complained that there are too many dispensaries and the "Vancouver police don't bother to enforce what is still Canadian law." From there, he leaped into the opioid crisis, stating: "There is also a gloomy side to the drug scene in BC" That's true, but he didn't explain what weed had to do with it.

Cooper ended by speculating that weed use was behind a spike in bizarre 911 calls in BC, noting that one caller asked for advice on how to turn off his razor and another wanted help getting his drone out of a tree.

"It was unclear whether these emergencies involved pot or just stupidity," he wrote. I'm unclear as to how any of the things he complained about are relevant to his thesis.

Legal Weed Will Cause All Hell to Break Loose

I think there are probably a lot of terrified parents who can relate to this op-ed, which claims that weed legalization in Canada will be a "national disaster."

Written by Benjamin Anson for the Montreal Gazette, it is the height of pearl-clutching, "think of the children!" hysteria.

Anson assumes that weed going legit will cause "untold suffering for countless families in the form of impaired driving accidents, workplace accidents, and adverse health consequences."

As mentioned earlier, driving drunk is worse than driving baked (even if the latter isn't recommended.)

Anson believes the easy access to bud will encourage dealers to focus on selling weed to children, since the adult market will use dispensaries.

"The youth market is particularly price sensitive and will be excellent customers for the illegal growers and pushers," he writes. (By "pushers," we assume he means gangsters in stairwells.)

He may have a point that the black market could undercut the legal regime, but it seems a bit premature to assume that kids are going to be the primary target. Not to mention Canadian teens lead the world in smoking pot, so clearly they already know how to get their hands on it.

Anson claims the anti-drug and anti-tobacco efforts are going to be "set back by light years." On the contrary, the evidence suggests we should've gotten rid of prohibition decades ago.

Dispensaries Will Attract "Riffraff"

Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens, a self-described "big guy," recently told the Windsor Star he was nervous about all the "riffraff" he saw while visiting a Denver dispensary last summer.

The dispensary was run efficiently, he said, but on the streets, he apparently witnessed "a lot of erratic behavior."

"The riffraff and the undesirables were rampant. I was looking behind my back as I was walking because some of these people truly concerned me. These were very aggressive people." He said he was concerned legalization could bring about the same impact at home.

It's impossible to know exactly what Dilkens saw, but the implication that people who use drugs are "undesirables" is not cool—they are already highly stigmatized.

Maybe Dilkens should focus on improving his own city's reputation.

Follow Manisha Krishnan on Twitter.

You Need to Watch These New Stoner Movie Classics

From The Big Lebowski to the Cheech and Chong franchise, from Half Baked to How High, from 2001: A Space Odyssey to 9 to 5: There is a long and storied history of stoner classics when it comes to film. What makes a stoner classic isn't that it's good to watch when you're high—arguably, everything is good to watch when you're high—but how specifically tailor-made the film in question seems to be to stoner sensibilities. From giggly humor to scenes of people toking to long shots and trippy visuals, it doesn't take much intuition to identify a stoner movie when you see it—you don't even have to be high to do so.

Just as tons of movies see release every year, many of those movies inevitably and often explicitly fall into the stoner subcategorization. Seth Rogen's profane animated feature Sausage Party is a decent (if excessively sophomoric) example of this, and so is Richard Linklater's excellent and lovingly languid Everybody Wants Some!!; Enter the Void and Spring Breakers were solid art-house stoner entries, and even Paul Thomas Anderson got into the giggly game with 2014's lovely, melancholy, and flat-out hilarious Inherent Vice.

This is to say that there are plenty of obvious stoner movies that have come out this decade—but for every no-brainer entry, there's another overlooked future stoner classic drifting in the pot-haze mist. Next time you sit down in front of the TV with some weed and a few bucks for an HD rental, here are ten movies that you should watch:

Embrace of the Serpent

Ciro Guerra's black-and-white journey into madness from 2015 is actually a bit of a callback to another stoner classic: Werner Herzog's harrowing 1972 epic Aguirre, the Wrath of God. Whereas Herzog's masterwork focused on one narrative, though—specifically, the titular Spanish soldier and the gold-hunting conquistadores that accompany him on his South American journey— Embrace of the Serpent jumps between two separate timelines involving Amazonian shaman Karamakate and his assisting foreign scientists looking for a rare plant with hallucinogenic properties. Sounds crazy, right? The patient pacing and gorgeous cinematography make for a visual feast, and the psychedelic blowout near its conclusion more than delivers. Watch this one with the lights off.

Get Out

Get Out might seem like a curious choice as a new stoner classic: Jordan Peele's instant-classic debut from earlier this year is a unnerving horror film on its surface as well as a deep, cutting critique on race relations and the black experience at large. It deserves your full attention, and some might argue that being under the influence could undercut your ability to give it just that. But Peele's sense of framing, as well as the visual spectacle that is the film's "Sunken Place" motif, is impossible to look away from even on repeated viewings. As long as you're not the easily distracted stoner type, it's the kind of film that gets even deeper than your typical bong.

Enemy

French Canadian filmmaker Denis Villenueve's stellar career so far has been dotted with fascinating genre experiments—the somber crime drama Prisoners, Arrival's brainy alien-invasion vibes—and 2013's Enemy is his entry in the loopy, doppelgänger-loaded mind-fuck canon. Any film with not one but two Jake Gyllenhaals is worth the price of admission, but Nicolas Bolduc's gold-dappled cinematography and Javier Gullón's alluringly vague script make for an extremely heady 90 minutes. (Plus: spiders. Lots of them.)

Lucy

Born behind the lens of a true stoner legend (The Fifth Element, anyone?), Luc Besson's bloody and high-voltage sci-fi thriller is literally mind-expanding, as the titular character (Scarlett Johansson) tears through the world around her (and beyond). She achieves humanity's quest for absolute power and knowledge, and then some. Lucy is also a composite of a few films that sadly didn't make this list: the faux-brainy Bradley Cooper vehicle Limitless and the Johannson-starring alien film Under the Skin. Limitless is a bit too arch for its own good sometimes—think of it as Bradley Cooper's own Risky Business and then think about how annoying that sounds. And Under the Skin has a few unfortunate lulls in terms of pacing. So consider Lucy the, well, Lucy-like intersection between the two: a fun, fast-paced, and fake-deep actioner that achieves total perfection in the time it takes most people to make dinner.

Kaboom

Gregg Araki has charted a fascinating career over the past 30 years—you never know what you're going to get from one of his films. Kaboom is certainly no exception. A funny, sexy, and cartoonishly over-the-top romp concerning a sexually fluid college student navigating his own horniness, murderous cults, and the end of the world, Kaboom is an 87-minute blast that blends silliness and real matters of the human heart like a kid mixing finger paint. In other words, it's the essence of creativity in all its messy glory. And it's the perfect thing to throw on when you're looking for something to throw you for a loop.

Looper

Speaking of loops! You'll get to know director Rian Johnson's name a lot more in the next 12 months—he's helmed the forthcoming installment in the Star Wars franchise, The Last Jedi—but before he hit brand-name pay dirt, he established himself as a maker of knotty, smart, and enthralling capers. His first feature, the high school noir Brick, makes for fine viewing under weed-colored lenses. And The Brothers Bloom is also a nice mix of fanciful wordplay and complicated heist maneuverings. But it's the blood-soaked Looper, with its futuristic trappings, high-concept plotting, and trippy special effects, that makes for Johnson's true stoner opus. Also, more doppelgänger. Doppelgängers are really effective when you're high!

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Look, I've written about this movie before, and I'll never stop never stopping to write about this movie, because it's amazing. If I'm being totally honest, it's the funniest movie the decade's offered up so far. If it wasn't for Step Brothers—a spiritual cousin, certainly, as well as the funniest movie of the past 30 years at least—I'd say that it's the funniest movie of the past 30 years at least. Does that seem like overselling to you? Well, then you've probably never seen Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. What are you waiting for?

Jupiter Ascending

The Wachowskis's high-profile bust from 2015 is better than you think. No, really. An ambitious world-building sci-fi epic that triggers heartsick swoons as much as it does awe-inducing gasps, Jupiter Ascending is perhaps the only film on this list in which Mila Kunis falls in love with a dog—and how! If the potential for bestiality doesn't rope you in, perhaps you'll consider the beautiful sequence in which Channing Tatum's Caine Wise (because he's a dog—get it?) literally rollerblades across the night sky, every step from his feet creating beautiful chemtrail-like streaks. Also, there's Eddie Redmayne's truly insane performance as the villainous Balem Abrasax (great name), which has been derided and praised by critics all over. Where will you land on it? Blaze one and find out.

Upstream Color

Shane Carruth's ambitious debut feature, the 2004 time-traveling mind-bender Primer, was shot on the cheap and confusing as all hell. Upstream Color, his 2013 follow-up, ups the production value considerably—but good luck making sense out of it. This is a good thing: In his short career so far, Carruth has proved himself a master when it comes to complex narratives and tackling big themes—biology, human nature, the cycle of life as we know it—and breaking your brain while he does so. Without giving too much away, Upstream Color will spark trippy conversations in thoughtful stoners.

What We Do in the Shadows

If you've seen a single episode of Flight of the Conchords, you probably know what you're getting into when it comes to this surprisingly warm-hearted (and very funny) Jemaine Clement–starring vampire comedy. What We Do in the Shadows is as much a situational comedy about the fickle nature of friendship and community as it is a mockumentary about the undead just trying to get along (and steer clear of werewolves). In other words, it's the least explicitly heady pick on this list, but is that such a bad thing? Getting high and watching movies is ultimately about unwinding. Not everything has to be so intense, and What We Do in the Shadows still brings the belly laughs as it charms your pants off. (There's some decent jump scares too, so it's not all chill.)

Follow Larry Fitzmaurice on Twitter.

This Is Probably the Most Stoned Stretch Of Highway In All America

Deuel County sits on the inner edge of the Nebraska panhandle, right where I-76 breaks off from I-80 to head down into Colorado. With a population of just under 2,000, the county is served by a paltry five-member police force. And yet even with that tiny law-enforcement presence, Deuel boasted a marijuana arrest rate of more than 24.23 per 1000 residents in 2014, almost six times the statewide average. In the past 15 years, in fact, Deuel County has arguably become one of the worst places in America to smoke or possess—much less enjoy—weed.

Scott DeCoste has been sheriff of Deuel County for the past two years, and on the force there for a little over three. When he got started, Colorado had recently legalized marijuana, and according to Decoste, it didn't take long for pot-related arrests to become a big part of his job.

"It's as busy as it has ever been," DeCoste recently told VICE in an interview. "If you get a vehicle for speeding, nine times out of ten, they'll have some pot or something from the dispensaries over there on them. It's nothing new."

To be sure, the sheriff insists his police force isn't looking to stop people just because they're leaving Colorado and might have weed. But if his officers do stop you, they're probably going to take away your pot—and if it's hash oil or edibles, you're probably going to spend the night in jail.

Deuel County is not alone, of course. According to a study by researchers at the University of Nebraska, since at least 2000, when Colorado approved medical marijuana, Nebraska has seen an increase in marijuana possession arrests along the border. That number rose dramatically in 2014, when weed sales and consumption were made legal for everyone 21 and over. Between 2013 and 2014 alone, the border counties increased possession arrests by 32.4 percent.

These days, according to Sheriff DeCoste some 60 percent of all highway stops in Deuel County turn up some reefer.

"In all honesty, people will tell me, 'You bastards, you just got me coming out of Colorado,'" Decoste said. "'No! If you weren't doing 85 MPH, I wouldn't of stopped you. And man, I encourage people, if you think we're picking on Colorado people, we have to see them doing a violation. We have to have a reason to stop you. We can't stop you just because you're coming out of a state. It's unconstitutional." (In fairness, the University of Nebraska report found that the pot arrest rate in Deuel County, while the highest in the state, actually declined between 2013 and 2014, and more recent comprehensive data was not available.)

"Some people think we're the 'buzzkill county,' but we're trying to do the job the right way." —Sheriff Scott DeCoste

While it's natural to wonder if the cop who pulls you over had a legit reason or just wanted to kill your vibe, Decoste isn't exactly going out on a limb with his tough stance. States bordering Colorado have had a contentious relationship with weed since legalization began, taking their complaints about the corrupting influence of pot all the way to the Supreme Court, which declined to hear one major case last spring. And that setback hasn't stopped some of these same border states from sounding the alarm about a flood of Colorado ganja. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, for his part, put a report last fall documenting the rise of nefarious foreign bud in Kansas, though it notably declined to provide much in the way of evidence that weed consumption in the state had actually increased because of it.

Jared Ellison, one of the authors of the University of Nebraska study analyzing pot arrests in the region, explained that just because people are being arrested more for marijuana possession doesn't necessarily mean there's more weed in the state.

"These numbers are being driven by out-of-county residents," Ellison said, noting the obvious: the majority of highway arrests tend to be people on their way elsewhere in the state or just passing through. "It's impossible for the amount of arrests to be taking place to just be county residents. So that's the problem with mistaking arrests for use. Arrests are just a reflection of what law enforcement is doing, not necessarily use."

According to the University's report, a large increase in arrests came from Nebraska's state patrol, which keeps tabs on the highways. Between 2013 and 2014, the last two years covered by the report, counties that saw an increase in state patrol and local police presence saw rises in marijuana arrests as well. Ellison did note, however, that when compared to the cost of increased enforcement, the amount of money being taken in by fines for marijuana possession did not seem to be a motivating factor. In other words, this isn't anything like a Ferguson situation where the cops were propping up municipal budgets by targeting the poor for low-level offenses.

"In terms of money, they're not gaining a whole lot for it, especially if you examine how long it takes an officer [who] has to stay with someone accused of possession," Ellison said. "You think of how much they make an hour, the costs to the county and state for the courts system. I think it could just be an ideological difference between the people of Nebraska and other states."

Of course, even with Nebraska's increased enforcement, it still lags far behind other, more populated places in the United States—even those nowhere near legal weed wonderlands. Drug law enforcement has traditionally hit urban communities of color hardest; a 2010 report by the American Civil Liberties Union found black people were almost four times as likely to be arrested for weed as whites.

"In terms of the number of arrests, where those are happening, it's large cities in large counties," said Ezekiel Edwards, director of the ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project. "We found that places like New York City, back in the 2000s, places like Chicago, Baltimore, that's where you had high numbers of marijuana arrests. That said, when you look at per capita rates, where you're most likely to be arrested, it didn't reflect places where the most arrests were happening. Midwestern states like Iowa and Minnesota were states where the rates were the highest, and the disparities by race were still very high."

Colorado's conservative neighbors are now appealing to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a staunch anti-marijuana crusader, to bring an end to this brave new era. At the end of February, Nebraska's Attorney General, Doug Peterson, met with Sessions to discuss the impact of Colorado's "big overflow" of weed on the state, as he put it. Trumps's top law enforcement officer took the opportunity to remind reporters that he is "definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana."

Check out this MUNCHIES guide to eating your weed.

Meanwhile, Kansas AG Schmidt wrote a letter to the Justice Department (DOJ) earlier this month, calling on the feds to enforce laws prohibiting marijuana, which Schmidt complained "were routinely ignored" during the Obama administration. And two weeks ago, Sessions announced the formation of a task force looking at the DOJ's marijuana policy, asking for the report to be delivered to him by July 27. The attorney general could theoretically decide to sue the state of Colorado over its policies, or just randomly target pot businesses in the state, crippling the economy and sacking a burgeoning way of life. He could also direct more money into neighboring states to help stem violence related to marijuana, which he believes happens more than "one would think."

"Sessions seems hellbent to take us back to the 1980s, where the answer to public health problems like drug use are SWAT Teams, guns, handcuffs and prison, and not investing in communities," Edwards told me.

Regardless of whether Sessions ramps up enforcement, DeCoste, the Nebraska border county sheriff, insists he's not pulling people over for fun or to prove a point. He just wants to serve the citizens of Deuel County— all 1,900 or so of them.

"Some people think we're the 'buzzkill county,' but we're trying to do the job the right way," he told me. "We want to be respected by our county, meaning the citizens in it. If they think we're doing the right thing, that's what matters. So it sucks being considered unfair in some people's eyes, but in all honesty, I know I'm not going to make everyone happy. If you want to legalize weed, that's your thing. Unfortunately, weed is illegal here, and we have a duty to do our job."

Follow Max Rivlin-Nadler on Twitter.

A Definitive List of the Best Things to Watch While Stoned

You can do anything while you're stoned, and the ever-increasing varieties of ways to consume THC—from edible to palm-sized vape—expands the range of weed-head activities even wider. But any discerning stoner will tell you that nothing quite beats zoning out and just looking at stuff—whether it's a good (or hilariously bad) movie or TV show, a strange curio on your phone screen, or the beautiful expanse that is the world around you. 

So in the spirit of 4/20, we asked VICE employees to share some of their favorite visual experiences—past and present—after taking a toke. Who knows, maybe you'll pick up a recommendation or two in the process. —Larry Fitzmaurice, Senior Culture Editor, Digital

'Jesus Christ Superstar'

Despite hating musicals and having a complicated relationship with religion, the 1973 adaptation of Jesus Christ Superstar is one of my absolute favorite movies and has been burned into my brain since childhood. So of course, every Easter weekend I make my friends get incredibly high and watch it. It's already a ridiculous film—a rock opera about the Passion of the Christ!—but weed only heightens the absurdity, from on-purpose anachronisms (machine guns in the marketplace; Judas chased by tanks) to the silly musical numbers (a shirtless King Herod, in tinted sunglasses and white shorts, sing-demands that Jesus walk across a swimming pool). It's weird, trippy, and sad—like everything associated with religion. But if you time it right, you'll be passed out before the crucifixion. — Pilot Viruet, Associate Culture Editor, VICE.com

'Shark Tank'

For any sad person who isn't aware of the premise of Shark Tank: a group of self-made millionaires and billionaire investors hear pitches from small business owners who are looking for money to grow or save their companies. The show very much is hinged on the idea of the American Dream—that you can be saved through capitalism. As a nice socialist lady, I get that this is mostly bullshit—a narrative propagated to keep impoverished people oppressed by tricking them into believing they can become millionaires if they just work a little harder. These are nuances you might not catch sober, but will surely obsess over while stoned—the majestic Americanness of it all, the comfort of buying into the lie. Shark Tank is already perfect enough to consume while sober; but like most things in life, weed improves it. I'm someone who's constantly thinking about the agony and the ecstasy of our fucked up economic system anyways, so why not be high and watching Shark Tank while doing so? — Eve Peyser, Staff Politics Writer, VICE.com

Train Cab Internet Videos

There is no better activity when you are stoned than contemplating the enormity of planet Earth. In the past, it was harder to do this: You might have to use an encyclopedia or just your own dang imagination. The rise of YouTube ostensibly provided a great solution. But even though just about everything is on YouTube, there's no obvious search phrase that says "Show me the world, so that I might dwell upon its majesty"—or so you might think. The answer, it turns out, is actually "train cab video + location," which allows you to pull up a conductor's-eye-view of just about any train route you can think of. Suddenly, you're riding with all the railroad enthusiasts of the world, exploring the scenic byways of Switzerland or Bangladesh at the click of a button. There's enough movement for the video to be engaging, but the image is simple enough to get lost in your thoughts, much like an actual train ride. For the DIY multimedia stoner crowd, train cab videos pair incredibly well with music (this deep house mix set to a ride from Brussels to Amsterdam is particularly good), but the beauty of the medium is that you can do whatever you want with it, just like with the human mind itself. — Kyle Kramer, Features Editor, Noisey

'How to Deal'

Every year for the last—oh, I don't know, ten years?—I've watched How to Deal on 4/20. For the uninitiated, How to Deal is a Mandy Moore teen dramedy from 2003 that has some strange Shakespearean overtones to it, despite not being based on any specific work of Shakespeare. (Adding to the confusion, there's a song on the soundtrack called "Billy Shakespeare," from forgotten teen-popper Skye Sweetnam.) To borrow an old bit from former Saturday Night Live cast member Bill Hader's Stefan character, How to Deal has everything: Dylan Baker working as a vending machine attendant, Allison Janney angrily making a salad, a funeral scene set to the Flaming Lips' "Do You Realize??," Peter Gallagher. It also features Cloris Leachman as the pot-smoking grandmother of Moore's angsty teen Hailey, and if it takes even one joint-sparking scene to cement a film as a stoner classic, then How to Deal can hang capably with Cheech & Chong and the rest of 'em. — Fitzmaurice

'Billions'

I love watching Billions while blasted out of my skull. It's set in a world I'm wholly unfamiliar with—one in which loaded, ruthlessly self-absorbed, power-hungry assholes take great pleasure in fucking one another over. I barely understand what's going on half the time. The show stars Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti, who play a shady billionaire Wall Street investor and a shady US Attorney who likes to get peed on, respectively. Every time these men open their mouths, a Very Important Life Lesson comes spilling out. Even something as simple as ordering off a lunchtime menu is designed to heap wisdom upon anyone blessed enough to be within earshot. It's. So. Very. Dramatic—and funny (especially Lewis's New York accent). And, I'll say it again, Paul Giamatti gets peed on. 4.20 stars out of five. — Brian McManus, Special Projects Editor, VICE.com

'Antiques Roadshow'

The PBS staple Antiques Roadshow adds drama to the already dramatic process of antique appraisal, and is perfect for when you're stoned. The show's structure is simple: an ordinary American presents an antique to an expert, who explains the history of the item and tells them how much it's worth. The show might be boring to anybody who doesn't have interest in historical artifacts. But to me, the past is full of infinite mystery and wonder, which makes the Roadshow a great high viewing choice, perfect to watch as you drift off to sleep. But if you're feeling wired, there are also many stoner Roadshow games to be played, like guessing the value of each historical gem (take a hit if you're right/take two hits if you're wrong) and speculating on the complex inner lives of the antique-owner and the appraiser. Antiques Roadshow is a blank slate for the stoner mind, a way for you to lazily exercise your imagination and see some truly beautiful heirlooms, trash and everything in between. — Peyser

'Ulysses'

I don't really smoke weed anymore, but when I did, you know what was fucking great? Reading Ulysses. Everyone thinks of it as a difficult novel—and it is—but when you're high, you can let all the early-20th-century-Dublin references wash over you while focusing on the joy and strangeness of the language. Treat it like you would an art film, or a psychedelic painting—more an experience than an exercise in logic. Speaking of which, you can't properly read Ulysses (high or otherwise) while listening to music or interacting with anyone, so don't try it, or you'll get distracted and the whole thing will be a waste. Sorry if this makes me sound like a pretentious asshole. — Harry Cheadle, Senior Editor, VICE.com

Old Footage of Closed Amusement Parks

When I smoke weed and go on YouTube, I'm trying to time travel. Yeah, you can just watch old movies if you want to see the past, but footage from people's old home movie cameras makes the experience more spontaneous and intimate. My favorite kind of old footage is of amusement parks that no longer exist. Lots and lots of old, mom-and-pop parks—like Angela Park in Pennsylvania—have been bulldozed over the years, and the footage of what once was is so shaky and ugly that it almost tricks your brain into thinking you're looking at the present, instead of the ghostly remnants of a good time someone had before you were even born, in a place you'll never be able to actually go. If you only watch footage of one defunct amusement park, make it Pacific Ocean Park, an expensive, ocean-themed park just outside of LA that was the Pepsi to Disneyland's coke until it closed in 1967. At some point, I'm sure people actually went to that place on weed. I wonder if they're dead now. — Mike Pearl, Staff Writer, VICE.com

YouTube

When I'm high, I stay up watching TV—not even TV, but YouTube videos. I watch a string of three-to-30 minute clips so disassociated from one another that, by the time I go to sleep, I don't even remember how I got from parody movie trailers to Christopher Hitchens debating the existence of God. As a result, I don't smoke weed very often. -- Alex Norcia, Copy Editor, VICE Magazine

Instagram Explore

The Instagram explore tab is the digital equivalent of throwing a dart at a map on the wall. It takes you places: You can peer at a gravity-defying infinity pool at a luxury hotel in Indonesia, then you can go to Rome and salivate at the sight of an overstuffed cone of gelato. One minute you're watching an ASMR video of a person sticking their finger in goo, and the next you're looking at the selfie of a guy who plays Gaston at Disney World. A picture of a woman with boulder-sized breasts is immediately followed up by the handiwork of a man who does makeup for the mannequins in New York City department stores. The explore tab has everything. It's fascinating. It's anthropological! And I've lost what probably amounts to several days of my life high on my couch looking at it. -- Leslie Horn, Managing Editor, Noisey

The Back of Your Eyelids

If you're white or hang out with white people, and you've ever gotten high, chances are that jam bands have been involved. This is how it was for me growing up in upstate South Carolina in the 2000s. Because driving was the only way to get anywhere, a lot of my time was spent in cars. And because this was the ultra-conservative South, a lot of these cars were trucks. We'd break out the tunes and stare out the windows. I remember maybe three specific times, bouncing along those country roads—cornfields, treetops, winding roads with their tiny houses and barking dogs and cluttered yards. The one time I will tell you about took place one summer afternoon in a truck. I was stoned out of my mind, an incoming senior in high school going through the kind of fuck-up period that will either awaken or destroy you. That day, I closed my eyes and literally saw music, notes on a scrolling sheet accompanying Dickey Betts and the keyboard players' harmonizing "Jessica" lines. (Next came a row of dancing Grateful Dead bears like we'd all had plastered on our bumpers back then, but that's beside the point.) Despite my inability to actually read music—my guitar playing was self-taught—I felt and saw and knew music like I'd never felt before, and probably never since. I was there but I was also somewhere else I only recognize now, years later, away from gravity bongs and jambands and those stunning, crushing roads. And then, when we got to where we were trying to go, I leaned out the door and puked. -- James Yeh, Culture Editor, VICE.com

'NBA2K' and 'Madden NFL' Matches

Ice breakers were the highlight of every quarter in college. For the uninformed, an ice breaker is what we called a dance party thrown by black fraternities during the first few weeks of class. On my incredibly white college campus, these were an oasis of hip-hop music, twerking, and stepping that made school bearable. Me and my friends had a ritual before every ice breaker: We'd all link up at our homie's with the biggest dorm room to drink 151 and pass around innumerable blunts packed with very shitty weed. While some dudes were ironing their Polo gear or trying to find the right Nikes to match their outfit, others were on the sticks, rocking NBA 2K or Madden. As an insular only-child, I never mastered the art of playing video games with other people—I've always been more of a story-mode dude, with a penchant for games like Grand Theft Auto or Metal Gear Solid. So when the PS3 was fired up for sports games, I'd just fall back, thankful to avoid the heated competition and the inevitable dozens that went with it. I'd just chief a blunt and watch my homies furiously pound their controllers and trash talk each other, while obscure Lil Wayne mixtapes blasted in the background. The ice breakers were amazing, but I often think about all that time I spent in those hangouts before the dance party, watching match after match on cheap Black Friday flatscreen TVs through a haze of blunt smoke. It's one of the best memories I have of my friends and college, because it was a time when we were altogether in the same place. I hope that someday we'll all get to kick it like that again with some weed and some sports video games. If we do, I might even try to get on the sticks. — Wilbert Cooper, Senior Editor, VICE.com

'Yacht Rock'

Yacht rock is trendy now, but long before Thundercat put Michael "You'll Never See Hair This White Again" McDonald and Kenny "Mr. 80s Soundtrack" Loggins on his new album Drunk, a certain corner of the internet spent the last decade celebrating the glory of smooth rock. Yacht Rock is a 2005 webseries of mockumentary-style fan-fiction about the bitter rivalries between the titans of yacht rock in the late 70s and early 80s. It was created for Channel 101, a monthly public access style "film festival" from the minds of Rob Schrab and Dan Hyman, and it's just as stupid as you would imagine. Actually, no, it's definitely more stupid than that. But, when the music's this smooth, who cares? This holiday season, get blazed and let Hollywood Steve show you the world. — Eric Sundemann, Editor-in-Chief, Noisey

'Alias'

What got me through a few grueling wintery-spring months is watching Alias stoned. The SparkNotes version is that I get a little depressed when March feels like death, but this winter, what with our misogynistic now-President, I needed to watch a lady super-spy kick ass. Dare I say, Alias was kind of "woke" way back in the 00s? It was a show on ABC created by J.J. Abrams that once had an episode directed by and starring Quentin Tarantino, and yet its central narrative revolves around female relationships. Also there's at least an attempt at diversity; Garner's partner and best friend were both played by black actors. But like, why the emphasis on cis relationships? And why cast a white actress as Sydney? These are the thoughts I have these days while watching Alias stoned. — Kara Weisenstein, Editor, The Creators Project

'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'

The depraved sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is not prototypical stoner fare, and rarely does pot actually come up in its many episodes. There are exceptions, of course—Frank (Danny DeVito) ripping a bong at the bar in season four and demanding his friends "download" him a "hoagie" off the internet is not to be missed. But Charlie, Dee, Dennis, Mac, and Frank almost exclusively focus their depravity on alcohol—and other people. And yet, I've always found that something about the desperate subversion of the show, its characters' willingness to humiliate themselves and each other—and occasionally engage in outright sociopathy—that has lent itself to getting stoned. Of course, getting high does not intend to induce people to commit violent crimes the way some of the other substances consumed on Sunny do—this is a signature of pot apologia. But a pleasant high can make their scheming and bizarro lifestyles more charming and rewarding, and remind you just how grounded and sane you are in comparison to the maniacs on your screen.— Matt Taylor, News Editor, VICE.com

New York City

I live in Brooklyn. So, if I want to see mountains and shit, I have to go upstate or just somewhere else entirely. You know what, though? I still find the capacity for wonder in my metropolitan environment. Sometimes I wholly envelope myself around it, allowing my emotions to be taken over by the sheer magnitude of city architecture and the teeming rushes of life that swarm around them. One of my favorite things to do when I'm stoned is walk around Manhattan, listen to M83—specifically, "Graveyard Girl" or "Don't Save Us From the Flames" or "Kim and Jessie" or anything off of Hurry Up, We're Dreaming—and look at the gigantic buildings around me with an overwhelming sense of awe. Sometimes I think about the people inside them, how they're doing something different from me at that very moment—working, sleeping, watching TV, making food, caring for each other... It makes me feel more secure about my own place in this gigantic world. It gives me peace. — Fitzmaurice

Weed Might Be a Solution to the Opioid Crisis

As North America continues to grapple with the opioid crisis, it's become obvious that there is no straightforward fix for what we're experiencing. It's a multifaceted issue that touches on many disciplines and preexisting stigmas in society, but the opioid crisis is a public health problem first and foremost. What's more is that it's a public health problem that in part started in the healthcare industry itself, in doctors offices with the over-prescribing of addictive pain medication.

Some in the medical community who've witnessed the onset of the crisis and its effects on patients have started speaking out about potential public policy solutions, from positions on decriminalization of drug use to legalizing heroin. For a medical marijuana doctor in Ontario, though, he thinks that weed could help remedy the situation we're facing. Canada is currently on the verge of legalizing and regulating cannabis for recreational use, slated for 2018. But for Dr. Ira Price—an emergency-room doctor who started the first medical cannabis clinic in Ontario, Synergy Health Services, and medical director of a licensed producer of medical marijuana—a concern has arisen about how the medical side of cannabis could fall by the wayside under a recreational weed system.

"I think [medical marijuana] will revolutionize medicine if we don't lose the momentum we have in research currently," he said. And one way that cannabis could revolutionize medicine, according to Price, is by helping those who are addicted to opioids—by acting as a substitute for opioid pain medication.

VICE: Why do you think that cannabis might help solve the opioid crisis? 
Dr. Ira Price: I'm an emergency physician by trade, and I spent 12 years in school to do this. We currently have an opioid crisis, all of Canada knows this. It's a nationwide crisis and also a provincial crisis and municipality crisis. Our federal government is trying to come up with ways to deal with the issue. I had been in the emergency department since 2005… You see patients requesting earlier and earlier refills, or overdosing or with acute intoxication or acute withdrawal from opioid medication. There's a time for opioids. No doubt that in an acute pain situation, there is a way to prescribe them. But we know that the harm profile is so high, and we have an alternative that works very similar to the way that opioids work.

Cannabinoids work like opioids and like an anti-inflammatory combined, without the harsh side effects profile. So why wouldn't we go there? I think it's our duty as physicians to do no harm first and then do what we can for our patients. Using those principles is what brought me into the medical cannabis world. Cannabis and opioids work on similar receptors... It allows us to decrease the number of opioids one uses and decrease that harm profile they have. So in clinic, at Synergy, we exchange them, and we help patients come off opioids by using cannabis.

It's not a simple answer to say here's a drug, go home, and you're going to be fine. Addiction is addiction, and the opioid crisis is multifactorial issue.

How has the opioid crisis affected where you work, in Hamilton, Ontario? 
I work at the general hospital, which is a level-one trauma center right off of Barton Street. We have an issue. You can go on our city's website and see who's presenting to the emergency department. We have a notification system. It's on the rise. Just in one month, we have between 50 and 80 presentations to the emergency department with drug-related issues. That's a lot in one month. I can say on my own shift, I see one to three patients coming in with an opioid-related issue. That's huge. We're seeing things on the street right now like carfentanil, which is 10,000 times stronger than morphine, and fentanyl-laced crack. We're seeing things that we shouldn't be seeing.

We have programs, but I think the programs need to be louder and we need to bring more attention to them. We need to help people.

How would you deal with someone who comes into the ER and is going through withdrawal? The emergency department isn't the place to deal with putting someone on long-term therapy. I think we don't want to add to any other crisis, with whatever medication we're starting. Emergency department is acute care medicine: We see patients for a short amount of time and deal with that acute life-threatening injury or illness… The person who prescribes them medication should be the person who follows them for that medication on a long-term basis. That's just common sense. In the emergency room, though, that's the place to start that conversation. If someone comes in and is "dopesick"... What brought you to that circumstance? It's not just a matter of saying let's change it and put in another drug, because then we're just exchanging and not dealing with the underlying problems. The underlying problem could be mental health, it could be socioeconomic, a familial issue… We can't just say this is the one answer.

What do you think of the cannabis legalization plan that came out last week?
On the pro side, my hope is that it opens up some of the insurance companies to covering cannabis for people who are patients. I hope that it decreases the stigma that's been around cannabis for the past 100 years, which is totally unfounded and based on politics and discrimination. My fear is that we will lose the research momentum that we have currently in cannabis. I firmly believe that if we study cannabis and we take it apart and start looking at it for specific disease processes that we can revolutionize medication therapy for a lot of diseases. I fear that with legalization we will use that momentum for recreational use… It could fall by the wayside over money. That's what you're looking at: big business taking over.

What do you think will happen to people who have already been self-medicating with weed for various conditions, including opioid addiction, under a recreationally focused market?
That fear of going to a physician for medical marijuana is not based in medicine anymore. When I started, it was. In 2010, I was standing alone waving my flag… Now, it's turned around in the past two years. There aren't many physicians left who won't entertain the idea of medical cannabis because they know the safety profile, and we follow the evidence. The cannabis community perpetuates this idea of not going to the doctor because it's not going to help you—that's how it was five to seven years ago. The physicians who are still like that—I go around lecturing telling them how they should be approaching this as a subject. The change doesn't need to come from medicine anymore; the change needs to come from media. That's what's left to change.

I'm seeing medical clinics opening up all over the place, physicians referring. When I first started, we had about a 97 percent self-referral rate; today, we have a 99 percent physician referral rate. The tide has turned for medicine. If you ask people about why they started using cannabis, you'll probably find out that they were self-medicating for something in the first place.

Follow Allison Tierney on Twitter.

How to Make Salad Dressing That’ll Get You Stoned

If you're looking to get blazed from a bowl of green without smoking, Abdullah Saeed is your guy. With a few simple ingredients, VICE's resident pot expert walks through how to make a tasty salad dressing using cannabis-infused olive oil.

Olives [This graphic has been modified]
By Parkjisun

Olive Oil [This graphic has been modified]
By Lee Hills, GB

Weed [This graphic has been modified]
By Kemesh Maharjan, NP

Drop [This graphic has been modified]
By Olivier Guin, FR

Kitchen Timer
By Christopher Beach, US

Zoom Out [This graphic has been modified]
By icon 54

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By Linseed Studio, US

Yes, the Drug Rug Is Actually High Fashion Now

In North America's current age of macramé plant holders, macrobiotic food, and ayahuasca ceremonies, the baja jacket is overdue for a mainstream revival. Its earthy, handmade texture and faintly shamanic silhouette appeal to a culture inspired by Instagram photos of adobe interiors and alternative theories of wellness.

Not that the woven hooded sweatshirt ever really went away. The baja hoodie has a timeless quality. Though it is iconic of 70s surf and drug culture, it is also an ageless signifier of life on the fringes. Present at 1969 Woodstock and at 2016 Phish shows alike, it represents enduring Anti-Establishment beliefs and, most prominently, a deep-seated appreciation of marijuana. Hence the garment's alternate moniker, the "drug rug."

In liberal small cities and large towns across the US, from New Hampshire to San Francisco, shops selling baja hoodies serve as evidence of thriving local cannabis cultures. When I went to summer camp in Bar Harbor, Maine, I visited one such store on daytrips. It was called the Hemporium and sold the usual inventory of tie-dyed dresses, amber jewelry, and incense—along with, of course, drug rugs. In the town square beyond the store's peace-sign-adorned windows, there was a bench where Vietnam vets wearing these drug rugs and ratty bandannas would congregate and occasionally shout pieces of un-asked-for wisdom in our direction. Ever since, drug rugs, for me, have conjured a bittersweet whiff of both maverick profundity and the sour disappointment of the mid 70s. (Also because of the Hemporium, I had mistakenly long assumed that the drug rug is made from hemp, when in fact it's usually woven from cotton and acrylic or recycled fibers.)

The baja hoodie was introduced to North America by a subculture of self-identifying outsiders: surfers. In the 1930s, when the sport was still a fledgling pastime on the West Coast, American surfers looking for new breaks and tourist-free beaches headed south, to Baja California, Mexico. They saw the pullover jackets worn by locals—striped like traditional Mexican serape blankets—and adopted the style (sudadera de jerga in Spanish) for themselves. Fastening-free, the sweater was easy to throw on after coming ashore wet and tried. Transplanted to California, the style soon became synonymous with a kind of experimental, drug-laced, transitory VW van culture that then traveled across the country with the hippie movement in the late 60s and 70s.

And just as the Grateful Dead has survived well beyond the Summer of Love, so too has the baja hoodie, a garment worn by Deadheads nationwide to this day. In movies about high school or college, when a new student's tour-guide gestures to the patch of campus lawn occupied by the hacky-sack-playing stoners, they are nearly always wearing drug rugs. In Fast Times at Ridgemont High, teen surfer Jeff Spicoli orders a pizza to Mr. Hand's history class while wearing a half-baked grin and a pink drug rug. The baja hoodie has become emblematic of this breed of American hippie dropout.

That sunny, stoned aesthetic has carried over into high fashion thanks partly to influential surfwear brands like Stüssy, which has offered its own logo-ed takes on the single-pocketed baja jacket since the 80s. The newer, more upmarket New York label Baja East sells a brand of laidback luxury in which the baja hoodie plays a recurring role, in various seasonal luxury (read expensive) fabrics. And on the runways, high-profile designers from Alexander Wang to Proenza Schouler have presented polished reincarnations of the drug rug in recent years. The cashmere baja sweatshirt, sold for $2,140 in 2014 by the California knitwear label the Elder Statesman, may best exemplify the high-end appropriation.

As weed culture blends ever further into mainstream culture, and states' bids for legalization are met with success, the drug rug is being more widely embraced. No longer the ratty shroud of Dave Matthews Band fans or a faded symbol of countercultural idealism, the baja hoodie is re-emerging as a costume for a new age of New Age hippies with their own, often legal, approaches to weed use. In the forthcoming movie Ocean's Eight, Rihanna's character, Nine Ball, will wear a green, gold, red, and black striped woven hoodie. What better ambassador for the drug rug's mainstreaming than a chart-topping artist who once rolled a joint on the head of her bouncer at Coachella?

Follow Alice Newell-Hanson on Twitter.

Season Three of Weediquette Deals with Pot in Trump’s America

Wednesday night—a.k.a. tonight—VICELAND's Weediquette returns for its third season, which sees host Krishna Andavolu traversing across the United States to explore the emergent issues facing marijuana culture and its participants. In advance of tonight's premiere, we sat down with Andavolu to talk about what to expect in the new season, whether the show's focus shifted after Trump's election, and what he's learned about pot culture while hosting the show:

VICE: What were you taking into consideration when picking the stories you'd cover for this season?
Krishna Andavolu: We were looking for stories of people's lives that are hanging in the balance when it comes to whether pot is legal or illegal. We were surprised at the renewed focus on what marijuana means in the Trump administration. There was some time where it was considered a matter of time that federal legalization would happen, but that's been stopped in its tracks. We've been looking for the ways that marijuana culture and the values that define it intersect with what's odious about what's happening in our halls of power. Marijuana culture is anti-authoritarian—it's about calling things hypocritical when you see it, and individual liberty versus the false goods that people are trying to sell you. We're trying to match up stories that express what marijuana culture is, in opposition to the culture that politics seems to be at today.

You guys started work on the new season before the election, too.
Yeah. The first episode is about deportations, and how even if you're a legal resident of the country and you get caught with marijuana in places where it's illegal, thanks to the system of information sharing between local and federal authorities you can be deported. We follow the story of a family who's been split apart as the result of a pot arrest—you see at every moment that there's a kind of injustice that's being performed upon citizens of this country because pot is still illegal. We conceived of that story prior to the election, but it became a renewed focus once the new administration took power. It expresses what we believe pot culture is about: community, empathy, and not demonizing an other, but accepting the other as a part of yourself.

The second episode is about parents who are finding success in treating their autistic kids with cannabis, struggling to access pot and breaking the law with them as they do it. The third story is about the unintended consequences of legalization, and how the flow of pot has stopped going from Mexico and South America into the US, but instead from California to New York. The fourth story is about stoned driving, which is a really interesting intellectual conundrum when it comes to what it means to be stoned. Is being high an impairment? The short answer is yes, it can be—but finding what that limit is and punishing people accordingly is very difficult. As it stands now, the state's response to it has to been to punish rather than to try to understand. The fifth episode is about PTSD and trauma in urban communities. While crime across the country has gone down over the last few years, violent and gun-related crime are on rise in cities like St. Louis, Chicago, and Los Angeles. We're investigating how marijuana is helping people cope with that trauma, and how both the police and the communities being policed have been affected by that trauma.

Is there a unifying theme that runs throughout this season?
The first season was about family, the second season was about community, and the third season is about resistance—resisting counterfactual arguments and trying to understand what pot means in that context. Also, what are the values that constitute cannabis culture? In every story, we try to see what they are.

As the host of the show, you're also learning about these topics along with your audience. What do you feel like you've learned over the course of making this show?
People feel really hopeful—that the realities they've experienced and lived are being more widely understood. But there's still a lot of basic optimism that the illogic of prohibition will dissolve when it happens. People are excited to share their lives and experiences, because they know that the representation of these issues and the realities they live is how the notions that pot is bad get wiped away.

What kind of stigmas do you think are still associated with pot?
Being stoned means something different for people who get stoned than it does for people who don't get stoned. The actual phenomenological state of stoned-ness is in itself a political act, and until the people who get stoned are in power, the first option for any government entity will be to punish people rather than try to understand what they're going through. Weed has taken on a renewed political importance, and it's something that needs to be fought for as a way of marshaling people together.

You can catch Weediquette on VICELAND. Find out how to watch here .