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These were the weirdest weed news stories of 2021

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Meet the winners of Leafly’s 2021 Doobious Achievement Awards

Oh, 2021. We had high hopes for you. After surviving The horrific approached In 2020, we figured 2021 will be full of vaccinations, in-person reunions, parties, singing, mask-burning, and a return to old normal.

Yes, not much.

In the cannabis world, we’ve seen an explosion of new hemp-derived cannabis products trickling into illegal cases. MJ Biz Con is back in Las Vegas. New Jersey, Connecticut, and Virginia passed legalization laws. Mississippi and South Dakota found ways to subvert legal votes.

Through it all, here at Leafly we’ve noticed the weird, weird, and weird moments in cannabis. We like to collect it every year in what we call, in reference to Respected magazine, we have the Doobious Achievement Awards.

Jerk of the Year: US Anti-Doping Agency

In early July, world sprinter Sha Carrie Richardson was suspended from the US Olympic team and denied the opportunity to compete in the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for THC. The American athlete was expected to be one of the shining stars of the Summer Games.

Shari Richardson: She’s the victim, not the fool. But she’s so amazingly cool that we decided to post a picture of her instead of the idiots who kept her from the Tokyo Olympics.

Richardson admitted that she was using cannabis to get over the loss of her mother just days before the Olympic track trials in June. This made no difference to USAID officials, who declared the banned substance a banned substance.

Richardson’s appeal was denied, and the games continued without her.

For extending the war on drugs and getting Sha’Carri Richardson dirty for no good reason, the US Anti-Doping Agency wins Doobious Achievement for the 2021 Jerk of the Year.

Jerk of the Year (runner-up): Joe Biden

President Biden's photo
President Joe Biden: Zero for 2021 on drug reform. (AP Photo/Patrick Simansky)

When Sha’Carri Richardson’s position arose, President Biden could have used it to point out the absurdity of US marijuana laws. Instead, he said, “everyone knows the rules that are being followed.”

“The rules are the rules,” Biden said. “The question of whether the rules should remain is a different matter, but the rules are the rules.”

Biden’s comments came a few months into his administration Reportedly suspended and/or solicit resignations from young White House staff who have admitted to using legal cannabis in the past in legal states.

Near the end of 2021, Biden took the time to pardon two Thanksgiving turkeys, but he couldn’t be bothered to pardon one of the peaceful marijuana inmates trapped in federal prisons.

For doing nothing to repair the damage inflicted on him as a drug warrior, President Joe Biden is the runner-up for the 2021 Doobious Achievement Awards.

Facepalm Product of the Year

Picture of canna pitfalls is one of the marijuana products that can be inhaled
Industry-wide outrage over a “sniffable” cannabis product may have caused its manufacturer to withdraw it. (Photo from live THC marketing material)

It was hard to find a product more ridiculous and disgusting than him Kana bumps, cannabis powder that was meant to be… fun? …because it can be smelled like cocaine.

Tough pass.


Great idea, Canna Bumps: Thanks for keeping marijuana illegal

Your herbs may be strong, but is Nairobi strong?

Image from newsmax-anchor-greg-kelly
Greg Kelly, cautionary tale teller.

In March, Newsmax anchor Greg Kelly published the year’s most unusual little memoir about weed. In a fictional twist on the old “don’t do drugs” line, Kelly claimed to have once taken marijuana – and after losing consciousness for four days, woke up in Kenya.

2021 Florida State Champion

Florida, man. (Photo courtesy of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office)

In February, 22-year-old Matthew Lytham, whose distinguishing feature is a silhouette of Florida tattooed on his forehead, arrested in the Tampa area after calling 911 late Saturday night to order a home delivery. The responding officer offered to call Lytham for a taxi, but the man from Florida refused. Instead, walk away and call 911 repeatedly to Uber itself home via the county’s emergency response system.

Then the officer arrested Lytham and took him to prison. His person searched for a small amount of cannabis. So Lytham was charged with misuse of the 911 system and possession of marijuana.

To which we respond: Not even this stupid Florida man should face penalties for carrying a little weed.

Honestly, this is not a bad idea

Mike Tyson's photo
World champion and cannabis ambassador? Why not. (Photo by Associated Press/Kamran Gebreli, File)

Lupine Lowe, Malawi’s Minister of Agriculture, wrote to former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, ask him To be an ambassador for the cannabis crop for East Africa.

Malawi legalized cannabis in 2020.

“Malawi may not act on its own because the industry is complex and requires collaboration. So I would like to designate you, Mr. Mike Tyson, as an ambassador for the Malawi Cannabis Branch,” Lowe wrote.

We are still waiting for a response from The Champ.


Is it even possible to smoke 40 thousand dollars of weed in a month?

2021 was a big year for workers’ rights, trade unions, and boycott of solidarity. When workers at the Frito-Lay Topeka, Kansas, plant began a strike to end forced overtime and 84-hour workweeks, union-supporting stonemason workers were in trouble. What do you do when you start snacking?

The company has practically a monopoly on snacks, after all. Funyuns, Cheetos, Doritos, Smartfood, Lay’s Potato Chips, Rold Gold Pastries, Cracker Jack, Grandma’s Cookies: all made by Frito-Lay.

Except that Cheez-Its is made by Nabisco, which—wait! There was a union strike at the Nabisco plant in 2021 as well. Sorry. It all got very confusing at 11pm in the mini mart.

We waited two years for this?

After a year-long hiatus due to a worldwide viral pandemic, MJ Biz Con, the cannabis industry’s largest annual trade fair, returned to Las Vegas in October.

Thousands embraced the opportunity to meet face to face. Friendships and deals are revived. But this year’s show was overzealous for a few attendees who decided to re-enact Remnants.

Writer Rachel Gordon clearly capturing The Problem: “Many people…have described various scenes showing individuals drunk, aggressive, or rude (both male and female), ranging from brothers bragging about their time to classless attempts to lure their acquaintances into legitimate bloodshed.”

This viral video of a fight on the trade show floor seems to capture the ugly mood:

The worst weed hide of 2021

Reddit’s r/Justrolledintotheshop thread is a non-stop take on Stranger Things mechanics. This year they added a new skeleton movement. The mechanic wrote: “Technical advice for stupid people.” “Don’t store your herbs on top of the filter, which clogs your intake, go ahead and haul it because it stops…”

The mechanic took this shot:

Picture of a bag of weed in a car engine
Do not do this.


8 of the best cannabis storage jars

Latest poll: 54% of Republicans support legalization

The Republican President of South Carolina, Drew McSick, issued a statement claiming that “Democrats want to stir up crime and health problems by legalizing marijuana.”

McKissick emphasized that Colorado supposedly experienced a rise in crime, poor health, and suicidal thoughts, which “made worse when the state decided to legalize marijuana.”

None of McKissick’s claims were true.

His statement came as South Carolina’s Republican Governor Henry McMaster made positive comments about the possibility of medical marijuana legalization, and polls found that more than half of Republicans nationwide favor legalization.

“If you play stupid games, you will win stupid prizes,” Makisik added.

actually. Drew McKissick, your 2021 Doobious Achievement Award awaits pickup at the Leafly front desk.

Now this is actually a stupid game

Japan today She reported that a team of four YouTubers in Osaka tried to monetize viral videos of busted street cannabis sellers.

The video team arranged to meet the merchants on a street corner, reported to Osaka Police, and then filmed the merchants being arrested. This seemed to hit the video producers as a fun joke.

In the end, the cops got wise to this scheme and arrested the idiot YouTubers.

nj weedman's car picture
It is not illegal to drive on a sweet ride.

New Jersey voters adopted the legalization of adult use in November 2020, but state policemen saw no reason to stop pestering residents about weed. They continued to arrest people on petty charges, until Governor Phil Murphy signed the new law in February 2021.

One of those caught: New Jersey Weidman, naturally. The longtime law enforcement attorney, also known as Ed Forchion, was pulled over for driving the iconic Weedman Pot Trooper SUV (pictured above) late Saturday night.

The cop ended up arresting Weidmann over what Fortune said was two grams and two vapes. The policeman confiscated $9,000 in cash.

“This was a street robbery by the Wanak Police Department,” Fortune told a reporter. New Jersey 101.5.

“This guy started talking about the gate theory,” Fortune added. “He started talking about kids and heroin. He didn’t like me. He didn’t like Weedmobile.”


“NJWeedman” is no joke. He is the pioneer of cannabis in New Jersey.

I don’t think this word means what you think it means

Picture of Charlie Kirk talking
Charlie Kirk, pictured speaking on a college campus in Minnesota earlier this year. (AP Photo/Jackson Forderer)

It always amazes us when right-wing hardliners assume that conservatives don’t enjoy cannabis. (correct fact: a lot does.) In June, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk Gone In a strange rant against weeds during a conference in Dallas.

“We live in a place where you can, literally, deliver weeds to your front door. It’s like, ‘What?’ And somehow, Kirk said, ‘Oh that’s freedom.'”

Kirk then added, “No, that’s actually slavery!”

Subsequently, Kirk retracted his original claim… er…: “Oh, well… that’s what it looks like [of slavery]; It’s kind of submissive to something that’s already controlling you. That’s not you free.”


Freedom, Jobs and Freedom: How Cannabis Became a Conservative Problem

That was really the spirit of 2021

Finally, a tip from writer Jamila Lemieux, who captured 2021 perfectly in this tweet.

Bruce Barcot

Leafly’s editor, Bruce Barcott, oversees news, investigations, and featured projects. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and author of Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America.

View articles by Bruce Barcot

Grow guide for marijuana beginners.

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