Trick-or-Toke: Halloween’s Anti-Pot Message [WEEDLY COLUMN]

Lean in close around this cyber-campfire so you may better hear a scary story, the likes of which will wake you up at night and compel you to toss your stash in fear of dreaded weed monsters (indeed, their hair may very well be dreadlocked – oh, the horror!).

About 33 years ago, a film about a certain knife-wielding individual named Michael Myers, who liked to go around stabbing babysitters to death, reared his ugly mask. Since then, it has spawned (and I feel I’m fairly justified in saying this) more sequels than were necessary. I mean, I’ll believe a monster can come back to life once, maybe even thrice, but 7 times? And with two remakes?? It’s completely unrealistic and possibly milked.

Back to the point. Remember the part in Halloween where Laurie and Annie are in the latter’s car, smoking a joint? Well, Mr. Myers was behind them receiving a contact high while getting his stalk on. It would seem like he’s not a fan of second-hand smoke.

You might not think the two babysitters’ act of smoking a joint played a big part in the movie, but riddle me this: who does Michael Myers end up slaughtering and chasing throughout the film? Annie ends up strangled and slit while Laurie barely manages to escape the stab-happy fiend, having to pop multiple caps in his masked face before he bites the dust.

My point is this: Michael Myers’ metacognitive role in the film Halloween was to “correct” taboo behavior, whatever it may have been, from the business end of his Bowie blade. It wasn’t to randomly go on a killing spree so that those viewing the film would jump at well-organized horror-camerawork.

Look at the dominant traits of the characters he deals death to. They act as promiscuous, hard-headed teenagers focused on drinking, screwing and having a general disregard for the rules. Smoking pot, correct me if I’m wrong, still to this day falls under that last one there, at least in the United States.

Busta never stood a chance...

We can consider the motivation for the creators of the movie to give Michael Myers such a role in two different ways. In the first, they simply use Michael to drive fear into viewers (who may be high even as they watch the movie) with the face-value suspense, blood and gore. This, however, seems too easy, although I’m sure it probably worked for the more paranoid audience members.

Now, Michael is supposed to be a homicidal psychopath who is unable to distinguish right from wrong. Without an understanding of any set of morals, how is it that the characters he kills tend to be like the ones described previously (seen by society as stoners, sluts and insubordinates) and not truly chosen at random? Perhaps the creators of Halloween wanted to show what the majority of American society deems is wrong, or out of line, through the traits possessed by Michael’s victims and their actions throughout the movie. In this way, Michael Myers is used as a correcting-mechanism for the unruly behavior the teenagers in Halloween display.

And look who doesn’t get stuck like a pig: Laurie Strode, the goody-two-shoes of the movie. Her adherence to the rules is paramount in this film, which is supported in part by her reluctance and innocence during the joint-smoking car scene. On the other hand, Annie is the one who produces the joint and initiates the debauchery of that scene and, sorry to spoil, Michael makes mincemeat out of her later.

If you weren't a paranoid pothead before..

So, whether Halloween’s purpose was to activate your nightmares later when you fall asleep or to bring to light a taboo issue of the time the movie was made, it imparts the message that marijuana was a no-no as far as most of American society was concerned.

In any case, watch out for monsters, cops and DEA agents this Halloween. And if you see someone dressed as Towelie, that’s me.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.