Bieber Weed
Bieber Weed

When Bieber Tweets - Cannabis and the Prevalence in Pop Culture

How Is Cannabis Changing Our Views On Pop Culture

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Wednesday Oct 5, 2016

When Bieber Tweets - Cannabis and the Prevalence in Pop Culture




With a recent tweet by Justin Bieber, the cannabis culture has been brought into pop culture.  As mentioned on


On October 2nd, Bieber tweeted a link to a video which appears on the Facebook page of the issue-driven media company ATTN:.  This video calls out the many pharmaceutical companies who have lobbied the U.S. government in an attempt to slow or stop marijuana legalization.  The general consensus on their motive is that a natural medicine like marijuana poses a direct threat to Big Pharma’s bottom line.


So what is the roll of cannabis in pop culture?  How is it changing what we see on TV and in the movies.



If you have been watching popular culture over the past few years, you’ll notice one reoccurring theme running on several shows hinting towards the next big civil rights movement. I’m talking about cannabis of course.



The other day I was watching the first episode of the second season of Scream Queens where in one scene with Jamie Lee Curtis and Keke Palmer, “Doctor Dean Munch” was sparking a doobie casually waiting for “Zayday” to finish her shift.



Unlike other instances where cannabis is featured in a show, Munch’s character is a pantsuit wearing powerhouse with national influence. Roll back the clock roughly ten years, and almost all the “tokers” were portrayed as your stereotypical “stoner”, however there has been a major shift in the presentation of those who partake in the sacred herb.



stoner sterotype


Nowadays, there is no longer a defined “stereotype” in relation to cannabis smokers as portrayed on television. We’ve come a long way from the Cheech and Chong stoner representation and it seems that America is finally warming up to the idea of the “Professional Stoner”.



While some people might be reading this saying to themselves, “So What?” there is a real significance in this shift that might spark greater change for the future.



Allow me to explain.



The Comic Relief Theory



This is a personal theory I have developed over the years and while many smarter-people-than-me have theorized about humor, I am referring more to subtle mechanisms in pop culture that aids in sparking significant social change. This is not so much a theory about humor as about what goes on in the collective minds of the masses and how it influences acceptance towards once considered taboo subjects.  



The basic gist of the Comic Relief Theory goes as follows;


“The progression of the importance of a particular demographic is expressed through the hierarchy of character development within the popular culture. What was once a “background character” will eventually become the “comic relief” and finally evolve into the principle character able to sustain an audience without other previously accepted variables ‘needed’”



 So what the hell does that mean?



Let’s take race as our first element to examine. It is no secret that this world is riddled with racism. It wasn’t really until 1965 that black people were guaranteed “equal rights” in the United States despite the fact that the constitution gave them these rights decades prior.



Television was predominantly white and the roles that were given to people of color often portrayed them in “lesser” roles than their white counter parts. But then came the comic relief.



Prior to the 1990s, having shows that were predominantly “black” were very rare or if they existed, didn’t get much coverage to garner national attention. I personally believe it was the prevalence of the black comic relief in white sitcoms that allowed this to happen.



You see, Racism is cultural programming. No one is born racist. You learn it. For “white America”, to simply accept a black headliner was a hard pill to swallow. Therefore, the comic relief gives you smaller doses of the pill making it easier to swallow over time. Once enough time has gone by, the acceptance of a black headliner becomes less taboo. Eventually, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air becomes an internationally renowned hit show and Will Smith becomes a “serious actor”. Go back fifty or sixty years ago and that would have been a highly unlikely scenario.



If you look at some of the main civil rights movements of our time, such as sexual orientation movements, equal treatment for women and so forth, they too had their day as comic reliefs at one point. These days there are numerous shows which features a female headliner or a gay headliner which is accepted without a problem by the majority.



Sure, you have those religious apes still squabbling about these issues, but for the most part, society has grown quite tolerant on these issues.



All of these major issues went through the Comic Relief filter prior to being allowed to enter into the main spotlight. It takes a good five to ten years to get there, but eventually they all get there.


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The stoner Comic relief



I have noticed an uptick in stoner comic reliefs of late. It’s becoming a prevalent theme in pop culture and I can only wonder whether or not this is by design indicating that the next big shift will be for cannabis.



Scream Queens is a Fox produced show and while the entire show is satirical of your typical slasher films, the audience is quite vast and appeals to a large demographic. This subtle injection of “smoking weed is okay, look Jamie Lee Curtis is doing it and she’s a feminist icon” will slowly corrode the misconceptions of cannabis in the United States.



The trick is to notice “how they portray cannabis” in film and on television and of late, it is no longer the substance for “stoners” but the substance for everyone.



Next time you see someone smoking weed in a TV show or on film, take a good look at “how the act is being portrayed” and notice that it is no longer seen as “something wrong”. This to me indicates that we are on the verge of a major paradigm shift towards this plant which could influence national opinion (which evidently shows that 6 out of 10 Americans favor cannabis), to the point where it could influence the laws that govern us.





snoop dogg mmj card



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What did you think?

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