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Don't Call Cannabis "Weed" Or "Pot," Say Uptight Ganjapreneurs

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Stephen Colbert was just trying to enjoy the 50th anniversary of "420" when his buzz was harshed by news that uptight businesspeople are working to cancel some of the most-used slang terms for America's favorite herb. Colbert #ALateShow #Monologue

Video Transcript

STEPHEN COLBERT: Hey, everybody. Welcome, welcome, ladies and gentlemen to A Late Show. I am your host Stephen Colbert. Today was a very tense day. And this is a very tense time for America for a host of reasons. And if you're looking for a way to take the edge off, may I remind you it is 420.

Now, for those of you not in the know, 420 is the one day a year weed smokers celebrate smoking weed every other day of the year. And this April 20th, is the big one, because today 420 turned 50. 50. That means it's old enough to sneak off into the garage while the kids are at soccer practice and smoke half a joint. But then it has a panic attack so it spends the afternoon on the couch drinking water and watching QVC. Far out, man.

This is the 50th anniversary because back in 1971, a group of California High School students used to gather to smoke pot every day at 4:20 PM. Admirable punctuality for a group of kids who are always high. These kids were nicknamed the Waldos. Ah, Now, Where's Waldo makes a lot more sense. It's about a guy in a nightcap who never changes his clothes and has no idea where he is. Although, looking at those eyes I think he might have moved on to cocaine. If anyone's looking to find him, I bet he's with Don Junior.

Now, 420 looks a lot different than it did 50 years ago. Mostly due to the burgeoning legalization effort. In fact, as of today it's at least partially legal in states like Chill-Inois, Grass-Achusetts, Baked Alaska, and IO-Want-To-Smoke-Some-Weed. My writers take 420 very seriously. In the latest polls, 91% of US adults say marijuana should be legal in some form, including 60% that approve of recreational use, and more than 4 in 10 cannabis users believe 420 should be recognized as a national holiday. OK, that's insane.

I mean, there's no holiday for drinking, other than Saint Patrick's Day, Sante de Mayo, New Year's Eve, the day before Thanksgiving, the 4th of July, and the whatever day this is. But if you marked 420, please be sure to watch your language. Because some people in the marijuana biz would rather you not call it the marijuana biz. As one potrepreneur puts it, "The term marijuana is a Mexican slur. Although it is tolerated when combined with the word medical for specific purposes, medical marijuana." OK. If you say so. It does seem weird that the offensive term is OK if it's medical. The CDC doesn't encourage women to do self-bazonga exams.

We can still call cannabis weed though, right? Wrong. According to another stoned industry insider "Weeds can be ugly and destructive." Come on. The plant is a weed. If you don't believe me, let's check in with the most famous gardener in the world. Sir, is marijuana a weed?

- It's a weed.

STEPHEN COLBERT: Thank you. But to the wake and bake crowd, who are now all woke and boke, weed is out. According to the same buzz-selling buzz-shackler, we also can't say pot. Because pot is short for potacion de guaya, an alcoholic beverage that means "drink of grief." Actually, I'm pretty sure drink of grief is the slogan for Jagermeister. One ganjapreneur said "Any term applied to cannabis other than cannabis is negligent and abusive behavior that we abhor." We're not allowed to use any slang? I got to say these people seem pretty uptight. If only it was legal for them to take something that can help them chill the fuck out.

Of course, there's a lot of different ways to celebrate 420. In Michigan the artist Afroman, known for his song Because I got high, will be performing a 4/20 concert at the M-40 Speedway in Newburg Township. But there's one hitch.

- Even though it's a pro-pot concert and recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan, it's not going to be allowed on the property. Because organizers were not able to get a permit in time.

STEPHEN COLBERT: I can't believe someone who smokes a lot of pot didn't get something done in time. Of course, this forced Afroman to make some small adjustments to his biggest hit.

AFROMAN: "I was going to play my hit, but nobody's high, we failed to get necessary permits, now nobody's high. It's like Groundhog Day if the Groundhog had just died. Wow, man. It's 4/20 and nobody's high and nobody's high and nobody's high. It's a township issue. It's a local ordinance but we gotta comply. Come on, check it out. I requested the permit, filled it out, but forgot to reply. How bout I play "Let's all get drunk" another hit of mine--

- There will not be any alcohol or marijuana at the event.

AFROMAN: Shows over.

STEPHEN COLBERT: Whether or not you celebrate 4/20, mine trips might be the only ones Americans are taken anytime soon. Because yesterday the State Department announced they were going to update their advisories. Raising the number of countries listed at level 4, do not travel to 80%. I've got bad news for the college kids who are hoping to study abroad. You can't go to Barcelona. You're going to have to finish the semester in Cincinnati.

For a year now other countries have been banning us. Now, the tables have turned. And the CDC says, "International travel poses additional risks and even fully vaccinated travelers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new COVID-19 variants." America's back, world. You can't break up with us if we break up with you first. And we're winning this breakup. We're posting selfies on the beach with our new boyfriends. That's right, we're in a polyamorous relationship with Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson, and his Johnson. There's more new big COVID news. You can stop Cloroxing your groceries, because yesterday in a phone call the CDC acknowledged what scientists have known for months. "The risk of contracting the virus from touching a contaminated surface is less than 1 in 10,000."

In unrelated news, anyone looking to buy a box of wipes? I traded a kidney for these last April. According to the CDC, frequent cleaning of surfaces is not nearly as important as measures like mask wearing, physical distancing, and washing your hands. But disinfecting "may be used to give people a sense of security that they're being protected from the virus," something experts call "hygiene theater." Which brings me to my new segment--

[MUSIC PLAYING] Hygiene Theater.

To bleach or not to bleach, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to swiffer the floors and windows of infectious surface, or to take wipes against a sea of doorknobs, and by opposing cleanse them to die. To disinfect no more, and vaccine.

This has been Hygiene Theater. [MUSIC PLAYING]

Speaking of great acting and COVID protocols, the Oscars are coming up on Sunday. And unlike other awards ceremonies this year, Hollywood's biggest night will be Zoom-free and in person. A disappointment for anyone who was hoping to see Dame Judi Dench chowing on Buffalo wings in her sweatpants. To ensure everyone's safety, the Academy is requiring everyone to get tested and to wear masks occasionally. Because yesterday they announced that "attendees will not be asked to wear face masks when they're on camera." Smart. Everybody knows you can't catch a disease on television. What do you mean I have chlamydia? We always use a camera.


End scene. They're getting away with the going mask-free because the ceremony is categorized as a TV production, which has different rules than normal gatherings. As one producer put it, "The ceremony will 'feel like a film." Which means this year's Oscars could be nominated for next year's Oscars, only to lose to Mank 2, Infinity Mank.

Speaking of cartoonish villains, there's been more news from My Pillow CEO and Tom Selleck dragged from the bottom of a river, Mike Lindell. Since the election, Lindell's whole deal has been pushing voter fraud conspiracies, which led to him being sued by Dominion Voting Systems for $1.3 billion, as well as being permanently banned from Twitter. Which means now Twitter users have to get all of their linen closet based conspiracy theories from the serta sheep.

- Hillary drinks lambs blood.

STEPHEN COLBERT: But Lindell sprung back like memory foam, announcing plans to launch his own social media website, which he billed as a hybrid of YouTube and Twitter. Developing a new digital platform is a natural next step for Lindell. How much more technically advanced can internet communication be than stuffing foam into a cloth bag? The name of his new network, Frank. Really, Frank? My Pillow Talk was right there. The whole point of "Frank" is supposed to be "free speech." However, this site prohibits swear words, porn, or death threats. So his internet site prohibits the internet.

Well, yesterday was the big launch right into the toilet. Because the platform constantly crashed and users were unable to create accounts or access the homepage. I don't understand how the My Pillow IT department shanked this one. Fellas, next time just try flipping the website over to the cool side. We've got a great show for you tonight. My guest is Cher. But when we come back, Meanwhile. Join us, won't you?