the wacky tobacky

Zany Washington Post Marijuana Story Contains Dangerous Levels Of Wordplay

Your Wonkette just gets high on life and America!Oh, Washington Post writer Emily Heil, we were going to make excuses for you, assuming you were some poor underpaid intern forced to churn out blog postlets for the Post’s “In The Loop” blog, which is different from all the other blogs the Post has, somehow, there’s probably a logic to it, but then we went to your author page and saw that you have been a journalist for ten years so we feel a need to take you to task for your latest post, about reefer marijuana users. It has so many puns and pot jokes packed into five paragraphs that it makes our head hurt — more than even smoking marijuana, which is an illegal crime, by the way.

So the young nerds who toil in D.C.’s various policy shops and government agencies enjoy playing softball against one another, for fun. (There was a brief kickball fad among these same people, but Wonkette hasn’t done any posts about that in like two years, so we’re going to choose to believe that that’s over?) And sometimes people who believe diametrically opposed things compete on the softball diamond, which is good for camaraderie and/or irony. So it was when the White House team, representing people who refuse to acknowledge that legalizing pot might be an even vaguely realistic goal, faced off against the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (i.e., crazed drug fiends). This is obviously worthy of extensive journalistic coverage, but was it really worth the following list of terrible marijuana jokes? Was it worth it, Emily Heil?

  • “cloud hanging over the Mall last week”
  • “getting absolutely smoked”
  • “hello, Michael Phelps!”
  • “The One Hitters” (admittedly, this is the druggies’ team name, but still)
  • “the precious weed”

OK, that last one’s not so much a joke as “someone’s idea of what someone who’s high would say, about drugs.” But whatever, this is still journalism’s shame.

The article also notes that a team from the Office of National Drug Control Policy refused to play against the drug hippies last year. The head of this agency is colloquially known as the Drug Czar, a name derived from the title of an actual Russian dictator, and the team is called the “Czardinals,” which is unforgivable. Not “put tens of thousands of nonviolent drug offenders in jail for years” unforgivable, but pretty bad nonetheless. [WP]

About the author

Josh was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, leaving him with a love of chicken wings and a tendency to say “pop”. He taught ancient Greek and Roman history to undergraduates before fleeing from academia in terror; worked for a failed San Francisco dot-com that neglected to supply him with stock options or an Aeron chair; lived in Berlin, where he mostly ate Indian and Ethiopian food; finished in third place on his sole Jeopardy! appearance (the correct answer was “Golda Meir”); and was named 2007 Blogger of the Year by The Week, for obvious reasons. Josh is the creator/editor of COMICS CURMUDGEON (which you should read) and does geeky editing and writing about geeky things such as "the Java programming industry for JavaWorld." He lives in Baltimore with his wife Amber and his cat Hoagie.

View all articles by Josh Fruhlinger
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      1. stncmchnc

        I'm melting!
        That's what I get for making Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the wicked witch of transvestites, my avatar.

  1. mormos

    Americans support the full legalization of Marijuana 56% to 36%. (8% undecided). Just some numbers.

    1. Negropolis

      Where did you get those numbers from? I think the last numbers are I saw were much closer, something like 50/46 for.

  2. Come here a minute

    What was Emily Heil smoking when she thought that blog post would be a good idea?

    1. CivicHoliday

      It's called research, my friend. She wrote this while high to better understand the issue.

  3. ChernobylSoup

    The following exchange actually took place in real life:

    Me: "So what do you think about efforts to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana?"

    Deputy DEA Director: "That just wouldn't be fair to the families of agents who've been killed during drug raids."

      1. Butch_Wagstaff

        "We lost a lot of fine men to those gun-totin', weed-growin' hippie hillbillies in Kentucky."

    1. BornInATrailer

      Please tell me you asked whether it would be fair to future agents that wouldn't be killed in drug raids?

    2. BarackMyWorld

      Pot dealers are totally the guys with the personal armies and elaborate distribution networks.

    3. Negropolis

      Makes you wonder how many users and dealers have been killed in the drug war? No. Then fuck you very much, Mr. Deputy DEA Director. Honestly, you hear answers like this and you know how warped their minds really are because of this war.

    4. notreelyhelping

      That's almost exactly the same response hard chargers used to trot out when arguing about withdrawing from Vietnam War. Not ironic, I suspect, but hard wiring.

  4. coolhandnuke

    … and the team is called the “Czardinals,” which is unforgivable.

    "Drug Czar Us" is a less forgiving team name.

    1. coolhandnuke

      Forty-two years to the day, Dock Ellis of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitched a no-hitter with a brain full of LSD.

  5. SayItWithWookies

    I think Ms. Heil's puns are a smokescreen so she can bogart her opinions instead of passing them around.

  6. Mumbletypeg

    I find Ms. Heil guilty of overindulging her craving for cheap wit, failure to yield to common sense, visibly under the influence of bad self-editing.

    1. Buckminster

      Any journalist who has only himself (or herself) as an editor is doomed to be a laughing stock. Especially if he or she writes while stoned or drunk.

    1. ph7

      Weed-filled lots can get you through times of no baseball better than baseball can get you through times of no weed-filled lots.

  7. actor212


    And it's a long drive down the left field line….and it drops into the weeds! She took a hit deep and high, I tell you whut! She's rounding first and digging hard for second, puffing hard the whole way. The left fielder picks up the ball and heaves a shotgun blast to the second baseman who applies the tag annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd….SHE'S SAFE! She's in there with a doobie! I mean, double!

    1. TribecaMike

      They'll stone when you wanna pick your nose
      They'll stone when you clean your panty hose
      They'll stone when you demand equal pay
      They'll stone you and they'll say go away

      But I would not feel so all alone
      Everybody must get stoned

  8. Jus_Wonderin

    I remember, me and a few friends were sitting out back one night. Some how we got on to discussing a nosey neighbor who quite literally couldn't visit his east wall as it was my west "fence". So I decided it would be cool to paint a mural on his wall of him peering out at us while we smoked and joked.

    Weeeeee Laaaaughedddddd!

  9. edgydrifter

    If you can hit, catch and accurately throw a ball while "high," you need to find a better supply.

    1. Baconzgood

      In High School I'd always toke up before I played ice hockey, and even in between periods if I could sneak away.

      1. edgydrifter

        Doc Gooden liked to powder his nose. It probably made his game better. Now, Dock Ellis was the man, and the exception that proves the rule. Anybody who can dose up, step onto the mound in front of 80,000 melting technicolor faces and pitch a no-hitter is OK in my book.

        PS: TODAY is the 42nd anniversary of that glorious game. If there is a field of dreams somewhere out there, I hope Dock is trippin' balls on it right now.

  10. wondering where i am

    And meanwhile over at the New York Times site comments sections all those earnest upper West Siders with their books and glasses and gray hair want drugs legalized like yesterday.

    1. TribecaMike

      "Hanging is too good for a man who makes puns; he should be drawn and quoted."

      — Fred Allen

  11. randcoolcatdaddy

    Students for Sensible Drug Policy?

    If it was a bunch of guys that the DEA had sent to prison on drug charges playing in the game, then I'd pay to see that…

  12. MiniMencken

    Emily looks pretty smokin' hot in her on-line photos, but, to be blunt, that may not be a proper way to gage her. Are still still rollin' with me? Good, 'cause I think the Washington Post is one of our finest papers, after Zig Zag, Bambu and E-Z Wider. Don't toke this wrong, but I would love to have a chance to play with Emily's buds and then hemp her… Oh, yeah…

  13. Opportunisticly_Joe

    the team is called the “Czardinals,” which is unforgivable

    That is pretty unforgivable. "Czar" doesn't even have the hard-C sound that you would need to make this a "Cardinals" pun. Instead, it's a soft C, which makes "czardinals" sound like it has something to do with sardines.


  14. tessiee

    Let's be blunt.
    I don't want to be the pot calling the kettle black, but Nancy Reagan is a dope, and the paranoia about drugs that she started should be stamped out like a weed. It's not just a case of thinking that the grass is greener on the other side; it's observable fact that places that have legalized marijuana have a higher quality of life. I think both sides of this issue should come to a joint agreement, and then let the church bells announce that agreement by ringing out with a loud bong.

  15. KenLayIsAlive

    dude, why waterboard terrorists. just lock them in a room with this chick and Alison Petri while the two of them drink mad amounts of coffee and hash out an original RomCom script

  16. TribecaMike

    Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman report that they have just returned from the year 2030, where reefer possession and growing is totally legal, but smoking the weed remains illegal because in a national referendum voters decided the high was a lot more fun that way.

    1. sati_demise

      But you can eat cheap healthy hemp oil on your salad because it is grown in the USA. And then we didn't need Monsanto.
      Ot Pharma.
      Or Big Oil.

      Or Paper & Cotton.

      And we all lived cheaply and biodegradably ever after.

      1. TribecaMike

        My grandfather was a union organizer for the United Steelworkers at Monsanto in the 30's, 40's, and 50's, and had the scars to prove it. Screw those clowns.

  17. rocktonsam

    weed and wordplay, don't try this at home you guys, ever, except with George Carlin.

  18. crybabyboehner

    If making light of draconian laws that ruin innocent lives is what it takes to advance someone's career in "journalism," so be it.

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