Watching Jon Stewart…On Weed


Jon Stewart signed off from “The Daily Show” for good, leaving many people weepy and wondering what they are gonna do without his brand of irreverent satire in our lives. I watched the finale with a group of cannabis advocates at the Leisure Public House following a Portland Women Grow event last night and it felt like we were watching an important moment in history and in all of our lives. People were snapping pictures of Stewart’s final episode and taking selfies, commemorating the event and I got the sense that folks were feeling the same feeling that I was: that we were losing a friend that has always been there for us, well he was there for us about 24 minutes a night, Monday thru Thursday when he wasn’t on vacation (which seemed like it was all the damn time!).

For many of us, Jon Stewart helped us mentally survive the George W. Bush Error or the fact that people actually believe anything said on Fox News. However, as a cannabis law reformer, I also couldn’t help but think that we were losing one of the the top marijuana legalization media platforms in the world. Having the nation’s top satirist on our side meant a lot to me and I imagine many members of the cannabis community across the nation. So in homage to his “enhancement smoker” character in the movie Half Baked (“Have you ever seen A Scent of a Woman…on weed?) I will note that I loved watching Jon Stewart…on weed legalization and reform as he skewered prohibitionists and even called Chris Christie a “narc”.

Some of the best segments watching Jon Stewart…on weed issues:

The great Dr. Carl Hart (and reason) versus Bill O’Reilly and Keith Ablow as they discuss the “marijuana-texting-industrial-complex”:

And the hypocrisy of The New York Times’ David Brooks…on weed:

The “Toker and Hooch” segment where Stewart skewers our nation’s treatment of marijuana compared to alcohol, with the priceless comment of Fox News’ Steve Doocy lamenting the fact that people can get “all potted up on weed”:

Classic interview with Willie Nelson: “How does someone who smokes that much pot get so much done?”

His take on New York “criminalizing soft drinks but decriminalizing soft drugs” where “Jon Stewart Tries to Figure Out What He’s Allowed to Put in His Mouth”:

The last 4/20 episode of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, which featured the segment “Uncle Johnny’s Super Kush, Totally Chillaxed, Sticky-Icky, Informative Marijuana News Report” where Stewart, with the help of CNN (one of his favorite targets) and correspondent Jessica Williams, demonstrates how cannabis law reform is a serious topic that has moved past the usual stereotypes. He ends the segment chastising the hypocrisy of “narc” Chris Christie who stated that, as president, he would crack down on states that have legalized marijuana while signing a New Jersey bill that legalized gambling:

And finally, “Your Moment of Zen”:

I don’t really even know if Jon Stewart has been known a a major marijuana law reformer by many (that is part of his greatness at it), but he clearly has been one of best in show business. Bill Maher makes great points, but he comes across as arrogant (or worse) many times, in my humble opinion, where Stewart is just more lovable. It doesn’t seem to me that Maher has reached the widespread cult status of Stewart (and I’m a big fan of Maher), possibly a byproduct of being on one night a week versus four; John Oliver, who I also love, will also probably have a hard time reaching the same pinnacle just because his brilliant show is only on Sunday nights. I don’t know how long it will take anyone to get to Stewart’s level, if ever (throwing that out there as a reverse jinx). I don’t know if his replacement, Trevor Whatever His Name Is, will be able to hold a candle (or lighter) to Jon Stewart, but we shall see as he has some big shoes to fill, not to mention a huge hole in our hearts. Thank you, Jon Stewart, you will be missed.

Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis le

ICBC Berlin April 11 & 12, 2017