Mainstreaming Marijuana


The Showtime series Weeds entered its sixth season in August. The quirky half-hour comedy stars Mary-Louise Parker as the suburban widow Nancy Botwin, a California mom who makes her living selling marijuana. While the show took some surreal turns in recent years, the first two seasons depicted pervasive, unobtrusive, mostly harmless pot use on the cul-de-sac. 

While some conservatives chastised Weeds shortly after its debut for allegedly glamorizing drug use, the show's strongest plot lines use the pot-dealing-mom gimmick more as a vehicle to comment on the hypocrisies of suburban life, as when the alcoholic, Ambien-popping councilwoman Celia Hodes campaigns to make the town of Agrestic "drug free." Notably, the travails endured by Botwin, her family, and the show's main characters spring from the prohibition of pot rather than the drug itself. —Radley Balko