Wednesday, November 21, 2018

stoners

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Sadly, weed can’t make you live forever, no matter what you heard down at the dispensary. Pot definitely makes life better, and it makes a lot of people healthier, but it won’t keep the Grim Reaper at bay forever – as far as we know, anyway.

Still, many tokers look to weed as a preparation for the hereafter, including Rastafarians, who use pot to commune with the divine. What we can’t experience before death we imagine while high.

In that spirit, here are the five stoners you meet in heaven.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

The Bard did more to shape modern English than anyone else. Also, you know he’d be a blast to toke with in heaven. The man would have stories.

What’s more, Shakespeare is a known pothead. He even did a little blow back in the day. Archaeologists recently found two broken pipes buried in his old garden. The paraphernalia dates to his lifetime and contains residue of marijuana and cocaine.

Wouldn’t you love to hear about the great author’s incredible life from the man himself? Learn the real meaning behind the world’s greatest literature? Or maybe you could just spark up and watch SpongeBob reruns or something.

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria

England’s longest-reigning monarch (so far) was dowdiness personified. So was the Victorian Era she spawned, a time of cultural subversion and excessive petticoats in English-speaking parts of the world.

But Queen Victoria was also a pothead, and apparently a big one. She took weed to treat her severe menstrual cramps, making her the most powerful medical marijuana patient in the history of the world.

No doubt Vicky could dish about that early English cannabis. It probably wasn’t very strong, though it was clearly strong enough to make many people happy. Victoria could keep you entertained for eternity with her gossip about the 19th century stoner scene. Plus, she can probably get you an excellent hook-up up there.

Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia

Fun story: Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead were instrumental in spreading the term “420” among hippie stoners years before it became official code for weed.

The term was coined when four high school students outside San Francisco spent their afternoons searching for an abandoned pot field in the San Rafael National Forest. The designated time for heading into the woods was 4:20 p.m.

Locals started using the reference, and it soon passed from one of the boys to the Grateful Dead, which frequently performed in the Bay Area. From there, “420” spread across the country.

Just think of all the wisdom you could gain from Garcia and the rest of the band in heaven. And they could probably score you the best acid this side of God.

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

OK, this will probably get us in trouble, but bear with us.

Surely if there were a Jesus Christ and he were the son of God and God were in heaven, then Jesus would be there, too. And it’s not like heaven will be too crowded to meet the big guy.

More important, Jesus can help you understand why you had to put up with so much shit in life just to suck down a joint every now and then. And he does miracles! Watch him turn wine into wax or walk on bong water.

Granted, there’s no evidence of any kind anywhere in the world that Christ ever smoked up. But hey, weed was used in the Middle East a long time before he showed up. If you had to deal with a dad like his, wouldn’t you sneak out back and light up too?

Harry Anslinger

Harry Anslinger

No man has more explaining to do when it comes to cannabis policy in the United States than Harry Anslinger. If you can corner him up in heaven, maybe you can get the story out of him.

Anslinger is the man most responsible for the long history of drug prohibition in America. He was head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, a sister agency to the FBI that enforced federal drug laws, from 1930 to 1962.

During Anslinger’s decades at the helm of the FBN, which later became the DEA, he managed to ban marijuana everywhere in the country. Remember Reefer Madness? That was a key part of Anslinger’s career-long campaign against weed.

Pot was banned in 1937, and it wasn’t until 75 years later that the first two states legalized it again. Anslinger would be rolling around in his grave. Or in heaven, if you believe he got in.

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We stoners aren’t exactly known as the athletic type. Many of us smoke cigarettes, most of us drink, and those of us with the right priorities would choose high over fit any day of the week.

But that hardly means we hate sports – or that we’re bad at them. Michael Phelps, anyone? Plus, a new football player gets busted for weed on an almost weekly basis these days.

Some sports are more inherently suited for the stoner milieu, though. If you’re a great basketball player, you’re a great basketball player regardless of the fact that you toke. But the whole point of being stoned is to relax, and in that spirit, here are the four best sports for potheads.

Volleyball

Volleyball

Volleyball is the only sport you can play in a gym wearing sweats or on the beach in a bikini. Plus, being on a volleyball team somehow makes people more attractive.

This sport is just fun, whether you’re a pro or a first-timer. It’s an easy game to set up pretty much anywhere, if you can jury-rig something into a net. And it’s a great workout.

It’s also harder, and much more competitive, than it often gets credit for. Top volleyball players are peak athletes, including the ones who smoke up. The sport may not generate the most attention at the Olympics, but it’s absolutely one of the most fun sports to watch or play.

Surfing

Surfing

Much like volleyball, surfing is a surprisingly difficult sport that combines a laid-back atmosphere with perhaps the best setting for toking: the beach.

Surfing packs a serious workout; it’s not the riding, it’s the swimming. You have to paddle out to each wave, then swim fast enough to keep up with it while mounting your board. The actual surfing takes grace and athleticism, but it’s the swimming that gets the heart beating.

This is also a highly competitive sport with some of the best athletes in the world. But it’s welcoming to newcomers, and of course, there’s weed all over the place.

Soccer

Soccer Ball Bong

If you can’t say something nice about soccer, remember that 3.5 billion people think otherwise. It’s the world’s most popular sport (for some reason), and it’s one of the easiest to play.

Everyone knows the rules. Ask any American school kids these days, and they’ll probably know the game better than most Scottish soccer hooligans. It’s that big, and growing every day.

All you need is grass and chalk, and a net if you want to get technical. It’s easier to play than football or baseball or basketball or hockey or golf or even bass fishing. You can play with just a ball if you want. Hell, these days, you don’t even need legs to play soccer.

And if you can’t find fellow stoners in soccer fandom, you’re just not looking. The sport may be better known for its Euro-sots, but Europe is also the continent of Amsterdam, and that means something, right?

Frisbee Golf

Frisbee Golf

There was actually a cop, recently, who tried to search a man’s car for pot solely on the grounds that the cop had spotted the man playing disc golf. That’s how closely Frisbee golf and weed are intertwined.

The man rightly asserted that the one didn’t prove the other in any way, but come on, we all know the cop was right: Smoking weed is a rite of passage for Frisbee golf fanatics, and Frisbee golf is a rite of passage for potheads.

Like soccer, disc golf is incredibly easy to play, as long as you’re willing to use natural markers. And many parks now have high-quality courses for Frisbee golfers.

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Rich people smoke weed, too. If you didn’t know that, you haven’t been paying attention, but it still bears saying. The wealthy have a champagne image, but the reality is often much more down to Earth.

Take CEOs. Did you know a bunch of them toke? It’s mostly the people you’d expect – the Ted Turners and Hugh Hefners of the world – but there are some surprises too. So here are the four most successful business leaders who have smoked enough weed to know what they’re talking about.

 

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

Most people know Martha Stewart as the nice lady who makes home decorations on TV and also went to prison once. They don’t typically know that she has a background in pot, or that she built a genuine media empire.

Stewart is now merely a board member at her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, but her power is unquestionable. She managed to rebuild her brand after her brief stay behind bars (she got caught making an insider stock trade). If anything, she improved her image.

Does Martha smoke up? If not currently, she definitely has in the past. “Of course I know how to roll a joint,” she said in an interview last year.

 

Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Would you believe Microsoft is built on marijuana? Well, not exactly, but former chief executive and chairman Bill Gates apparently had a taste for the stuff, at least back in the day.

In a 1994 biography, author Stephen Manes reported that Gates enjoyed weed early in his career. “As for drugs – well, Gates was certainly not unusual there. Marijuana was the pharmaceutical of choice.”

Is it any accident, then, that Gates built one of the largest corporations in the world and made himself one of the planet’s richest people?

 

Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner

It should be no surprise to anyone anywhere that Hugh Hefner likes pot. The founder and chief creative officer for Playboy Enterprises – the publisher of his famous magazine – has a lifelong reputation for partaking in the finer things.

Hef is also a big believer in legalization. Marijuana, he has said, should be a matter for medical authorities, not the police. During an interview with Fox News four years ago, Hefner explained why.

“I don’t think there’s any question that marijuana should be legalized because to not legalize it, we’re paying the same price we paid for prohibition,” he said. “In other words, it is a medical concern and it should be handled that way.”

 

Ted Turner

Ted Turner

It has long been common knowledge at CNN that Ted Turner likes to sit in his office and spark up. It’s unclear whether he invites his favorite correspondents for a puff, but we can hope.

Turner may rival Rupert Murdoch as the single most influential newsman of the last 30 years. He created and built CNN from scratch in the 1980s, single-handedly inventing the 24-hour news cycle.

Turner is known for supporting environmental causes and other liberal initiatives. He’s married to Jane Fonda, herself one of the most powerful symbols of protest in the 1960s. But most importantly, he still loves weed.

 

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Given the choice between a day with weed and a day without – well, that’s not even a choice. Of course you’ll pick the day with pot. Who wouldn’t?

green marijuanaMarijuana makes every day better, and that’s a fact. Whether you’re the wake and bake type or an every-few-days toker, you know cannabis improves pretty much any situation.

So here’s a list of the four biggest ways marijuana classes up every day of our lives. If you don’t already have a good reason to smoke up, you’ll find one here.

Weed Puts Things in Perspective

Life is full of mysteries. Vegetarians who eat chicken, for one. Marijuana won’t answer these imponderables for you, but it will at least put them in perspective.

Weed helps us make sense of things. It puts our experiences in a meaningful context and reminds us that things are going to be just fine, after all.

Don’t get us wrong, pot isn’t LSD. It won’t take you to emotional and mental planes you’ve never seen before. And it definitely won’t make your problems go away. What it will do, though, is show you just how manageable those problems really are.

Weed Makes Food Taste Better

Everyone knows grass makes your stomach grumble – even people who still call it “grass.” But there’s more to the munchies than simple hunger.

Good food tastes great when you’re stoned. And lousy food tastes pretty damn good too (you did know those delicious Ho-Hos were garbage, right?). All because of marijuana.

Wherever you plan to eat your turkey/ham/tofu this holiday season, odds are pretty good it will be terrible. So hustle down a joint before dinner and give your stomach an open mind.

Weed Helps Us Get Along

Every family has them, the half-wit cousin or uncle or aunt who feels a need to pick a fight with everyone else, with the holidays as their battlefield. These people can quickly turn the most festive season into an emotional nightmare.

That’s where weed comes in. Shit just doesn’t matter so much when you’re stoned. You can see the folly in your relatives’ unhappiness and convert it into self-contentment. They’re miserable. You know better.

Nothing calms the prospect of a tumultuous family gathering better than a well-placed bong rip or two. You can’t all show up stoned, but just one reasonable person can make all the difference.

You Can Still Function on Weed

joint on balconyEven an idiot would pick an obnoxious stoner over an obnoxious drunk any day of the week. Alcohol makes us do things we wouldn’t otherwise do. Pot doesn’t have that effect.

That’s not to say no one has ever done anything stupid while high. Far from it. But the stakes are lower and the consequences less severe. There are still too many stoned drivers on the roads, but they do very little damage compared to drunk drivers.

Weed just doesn’t make you do dumb shit. It will make you talk like you have no idea what’s going on, but it won’t change your personality at the drop of a hat, like booze, and it won’t turn you into the kind of person you least want to be.

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forbidden flower

Marijuana has been in the dark for decades, so it’s no surprise it has spawned countless myths. From the belief that cannabis kills to the notion that it causes the same impairments as alcohol, misunderstandings about weed have complicated efforts at legal reform.

So what’s truth and what’s fiction? Most marijuana myths can be shot down with little effort, but others are persistent. Here are five of the biggest myths about weed.

 

Marijuana Is Addictive

marijuana leaf clearIt is possible to get hooked on pot, but it’s rare, and when it does happen, it’s nothing like an addiction to alcohol.

The definition of “addiction” is a pattern of behavior or substance use that you repeat again and again despite the fact that it causes substantial problems in your life. Cannabis users can develop a dependence on the drug, which means you use it heavily and suffer withdrawal if you stop, but that doesn’t really qualify as addiction.

That said, about 9 percent of users become dependent on weed. A much smaller percentage develops a true addiction. But the rate for alcohol addiction is 15 percent, and alcohol abuse typically causes major problems. The rates for hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine are even higher.

So by comparison, marijuana is the least addictive recreational substance on the market. Even caffeine has a higher addiction rate.

 

Marijuana Causes Cancer

Not only doesn’t weed cause cancer, it may help prevent it. Cannabis, like tobacco, contains carcinogens. But they’re less harmful, and cigarette smokers consume a lot more of them than even heavy pot smokers.

Only one study hinted at a link between lung cancer and toking. But several other studies found exactly the opposite. And recent research suggests marijuana may help fight certain types of tumors, including brain cancer.

 

Marijuana Users Are Criminals

Marijuana Arrest

Unless you want to label nearly half the U.S. population criminals, this one simply isn’t true. In many places cannabis is criminal, but it’s hardly fair to say the same of the people who use it.

Aside from drug cartels, the marijuana trade is a relatively peaceful one. It exists only partly in the shadows now, and added legitimacy means reduced violence.

What’s more, only a very small portion of America’s prison and jail populations are incarcerated for simple possession. Most pot smokers live their lives with little hassle from the police, and anyone who’s bought weed from more than one dealer knows they’re just ordinary people, too.

 

Marijuana Is a Gateway Drug

It’s true that people who use marijuana are statistically more likely to use hard drugs at some point in their lives. But this doesn’t mean what many people think it means.

In fact, people who use marijuana are inherently more likely to use other drugs. The marijuana doesn’t cause the progression; it’s caused by genetics, personality, and addictive tendencies.

Cause and effect aren’t clear, in other words. Just because some people use cannabis doesn’t mean they’ll use hard drugs, and just because some people use hard drugs doesn’t mean that cannabis led them there.

 

High-Potency Marijuana Is Dangerous

marijuana oil dabberStrong weed is just that: strong weed. No matter what form it comes in, it’s no different chemically than standard pot.

It is possible to OD, but the worst that’s likely to happen is a nasty panic attack. Despite recent episodes in Colorado, it won’t kill you, and it probably won’t lead you to kill yourself. You definitely shouldn’t drive on it, though.

High-potency extracts are all the rage in the marijuana industry. In some places they’re treated more like crack than cannabis. But that doesn’t mean weed with high THC counts is inherently hazardous.

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History is littered with marijuana. The drug has been with us for more than 5,000 years, and there’s no telling how many billions have smoked the stuff over the millennia.

But certain historical figures stand out for their consumption of cannabis. Here, then, are five of the most important people who have sparked up through history. They range from the recently deceased to the truly historic, and in each case there’s evidence to back up the claim.

Don’t trust other lists. They’re full of outrageous inaccuracies – and no, there’s no proof Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, or Charles Dickens ever smoked weed.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

But there is evidence the greatest writer in the English language toked. In the early 2000s, scientists discovered two 17th century smoking pipes buried near William Shakespeare’s garden. The broken pipes contained residue of cannabis and coca leaves.

The cocaine was the bigger mystery, since the drug wasn’t thought to be widely available until hundreds of years later. The Spanish had access to the coca plant in South America, but it wasn’t known to have spread so far so early.

Whatever the drug, it clearly didn’t cause Shakespeare any major problems. In fact, it may have made him even more creative than he already was.

George Washington

George Washington

As with Jefferson, there’s no proof our first president smoked up, ever. But George Washington did grow hemp at Mount Vernon. It was a cash crop at the time and was widely used for its industrial qualities.

If colonial Americans smoked it, there’s no evidence. A few false quotes are widely attributed to Washington within the stoner community, but he never said any of it.

Still, Washington grew weed at a time when it was central to the American economy. The hemp plant has a long history, both as a drug and as a source of paper, rope, fabric, and other goods.

Bob Marley

Bob Marley

Bob Marley may be the quintessential stoner. He belonged to the Rastafari movement, which uses marijuana in its religious ceremonies, and he lived in Jamaica, where pot grows like grass.

Marley believed weed is a powerful medication, a view supported by most research in the years since his death in 1981. He also saw cannabis as a sacred tool to expand consciousness and find deeper meaning in faith.

Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia

Is there a drug Jerry Garcia didn’t try? He was best known for his frequent use of psychedelics, and that’s the audience The Grateful Dead aimed their music at. But weed was a central part of the Deadhead experience.

How appropriate, then, that he has his own Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor, Cherry Garcia – the perfect antidote for the munchies.

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong picked up the pot habit in the 1920s, early in his unparalleled career. He never stopped. He was busted once, in the early 1930s, and convicted of possession. But he got a suspended sentence, and the experience changed nothing about his marijuana use.

Armstrong wrote extensively about his use of cannabis, as he did most aspects of his life. “It really puzzles me to see marijuana connected with narcotics,” he said. “It’s a thousand times better than whiskey. It’s an assistant, a friend.”

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Are you looking for a gift to make your favorite stoner smile? There are countless options, from the cheap to the costly, and it can be hard to choose. So here are a few ideas for some great gifts you may want to get for someone special in your life.

Apparel

Marijuana ApparelThere’s a wide range of marijuana-themed apparel across the country. With everything from hats to leggings, cannabis clothing allows your gift’s recipient to proudly display her or his membership in the stoner community.

T-shirts are always popular, as are socks, belts, and other items. Whether it’s a shirt featuring Bob Marley or a pair of pants with a marijuana-leaf pattern, whatever you’re looking for should be affordable and easy to find.

A Tattoo

Do stoners have more tats than other people? Who knows? But prepaid ink could be the perfect idea. Even the simplest of tattoos can run more than $200, so this is a great way to help the recipient do something they’ve always wanted to do.

Paraphernalia

Cannabis supplies make a stellar gift for the stoner you care about. Grinders, vapes, bongs and pipes – they all work. What about a nice scale? Or incense to clear the smell out of a room? Give something your favorite toker can use every day.

Weed

There is no easier way to a stoner’s heart than to supply him or her with raw, dried, smokable pot. Any adult in Washington State and Colorado can legally give up to an ounce to another person. If you live somewhere else, you may have to cozy up to the medical or black markets. But let’s not kid ourselves: If you’re planning to give stoner gifts, you’re probably a stoner yourself, and you also probably know how to get weed without hassle.

Edibles

Marijuana edibles are another gift any toker would love – especially if they’ve never tried it. With everything from chocolate bars and brownies to tea and soda, it should be easy to find something that goes over well.

Knick-Knacks

Marijuana AshtrayWhether it’s a locally blown glass ornament or a beautiful carved ashtray, stoner memorabilia and knick-knacks will make your recipient feel more comfortable at home. And isn’t comfort what weed is all about?

Books

Almost any book about cannabis makes a good gift. A grow guide, a history of the plant, weed fiction – anything that mixes narrative and pot. Reading while high isn’t always an easy task, but a good book on marijuana will get your friend or loved one plenty to think about.

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Any stoner worth his bongwater knows that smoking up is likely to bring on an attack of the munchies. When the craving for food hits, almost anything will do to sate it: leftover Chinese food, Pop Tarts, even cold fried chicken…all will be welcomed just to put the munchies at bay.

That being said, there are certain foods that just seem to go down well after hitting on the bong or the pipe. Anything edible that you can stuff into your mouth is a good thing, but what would stoners actually enjoy eating if given a choice? Here are a few ideas!

1) Chinese foodchinese food
Chinese cuisine in all its varied firms makes for great stoned chowing. No matter what your tastes are, there is certain to be something that you will enjoy. Dim sum, crab rolls, rice with an assortment of toppings…all are fair game for the hungry stoner!

2) Macaroni and cheese
Sounds pretty basic but there is just something about a bowl of Mac ’n’ Cheese that hits the spot…especially after a bowl or two! Even the commercially available boxed variety will do in a pinch but try making it from scratch for a tasty treat that will have you coming back for seconds.

3) Chips
A bag of good chips simply cannot be beat when you are stoned. Whip up a dip of your choice, and there is just no reason why you can’t have a good time.

icecream4) Ice cream
This one is almost too obvious. Everyone loves ice cream of course, but a bowl or two is especially enjoyable when you have the munchies. Taken plain or with an assortment of your choice of toppings, and a bowl of ice cream is just superb stoner chow.

5) Cookies
This one makes a great match for ice cream. Chocolate chip cookies are a pretty popular choice, but even something as basic as Oreos can be amazing when you are ripped. Pour yourself a glass of milk while you are at it and enjoy a treat fit for a king.

6) Taco Bell
Say what you will about Taco Bell, but they do have a bunch of menu items that are perfectly suited to the stoner’s palate. If you love meat, cheese, and salty food, don’t even think twice: Taco Bell will fit the bill.

7) Breakfast food
It might seem a bit odd to pour yourself a bowl of cereal in the middle of the day or in the evening, but the taste buds of the stoner have its own logic. The next time you feel the munchies coming on, grab a box of cereal and a jug of milk and feast!

8) Nachospizza leaf
Cheesy, meaty, crunchy…nachos have everything that a stoner could want to have a good time. More than just chips, nachos are a virtual party in your mouth!

9) Burgers
Who doesn’t love a good burger! Take your pick of any of the chain offerings or make your own burger. The results are the same: stoner satisfaction!

10) Pizza
Pizza definitely has to come in at the top of the list. Cold or piping hot, with any topping that you want, or even just with cheese, you can’t go wrong with pizza!

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In real life, drug dealers are people to be feared, reviled, and generally avoided as much as possible. In the movies however, drug dealers have free reign to be as despicable and as unsavory as they want, and we love them all the more for it! It is hard to imagine some of the most revered cinematic classics without the celebrity drug users that have made them so memorable. Here we pay tribute to some of the most endearingly–and enduringly–captivating drug dealers that have been immortalized on celluloid.

Reese Feldman (Starsky and Hutch)reese feldman

The mustachioed Russ Feldman is definitely one of the most memorable drug dealers on screen. with a line on some truly prime nose powder and all the accoutrements that come with being a drug dealer, Feldman presented a formidable challenge to Starsky and Hutch.

Rupert (The Rules of Attraction)

Cocaine was the drug of choice of the manic Rupert, and it clearly was his undoing. Nevertheless, for the glorious couple of hours that he paraded his bad self on the screen, he was pretty unforgettable.

Youngblood Priest (Superfly)

Back in the day, Youngblood Priest was pretty untouchable. Gifted with street smarts and bed smarts in equal measure, Priest was also the coolest drug dealer to have ever graced the screen. Then and now, Priest is as dangerously slick as they come.

todd gainesTodd Gaines (Go)

Who doesn’t love the psychotic Todd with the Santa hat and the unlimited supply of Ecstasy? Not the cops for sure, but like all drug dealers on and off screen, Todd definitely doesn’t care on bit…least of all on Christmas.

Henry Hill (Goodfellas)

Henry Hill started out pretty decently…as far as drug dealing gangsters go. Learning the ropes of the Mob business first hand, drug dealing was the inevitable course of action for Hill–and his eventual downfall.

Jay (View Askew)

Jay of “Jay and Silent Bob” fame might have seemed an unlikely choice for this list despite his performance in the View Askew flicks. Afar cry from the rest of the baddies in this selection, Jay nevertheless pulls off the whole “slacker-dealer” thing with off-hand aplomb.

Clarence (True Romance)

Few drug dealers start out planning to enter the business, and Clarence is no exception. As with most of them however, things turn south pretty quickly for our hero, which makes for some of the most gripping cinema involving the ghost of Elvis.

George Jung (Blow)Blow

Johnny Depp has numerous memorable roles to his credit, but this one should endear him to fans of the gritty, sleazy underworld. Navigating this sprawling tale of a legendary cocaine smuggler on the way up then on the way down–way down–Depp delivers a performance that will leave you entranced.

Danny the Dealer (Withnail & I)

Psychotic-manic drug dealers are a dime-a-dozen, but Danny somehow brings a little extra something to the proceedings. From outrageous conspiracy theories to chilling threats delivered in a terrifyingly flat monotone, Danny is as wicked as they come.

Tony Montana (Scarface)

Words won’t do justice to the legendary Tony Montana, so we won’t even try. Suffice it to say that for a cinematic drug kingpin to somehow supersede even the considerable talents of Al Pacino makes him special indeed. A legend through and through.

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FBI Director James B. Comey

Marijuana and the FBI have never gone hand in hand. But the nation’s top law enforcement agency may have to change that fact if it wants to defeat cybercriminals.

FBI Director James B. Comey said the Bureau needs to attract the brightest minds to win the war on cybercrime. But many of them like to smoke pot, and the FBI may have to loosen its zero-tolerance policy on the drug, he said.

FBI Director James B. Comey
FBI Director James B. Comey

“I have to hire a great workforce to compete with those cybercriminals, and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” Comey said May 19.

The FBI, he said, is “grappling with question right now” of whether and how to change the agency’s pot policies. Under those rules, no one who has smoked weed within the last three years is eligible to work for the Bureau.

Congress has approved 2,000 new personnel at the FBI this year, many working on cybercrimes. And many of the country’s best programmers and hackers like to toke, as Comey acknowledged to the White Collar Crime Institute, a yearly legal conference held in New York.

One attendee asked Comey about a friend who had decided not to apply for an FBI position because of the marijuana rule. “He should go ahead and apply anyway,” Comey replied.

Cybercrime has become a major focus for the FBI in recent years. On May 19, the agency launched a massive international cyber-raid, busting the creators of software that allowed hackers to hijack hundreds of thousands of computers around the world.

On the same day, the Justice Department filed charges against five Chinese military officers, accusing them of hacking U.S. companies in search of trade secrets.

In recent years the FBI has turned increasingly to the programming community for help in combatting cybercriminals and cyber-terror. But hackers and law enforcement don’t mix well, especially when it comes to marijuana law.

The FBI’s hiring process is stringent and is the same regardless of an applicant’s field of expertise. Applicants must have clean criminal records and must take lie detector tests with questions about their recent drug use. Failure to pass the polygraph leads to permanent disqualification.

The Bureau last eased its marijuana policies in 2007. Old rules barred anyone who had tried weed more than 15 times in his or her life from becoming an analyst, a programmer, or a special agent. That limit was removed, as long as applicants haven’t toked within the last three years.

The FBI, Comey said, has “changed both our mindset and the way we do business.” The agency operated less “in-box” than it had before, he said.

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