It’s pretty clear why the internet and weed go hand in hand: the internet has become a virtual haven for weed-lovers to shop for cannabis and accessories, find information, and share their experiences with others.
Funny memes are one of the many ways that weed and online culture collide, creating a communal space for tech-savvy stoners to laugh, interact, and keep up on the latest trends. From the OGs to the newest weed meme creators, members of this ever-growing community continue to push the boundaries of novelty and absurdity in the name of late-night, red-eyed giggles shared across the globe.
With a heightened sense of anxiety and reduced social interactions due to the spread of novel coronavirus, it’s even more important to find ways to stay connected. Whether you’re organizing virtual smoke seshes or sharing an obnoxious amount of memes in your group chat, the ultimate goal is to stay sane, safe, and of course, lifted.
What exactly is a meme?
From the classics like Grumpy Cat to newer trends like the Spongebob Ight Imma Head Out meme, the average millennial or gen Zer could probably recognize a meme from a mile away. But what exactly makes a meme a meme, and how did they become part of stoner culture?
While weed memes are a fairly new concept, the word “meme” was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. Dawkins developed the pre-internet concept as part of his theory of how ideas replicate, mutate, and evolve in the context of evolutionary biology, later characterizing an internet meme as a meme deliberately altered by human creativity. He explained that Internet memes are essentially a “hijacking of the original idea,” the concept itself having mutated in this new direction.
In a 2019 ThoughtCo article, sociology expert Nicki Lisa Cole said, “According to Dawkins, three factors lead memes to be spread, copied, or adapted from person to person: Copy-fidelity, the possibility that the thing in question can be accurately copied, fecundity, the speed at which the thing is replicated [and] longevity, or staying power.”
Visual online content becomes a meme only if elements of it are copied and/or creatively altered and reposted on a very large scale. While there is no exact number of copies, shares, or reimaginations that signifies a post has officially reached internet memedom, we know it when we see it.
When did weed memes happen?
The obvious answer is that we as humans love to share, laugh, and commiserate with other humans. Smoking weed is a bonding experience for many, and just like any other community it has its niche memes that unite weed-lovers far and wide.
Though we can’t say for sure what the earliest weed meme was, some certainly paved the way for online weed culture. One of the most notable is Good Guy Greg, the antithesis to Scumbag Steve and all-around nice guy. If you haven’t seen him around the internet within the last decade (in which case I feel really old), Good Guy Greg is depicted as a happy guy with a joint in his mouth and is rumored to have started on 4chan‘s /b/ board (an internet forum where just about anything goes), but an archived thread has yet to be found.
While the majority of Good Guy Greg memes don’t mention the joint in his mouth, they were some of the first memes we can find that relate to weed in any capacity. Think of Good Guy Greg as your ideal fictional best friend, always smoking weed and always being super courteous about it.
Reddit’s /r/trees board, created in 2009, is home to many of the internet’s first legitimate weed memes. According to the subreddit’s FAQ, “Trees is a place where we can be free to speak our (smoked-out) minds. The community here is comfortable in our hobby, and enjoys seeing what other people think about when they’re flying high.”
Among my personal favorites of the early memes posted to /r/trees is the prolific Really High Guy, sometimes known as Stoner Stanley. The meme came into existence in 2011 when Redditor u/randomdave posted a photo of a red-faced young man to the subreddit titled “Being at a  is not always pretty.” That same day, the picture was submitted by redditor u/Ahahaha__10 with the caption “Texts the person next to them / ‘I want hospital.'”
The  in the original post is derived from the scoring system used by members of /r/trees to measure highness. A 10, as you may have guessed from this guy’s face, is really, really stoned. Today’s weed memes might look a bit different, but they serve essentially the same purpose — making people laugh about relatable stoner problems, like getting too high.
As the internet has expanded beyond any limits we would ever have imagined a decade ago, weed memes have evolved too. Though some purists consider memes to be funny combinations of images and text that go viral, they can also be standalone photos, videos, GIFs, and hashtags.
The best weed memes of 2020 vary not only in form but in the topics they discuss. They can highlight social and political issues, feature relevant aspects of popular culture, and be purely silly or, at times, serious and informative.
Where can I get my weed meme fix?
You can find funny weed memes all over the internet nowadays, from Instagram to Twitter to Facebook. Personally, I use Instagram solely to share memes (often weed-related) with my friends and watch cooking videos. The below list includes some of the best Instagram accounts for meme hunting while stoned.
With nearly 4 million followers, this account is super popular among weed meme lovers. The account features a spectrum of relatable content including memes about weed-related mishaps, getting the munchies, and of course, smoking during coronavirus.
As what might be the biggest weed meme account on the scene, Weed Humor has an impressive 5.4 million followers. Both memes and promotional content are featured on this private page, which means you have to request to follow them for hilarious weed memes that are always on-trend.
This account isn’t dedicated entirely to weed, but rather to the kinds of thoughts you have when you’re stoned. Some of the memes are about getting stoned, others are about totally random things, but they’re always funny (especially when you just faced a bowl).
Largely made up of short clips, the Now This Weed account is not like the others on this list. The content isn’t necessarily funny, but they are shareable memes by definition. They discuss major issues in the cannabis industry like legalization, plus lots of bizarre and cool things about weed you probably didn’t know.
Cannabis beverages are a growing trend, and it’s easy to understand why. From CBD-infused coffee to THC microdose sodas, there are seemingly endless flavors and styles that can be used to make stoney signature drinks in place of traditional cocktails.
While no one is trying to take away our precious margaritas or frosé, reducing alcohol consumption in general is increasingly popular among people of all ages. With physical and mental well-being seen top priority, cannabis drinks can satisfy the thirst for delicious beverages that provide relaxation without hangovers or added calories.
Part of the fun of cocktails is the element of craft that goes into them. Of course, the many ready-to-drink cannabis beverages can be enjoyed on their own as an alternative to alcoholic tipples, but for those who crave the ritual of mixing something unique in their home bar — or for those who want to enjoy a complex drink that equal more than the sum of its parts — these recipes are for you.
The concoctions below use a combination of pre-made infused beverages and tinctures. Any type of tincture, such as full-spectrum hemp, CBD or THC, will work, though we are partial to nano tinctures that are made specifically for beverages since they mix in easily and don’t change the flavor profile.
How to make delicious cannabis-infused cocktails
Before you start mixing, there’s a few tried-and-true tips you should have at your disposal for the best canna-cocktail experience:
After following a recipe, periodically taste and adjust the amounts of each ingredient to create your ideal balance.
Add your own flare: play around with garnishes to put a personalized stamp on homemade drinks. Try anything from cinnamon sticks to fresh figs.
Why lemony hemp shandy
A shandy is a cocktail that traditionally combines lemonade and beer for a refreshing drink. This updated version uses hemp infused lemonade and subs in kombucha for the beer. Kombucha is a fermented tea full of probiotics with a tangy flavor and slightly effervescent texture; it’s easy to make at home, and can also be found at most grocery stores in a variety of flavors. Virtually any flavor will work for this recipe, tasty options include lavender, citrus, mango , and even spicy flavors like ginger or cayenne.
6 oz infused lemonade or regular lemonade plus tincture of choice
6 oz Kombucha of choice
Combine ingredients in a tall glass over ice, garnish with lemon slices.
Product we used: Kickback Hemp Infused Lemony Lemonade
In hindsight, Kamala Harris’ infamous 2019 radio interview with New York’s hit morning show, “The Breakfast Club,” told us everything.
During the discussion she spoke of her belief that cannabis should be legalized, the need for better research on the plant’s impact on brain development, its undeniable medical efficacy, concern about cannabis-impaired drivers, and that illegal cannabis has incarcerated too many young men of color.
This interview raised a few eyebrows when she admitted to have once smoked cannabis (“a long time ago”) which provided fodder for late night jokes. Others noted that she built a career using cannabis to put people in jail, and then joked about enjoying it herself.
One thing is certain: Kamala Harris, shaped by growing up with a Jamaican/South Asian lineage and a career shaped by the law and order world of the plant, seems comfortable talking about cannabis.
Now, she’s been tapped to be Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate in the 2020 presidential election. For many, she is the ideal running mate for Biden.
But while many believe Harris is a smart and safe choice for Biden, others, particularly those in the criminal justice and cannabis communities, are conflicted. Some view Harris’ prosecutorial past as someone simply carrying out the duties of her job while navigating the complexities of being a woman of color in law enforcement and politics. Others see her as an engaged general of the War on Drugs and a tough-on-crime prosecutor responsible for sending non-violent drug offenders to prison.
A complicated past: from “top cop” to the MORE Act
Harris’ political career began in 2004 when she was elected to be San Francisco’s district attorney. Once in office, Harris attempted to cultivate a reputation as a progressive prosecutor who was “smart on crime.” However, throughout her time as the DA, the felony conviction rate rose from 52% to 67%, and Harris became notorious for cracking down on gangs and drug dealers. At the time, Harris opposed cannabis legalization, and her office oversaw more than 1,900 cannabis convictions.
In 2011, Harris became the highest-ranking law enforcement official in California when she was elected attorney general. Preceding her victory was a contentious election that focused heavily on her refusal as a district attorney to pursue the death penalty for a man convicted of killing a police officer. This decision followed her for years and almost ruined her political career. Her precarious position entering her new role can help explain her mixed bag of both reformist policies and a pattern of upholding the status quo during her tenure as attorney general.
In 2010, Harris opposed Proposition 19, a ballot measure that would have legalized cannabis for adults over 21. For the next five years, she opposed cannabis legalization. Between the years of 2011 and 2016, at least 1,560 people were sent to prison for cannabis-related offenses, a fact that her debate opponents used against her, derailed momentum in her campaign, further confused her cannabis record, and became one of the most provocative, watchable, and dramatic moments of all the debates. In 2019, in the midst of a crowded, heated Democratic primary, Harris’ past in the criminalization of cannabis while serving as attorney general was continually put on full display.
But Harris came out in support of decriminalization in 2015 during her second term as attorney general. While this marked a significant change in her position on cannabis, she still refused to support adult-use legalization. Critics argued that her position did not go far enough, since, at the time, a handful of states already had adult-use markets, and the majority of Americans supported legalization.
In a 2017 speech, she said “While I don’t believe in legalizing all drugs, as a career prosecutor I just don’t, we need to do the smart thing, the right thing, and finally decriminalize marijuana.”
In 2016, Kamala Harris won her Senate race and became California’s first Black senator and the first South Asian American to serve in the U.S. Senate — the same election California voted to legalize adult-use cannabis.
Since she took office in 2017, Harris has generally aligned herself with the Senate’s progressive members, voting alongside Sen. Bernie Sanders 93% of the time. As a district attorney and attorney general, Harris’ role was to uphold and enforce the law. As a U.S. senator, her job duties shifted from law-enforcing to law-making.
Harris supported adult-use cannabis legalization in 2018 when she cosponsored Sen. Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act, which would legalize cannabis at the federal level. The same year, Harris, along with Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding he stop blocking medical cannabis research efforts.
“Right now in this country people are being arrested, being prosecuted, and end up spending time in jail or prison all because of their use of a drug that otherwise should be considered legal,” Harris said in a 2018 press release. “Making marijuana legal at the federal level is the smart thing to do, it’s the right thing to do. I know this as a former prosecutor and I know it as a senator.”
In her 2019 book, The Truths We Hold, Harris details her support for cannabis legalization and the need to expunge all non-violent cannabis-related records. She wrote “We need to expunge non-violent marijuana-related offenses from the records of the millions of people who have been arrested and incarcerated so they can get on with their lives.”
That same year, alongside Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Harris introduced the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. The MORE Act decriminalizes cannabis at the federal level, expunges cannabis-related convictions, invests resources into communities most disproportionately impacted by cannabis criminalization, and establishes a 5% federal cannabis tax. The bill is just beginning to move through the legislative process.
With each new role Harris occupied, from district attorney to U.S. senator, her position on cannabis evolved. Far removed from her days as a prosecutor, Harris is now a full-blown supporter of cannabis legalization and a vocal proponent of ending the failed War on Drugs. Whether her shift is the result of listening to her critics, personal growth, political opportunism, or some combination of the three, Harris’ views on cannabis reflect a major shift in her approach to criminal justice. Harris is now in touch with the vast majority of Americans who support legalization.
Not debatable: Harris vs. Pence
No analysis of Harris’ positions on cannabis would be complete without a comparison to the policy positions of her opponent. In this case, it is impossible to do an apples-to-apples comparison since incumbent Vice President Mike Pence doesn’t even consider the issue.
The former governor of Indiana is a longtime and fierce opponent of cannabis legalization and an apostle of the “pot is a gateway drug” theory. While leading the Hoosier state, Pence opposed a provision in a criminal justice reform bill that lowered the penalties for cannabis possession charges. During his time in Congress, from 2001 to 2013, he was a reliable “no” vote on any meaningful cannabis legislation.
Pence does, at times, pick peculiar and inappropriate opportunities to express his opposition to legalization. This propensity was on full display, when, at the height of contentious negotiations regarding the recent Covid-19 relief funding, he went on television and falsely stated that the Democrats bill “mentions marijuana more than it mentions jobs.”
When Joe Biden selected Kamala Harris as his Vice President, he chose someone who he aligned with politically but was willing to push him on issues where he has been historically weak. As someone of Jamaican and South Asian descent, a woman, and over two decades younger, Harris fills in crucial gaps that have previously been points of criticism of Biden’s candidacy.
As people contemplate Harris’ potential influence in a Biden administration, legalization advocates cannot help but wonder if she can chip away at his seemingly intractable, anti-legalization stance. Compared to President Donald Trump’s confusing and dismal cannabis policy positions, Biden, while not supporting full adult-use legalization, does champion federal decriminalization, automatic expungement of cannabis-related convictions, and medical legalization.
In the end, nobody really knows how and when Harris might launch an internal campaign to change the boss’s mind should they make it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In July, when the “veepstakes” was in full throttle, Harris indicated that she had no intention to push the candidate on cannabis legalization. But when he had the job, Biden forced the shift of the Obama administration policy on gay marriage with just one appearance on Meet the Press.