If you’re walking downtown today and seem to get caught up in some sort of impromptu, out-of-nowhere happy-people parade, or you wonder where that skunky scent is coming from only to realize you’ve been enveloped by a wisp of heavy white cloud, congratulations – you’re now an active participant in the yearly 420 festivities!
April 20th, better known as 420 or 4/20 in the circles that know such things, is the annual celebration of all things that surround and incorporate cannabis culture. That would include, yes, the smoking, vaping, ingesting and overall toking of cannabis-related products. It would also include the growing, cultivating and selling of a plant that is increasingly being shown to have many positive health effects besides the ones that a broad mainstream brush often paints it with.
Interestingly, and perhaps most relevantly, it’s also a time to look back on the prohibition of the plant and, specifically, America’s immoral – and failed – war on drugs.
Beyond the marches and the public speaking engagements and revelry in smoke houses, homes, restaurants, bars, streets and alleyways, the comic book medium – a medium historically rife with political and societal discourse – is in on the 420 action this year with the release of a new one-shot dedicated to the green plant!
Published by Image Comics and written by the team of Brian Posehn (Deadpool, The Last Christmas) and Gerry Duggan (Deadpool, Guardians of the Galaxy, Infinity Wars, Dead Eyes, Analog) and illustrated by Scott Koblish (Deadpool, Uncanny X-Men: First Class, Star Wars, Aquaman: The Becoming), The Secret History of the War on Weed is a one-shot publication that aims to hilariously tell a “lost chapter” from the war on drugs while illuminating the surreal, obscene and altogether absurd political motivations that brought that war to cannabis and the people who used/use the plant.
In the mid-1980s landscape that is The Secret History of the War on Weed, the uber-Republican commando, Scotch McTiernan, who is an absurd pastiche of the action movie star versions of Schwarzenegger, Willis and their acclaimed director, is brought in by the Nancy Reagan-esque First Lady to thoroughly and absolutely scorch all California cannabis farmers. Cannabis is the devil’s weed, you see, and the prevailing government is taking a bath in mid-term polls. The answer? Concoct a dastardly war against the green and all who serve it. But what happens when the hard-as-nails, war-hungry soldier, Scotch McTiernan, a man who hates whatever his government tells him to fight, gets his first ever hit of the dank?
The Secret History of the War on Weed is part Mad Magazine, part Judge Dread and all sorts of the best parts of underground, political comics. It’s an in-your-face romp through west-coast America and American history that pokes fun, entertains, shines a light and brings truth to a made-up war that over generations, has seen a disproportionate and negative economic and societal effect on, specifically, minority populations.
As we inch closer to federal legalization of the plant in the United States of America (we’ve already legalized it here in Canada), celebrate 420 in the way you feel best and most comfortable.
March. Toke. Eat. Drink. Talk. Or make the run to your local comic book shop and read The Secret History of the War on Weed – One Shot today.
There’s no better time to go green!