Packing A Super Bowl

[ Posted Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 – 16:46 UTC ]

For those of you not up on the lingo of the marijuana subculture, that headline is meant to be a pun of sorts, combining the Super Bowl (more on this in a moment) with the phrase "packing a bowl." Barack Obama, back in his "Choom Gang" days, would certainly have known what this is meant to refer to -- cramming marijuana in the bowl of a pipe constructed to smoke the substance.

Some might consider that opening paragraph a bit overdone (these people will also find this second paragraph overdone as well, we venture to guess). But we do aim to be as clear as possible here, in order to explain what may be a foreign concept to our readers at home. Some might also criticize the fight for marijuana rights to be overdone in general in these columns. They might have a point, there. For the first full year of this blog (2007), a quick search turns up just eight articles using the word "marijuana." From 2009 to 2011, the range was 15-18 articles per year (one of which laid out my own serious position on the issue, calling on President Obama to fulfill his campaign promises for a science-based drug policy). But 2012 saw 26 articles and last year a whopping 38 articles ran which mentioned marijuana. Indeed, we're only three weeks into January and I've already written three articles on the subject (not counting this one). This week I plan on writing at least two. So accusations that I'm getting more focused on the subject might be justified. However, I maintain that it is not so much that I am writing more about marijuana "just because," but rather that marijuana has been much more in the political news of late. This trend is not going to subside any time soon, either. In 2007, two articles out of those eight were on a Supreme Court case (the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case) that was really about free speech and didn't have anything directly to do with marijuana laws; whereas in 2012 two states voted to just outright legalize recreational weed. My point is that the marijuana rights movement seems to have acquired some sort of critical mass, and will be rolling forward with increasing speed in the coming years. Leading to more and more marijuana political news. Leading to more columns on the subject in this space.

That's a highfalutin' defense of my subject choice, but I have to say that none of it applies to what I'm about to comment on. Because today it's time for just some rampant silliness on the subject.

This year's Super Bowl will be contested between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. Denver, of course, is in Colorado, and Seattle is in Washington state. Coincidentally enough, these are the two states whose citizens have voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults. Which means that no matter which team wins, celebratory joints are going to be smoked -- legally. Or, to put it another way, some "super" bowls are going to be packed two Sundays from now.

Call it a footnote in the history of sports and politics. Call it a bizarre coincidence. Or, as Stephen Colbert has already done, make some comedy gold out of the situation. But however you react, the milestone bears pointing out. Mostly because it may not even be unique all that long. After all, 2014 is an election year, and other states may follow Colorado and Washington in voting in full legalization. Next year, perhaps the 49ers will make it to the big game, after California passes a legalization ballot measure. In the near future, teams such as the Ravens and the Patriots or perhaps even the Bears or the Cardinals, might hail from legalized states. So this year's contest might not be all that special, looking back four or five years from now.

But it still will be the first, and that counts for something (especially in sports records). Of course, it isn't properly a sports record at all -- it's a crossover politico-sports record, at best. Which puts it in the "interesting, but almost meaningless" column for many.

But it should at least be seen as a harbinger of things to come. The politics of marijuana reform are changing fast. A governor's race in Florida may hinge on the issue this year. It is almost guaranteed to be on the ballot in multiple states this fall, which will do interesting things to voter turnout rates in those states. The United States Attorney General last year announced he will allow the Colorado and Washington experiment to take place without attacking it full-on in the courts. President Obama just gave a rather extraordinary interview where he said some things about marijuana that no previous president has ever admitted (which will be the subject of tomorrow's column here, just to warn everyone). Chris Christie even seems on board with reforming marijuana laws these days (at least to some extent).

Across the board, politicians are having to address the issue in a way they haven't had to since at least the 1970s. A serious discussion is taking place in America on the War On Weed's future. This has been building for a long time, but it reached a point a few years ago where the subject simply cannot be denied any longer. Brush-off answers and jokes are no longer going to be enough for a candidate for high office. From now on, politicians are going to have to decide on their own personal policy stance (no matter what it is) and then go out and defend it to the public. A public that, in the last few years, has moved to having a solid majority now supporting full legalization.

Which is a roundabout way of getting back to my initial apology (or defense). I support marijuana rights, and always have. I didn't use to write about it much, because it was a rather remote subject that didn't show any signs of changing any time soon. There's only so much tilting at windmills that can be done, after all.

The last few years has changed all of that. Marijuana legalization is no mere pipe dream anymore. Almost half the United States now have some form of legal medicinal marijuana. More and more states will be considering following the lead of Colorado and Washington, and this could actually become a sort of "wave election" effect by 2016 (when more young people will vote, being a presidential election year). While it is always fun to write "what if" articles, attempting to foresee the future if one X factor is changed, from this point on we'll be looking at actual results of legalization experiments. Once hypothetical, a new reality will be tangibly there to be examined. As will the politics surrounding the issue, which are getting pretty "fired up" as we go forward.

So while it is still fun to joke about a "well-packed Super Bowl" and the like, this may be one of the last times such newness and uniqueness will be even worth pointing out. The second time two teams from legalized states meet, it won't be any sort of story, really. It is rather amazing that we only have two legalized states right now, and that the teams from those two states are going to be the ones who meet in the big game, when you think about it. But eventually, this will all be just a footnote in time. Sports fans rooting for their teams in a house party with beer and weed freely available may become the norm in the future, not the exception.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, as they say.

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


6 Comments on “Packing A Super Bowl”

  1. [1] 
    TheStig wrote:


    I don't think you're overdoing the marijuana articles. Legalization of pot is the leading edge of a general realization that criminalization of drug use/abuse isn't working as a social policy. That, in the word of Joe Biden is "a big f'ing deal."

    No harm in you having a little fun with it.

  2. [2] 
    Americulchie wrote:

    It has been decades since I've smoked and
    inhaled, with out shame I might add,I still
    can't get my head around how "pot centric"
    California is,I find it much different
    now hell the whole country is going out of
    their collective mind over quasi-legalization.
    Some very good puns in your post,on the whole
    I find it quite entertaining. Kudos !

  3. [3] 
    akadjian wrote:

    "No man. No Billy Bong Thornton without Kenny. That wouldn't be right. Get Wesley Pipes. Yeah!"



  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    I guess our life experiences color what we find funny.. :D

    Out of respect for my fellow Weigantians and with a desire not to be a wet blanket, I'll forgo comment..

    Well, except for this one, of course. :D


  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    TheStig -

    Thank you for the feedback. I always wonder, when choosing subject matter, "Am I overdoing this issue?"

    And especially when it's an issue I feel strongly about. So it's good to hear I'm not boring people to tears, or anything!


    Michale -

    OK, how about a limited comment on "is Chris writing too much about this subject"? Because I am interested. Don't want to drive people away, y'know...


  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, how about a limited comment on "is Chris writing too much about this subject"? Because I am interested. Don't want to drive people away, y'know...

    OK, well.. since you asked.. :)

    For me, personally? Yea..

    But you know my feelings on the subject, so I am not the most un-biased person to ask..

    And, while I intellectually see the humor you are conveying, I just don't find it funny...

    But I am sure that there are things that I would find hilarious that ya'all would think was crude, rude and socially unacceptable..

    For example. I was at Vandenberg AFB during the MX Missile Protests of the early 80s.. We were rolling up to the main gate to deploy. There were like 20 of us against a few hundred violent protesters. One of us yelled out the window "REMEMBER KENT STATE!!!" and we all laughed our asses off.. We were young and stooopid, what can I say..

    I am sure ya'all find that just NOT funny... My mom gave me an icy stare of disapproval when I relayed the humor to her later...

    Another time, I honestly don't know if it was a parody of a real time incident or it really happened. But some military grunt was holding a pistol to some scumbags head during the Iraq War demanding intel about a future attack. Some civilian weenie yelled "HAY!!!" and startled the grunt who pulled the trigger and blew the scumbag's head off...

    Again, ya'all might think that is just not funny, but I laughed my ass off..

    Long story short (too late! :D) while I find the excessive marijuana stories not exactly to my liking, I am certain that you are right on the button with rank and file Weigantians... :D


Comments for this article are closed.