Pothead(s) of the Week: Bill Murray Hollywood Stories, Rick James' Famous Love of Drugs, and Satan
This week marked the 36th anniversary of the release of "Superfreak," which we believe should be considered a canonical weed song for reasons you wouldn't expect.
Published on July 14, 2017

Before we get to all the fun links to weed-related stuff –– or at least non-weed-related stuff that I will somehow relate to weed –– I have in store for you today, let’s talk about Donald Trump Jr. Clearly, he did the thing, and the thing was bad. But exactly how bad was it? What did it mean that he took a meeting with a Russian lawyer with the intent of getting dirt on Hillary Clinton? Is it possible that the Trump family is both evil and colossally stupid? According to Masha Gessen –– a Russian-American journalist who equally distrusts her two homelands and is therefore as close to an impartial expert as we’re going to get on the Trump/Russia stuff –– the answers to these respective questions are “Meh,” “It means Donald Trump Jr. is a dumbass who probably didn’t do anything illegal,” and “fuck yes.” For a more detailed and less profanity-filled explanation, I humbly direct you to the New York Review of Books, where you can read Gessen’s piece in full. Now, time for some weed stuff.

Pothead One: Tourists in Las Vegas (Again)

Last week, I briefly discussed Las Vegas’s designs on becoming a pot-tourism destination overnight. Those plans ran into a snag this week, as people bought so much legal weed that dispensaries are now in danger of running out of product. According to NPR’s Casey Morrell, “Right now, the only companies that are also licensed to distribute liquor in Nevada are able to bring marijuana to dispensaries.” The problem, per NPR, is that nobody in Nevada has actually has one of those licenses to deliver weed yet, which means that dispensaries that are running low on stock have no legal way to re-up their supply. When pretty much any nascent industry tries to scale essentially overnight, there’s usually an unintended consequence or two that kicks in and threatens to throw a monkey wrench into the whole affair. In this case, it seems that the state of Nevada failed to realize how extremely chill weed is and thought they had more time to approve applications from distributors than they actually did. As the state considers taking emergency measures allowing for the relaxing of weed-delivery regulations, let’s all step back and remember that capitalism, even weed capitalism, is kind of dumb.

Pothead Two: Bill Murray

Vanity Fair has an oral history of movie Meatballs, a 1979 comedy about teens fucking around at summer camp that made Bill Murray a movie star and helped turn Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis from a couple of weird-looking nerds in Hollywood into a couple of extremely in-demand weird-looking nerds in Hollywood. According to the stories told to VF, Murray showed up to the set –– which was an actual summer camp –– without having read the script and also wearing an alarm clock as a wristwatch. Reitman said that on Murray’s first day, he handed his star a copy of the script he had not read and watched in horror as “he flipped through it and said, ‘Eh.’ And he very theatrically threw it into a nearby trash can.” Because Bill Murray has always been Bill Murray, he was the center of attention on and off-camera, and turned his cabin into a bacchanal where everybody would go drink and smoke weed. At one point, a drunken Murray convinced a bunch of people to get on a boat, which then sank, causing them all to have an impromptu toga party to deal with the inconvenience of having wet clothes.

Pothead Three: Satan 

Amid all the craziness swirling around Donald Trump Jr. and the Russians, Atlas Obscura had the good fortune of deciding that this week was “Sin Week” and running a bunch of articles about sinful stuff. Some of the more fun articles include a piece outlining the topography of Dante’s Inferno, a look back at World War II-era propaganda posters not-so-gently trying to scare soldiers into wearing condoms, a history medieval hazing rituals at 15th-century universities, and a thing with a bunch of extremely chill pictures of demons. Take heed, stoner metal bands, for your next album cover lies within that final link.

Pothead Four: Rick James

Weed, as we all know, is a hell of a drug. But you know what else is a hell of a drug? If you are Rick James, the answer is “cocaine.” And this week marked the 36th anniversary of the release of “Super Freak,” a work of virtuosic horniness that is perfect in every single way. While James’s “Mary Jane” used a sexy lady as a metaphor for marijuana, “Super Freak” was literally just about a sexy lady who was a super freak. But “Super Freak” should be considered a stoner classic in its own right: Without the runaway success of “Super Freak,” Rick James would not have had enough money to buy unlimited amounts of cocaine, which would have meant that he would have been too sober to do a bunch of crazy shit in front of Charlie Murphy, which would have deprived the world of the Rick James sketch on Chappelle’s Show. Ergo, “Super Freak” should be considered a canonical weed song. If you disagree with me, you can sound off in the comments, but no matter how hard you post online you will still be wrong.

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Drew Millard
Drew Millard is a freelance writer and dog owner living in Durham, North Carolina. His writing has appeared in VICE, High Times, Hazlitt, SPIN, and many other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @drewmillard.
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