Celebrity stoners

Dazed and sued
Richard Linklater, writer and director of the classic stoner film, Dazed and Confused, is being sued by three men who went to high school with him. The litigious trio claim that Linklater used their personalities as fodder for characters in the marijuana movie, and that they have suffered life-ruining embarrassment as a result. They also claim that they were not asked if their surnames could be used in the 1993 flick.

Oddly enough, though the former friends claim damages, they have waited for over 11 years since the movie’s release to start the lawsuit. Perhaps a soon-to-be-released DVD version of Dazed and Confused and its potential to rake in mountains of cash is the real motivator.

The complaining ex-friends claim their reasons for the suit are that the film portrays them “negatively.” This argument borders on the ludicrous considering that the characters in question are presented in the movie as honest, moral and idealistic individuals.

Linklater’s old friend, Richard “Pink” Floyd, who was the model for the film’s protagonist, Randall “Pink” Floyd, must have greatly misinterpreted the movie character. Pink is portrayed so positively in the movie that it is hard to believe he was based on a real person at all.

Pink was a football star whom everyone liked and looked up to. He questioned authority and stood up for his rights and the rights of his friends. He also refused to join in on the senior students’ hazing rituals and helped out a few scared freshmen along the way ? even befriending one of them and introducing him to his inner circle.

The other two litigants, Andy Slater and Bobby Wooderson, are shown in the movie as average teenagers who like to smoke pot, drink and have sex. They are merely portrayed as real people. Both characters are essentially nice to others and Wooderson even intervenes to stop a fight.

It will be very tough for the three litigants to prove damages based on their film representations. One viewing of Dazed and Confused will make it very clear and simple that these characters are amongst the most positive representations of teenagers, and pot, in recent film history.

Chong update

Tommy Chong, fresh from his stint in jail for selling bongs, is heating up the stage in The Marijuana-logues. Chong, who is currently still on probation, performed in the popular off-Broadway show for two weeks in December.

The Marijuana-logues is based on the format of The Vagina Monologues, with three actors reading amusing first-person anecdotes about their experiences with pot.

The unique stage show is written by Arj Barker, Doug Benson and Tony Camin, and is directed by Jim Millan. Launched in March 2004, the show is breaking out of New York with Chong staying on board for a west coast tour beginning in February 2005.

Chong has also been keeping busy finishing up his autobiography, and says that he is looking forward to returning to That 70’s Show next season to reprise the character of stoner Leo ? though he doesn’t know yet how Leo’s two-year absence will be explained. “Maybe they’ll say I was in jail,” joked Chong.

Chong and erstwhile partner Cheech Marin will be appearing onstage together in February at the Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado. This will mark their first public show together in over two decades.

The pair have also finished writing the script for their upcoming reunion movie, which involves their characters “Pedro” and “Man” discovering a pot-based hair tonic. They hope to start filming in 2005.

? The Marijuanalogues: www.marijuanalogues.com

Smokin’ Sigourney

Sigourney Weaver, best known for her killer role as alien-slayer Ellen Ripley in the Alien films, had a new movie released in February, and this time she’s smoking buds instead of bugs.

In the family drama, Imaginary Heroes, the statuesque actress takes on a sensitive role as a mother whose grief over the suicide of her first-born son (due to relentless bullying) drives her to use marijuana for comfort. As a result of her new habit, she ends up getting arrested and tossed in jail when she tries to buy some more.

“I think this film blows the lid off the suburban experience,” Weaver says of the film. “These people certainly aren’t running to church to feel better.”

Of her own experiences with drugs, Weaver claims to have not been interested in using them, saying, “I have a very sensitive system, so I’m very wary of all that.”

Mary-Louise potseller

Mary-Louise Parker, best known for her role in the film Fried Green Tomatoes and for playing Amelia “Amy” Gardner on TV’s The West Wing, will become a drug dealing suburbanite in the upcoming Showtime series, Weeds.

The subversive cable comedy will run for 10 episodes beginning in mid-2005 and is about a housewife/mom who turns into a marijuana dealer to support her family after her husband dies.

While she figures out the intricacies of the marijuana trade, Parker’s character tries to appear responsible by keeping up with her PTA duties. Elizabeth Perkins (Big) co-stars as Parker’s nemesis ? a perfect mother who is also head of the PTA ? while Kevin Nealon of Saturday Night Live fame plays a city council member.

The single-camera show was created by Jenji Kohan, who has written for shows such as Friends, Gilmore Girls and Sex in the City. It is produced by Lions Gate Television. Says Kevin Beggs, Lions Gate president of programming and production, “We believe that this comedy has the kind of wit and edge that audiences are clamoring for.”

Martha for prison reform

Halfway through her prison sentence for lying about a stock sale, home-maker maven Martha Stewart issued a Christmas message on her personal website, where she urged her fans to work for the reform of harsh sentencing laws for drug users.

“So many of the women here in Alderson will never have the joy and well-being that you and I experience,” wrote Stewart. “Many of them have been here for years ? devoid of care, devoid of love, devoid of family.”

“I beseech you all to think about these women,” continued Stewart, “to encourage the American people to ask for reforms, both in sentencing guidelines, in length of incarceration for nonviolent first-time offenders, and for those involved in drug-taking. They would be much better served in a true rehabilitation center than in prison where there is no real help, no real programs to rehabilitate, no programs to educate, no way to be prepared for life ‘out there’ where each person will ultimately find herself, many with no skills and no preparation for living.”

At Cannabis Culture we’re glad to see that her time in prison is teaching Stewart about the realities of prison life and the injustice of the drug war. We hope that she continues to speak out for sentencing reform after her release.

? www.marthatalks.com

Mary Winona

Everyone’s favorite shoplifter, Winona Ryder, is making a comeback in a new cannabis-inspired comedy. Currently in pre-production, the indie-budget film has the working title of Mary Warner, and is set to begin shooting in January 2005.

The movie is described as a “hip, offbeat, wacky journey through the course of a day in the life of a struggling actor and hopeless stoner.” Ryder plays an unsuccessful actress who embarks on a series of trippy adventures that ultimately change her life for the better after eating a batch of marijuana brownies made by her pot-loving roommate.

Ryder herself has a lot in common with the character, in that she has admitted to smoking marijuana in the past with then-fiance and confirmed stoner Johnny Depp. Ryder was also caught illegally possessing eight different prescription medications during her infamous arrest in 2001, and is also the goddaughter of acid-guru Timothy Leary.

The film is directed by Michael Lehmann, who cast Ryder in the lead role of his 1989 black comedy, Heathers. Lehmann told Entertainment Weekly that this movie is “more like a dysfunctional Ferris Bueller’s Day Off than a stoner movie, because the humor and characters are as much layered and sophisticated as visual.”

Chronic Candy controversy

A new candy that promises, “Every lick is like taking a hit,” is becoming very popular among munchie-craving adults and spliff-smoking stars. Chronic Candy, the marijuana-flavored lollipop and gumdrop line, is being promoted by such stoners as Snoop Dogg and Paris Hilton.

Other celebs who the publicity-hungry Chronic Candy team claims enjoy their Sativa-inspired suckers include: Andre 3000, Dr Dre, Fred Durst, Eve, Cypress Hill, Tommy Lee, Nelly, Shaquille O’Neal, Jack Osbourne, Ja Rule, Jessica Simpson, Gwen Stefani, and Usher.

The candies are imported from Switzerland and infused with small quantities of hemp extract. Although there is no THC present in the candies, some authorities are displeased about the sale of the pot-themed treats.

“How could we go into market and create a product for children that encourages them to taste the taste of marijuana?” stormed Manhattan councilwoman Margarita Lopez to the media. “What is the message? ‘Use drugs, that is okay?'”

Antonio Montana, importer of the cannabis candy, claims people are overreacting. “Hemp candy has been around since 1920,” he said. “It’s not my goal or intention at all to influence kids.”

The candies come in such ingenious flavors as “The Chronic” ? a pot-green lollipop marketed for use while at work; “Bluebonic” ? a blue lollipop blend of blueberries and chronic said to be best for busting stress; “Acapulco Gold” ? a yellow lollipop with a smooth flavor; “G-13 AKA the Dro” ? a green lollipop shaped like a fat bud; “Icky Sticky Skunk Buds” ? potent sour jelly candies said to be not intended for lightweights; and “Hydro buds” ? little gold jelly pyramids with a hydro flavor.

All candies come sold in one ounce or half-ounce “fat sacks,” or can be purchased as a “twenty sack” or a “nickel bag.”

? www.chroniccandy.com; [email protected]; 562-801-9587