south park weed

South Park Can’t Stop Making Fun Of MedMen And Corporate Marijuana

Screenshot via South Park Studios

You would think writing 23 seasons of South Park could cause creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone to lose their fastball. But its season 23 premiere “Mexican Joker” showed that not to be the case. One of the biggest American marijuana companies probably wishes otherwise.

That’s because in its season 23 premiere South Park squarely aimed its punchlines at dispensary chain MedMen, lambasting the company’s allegedly shady business practices and political maneuvers. The episode continues the plot around Randy Marsh’s Tegridy Farms, a weed-growing operation Randy started to live a simpler life away from big-city problems like school shootings.

But in “Mexican Joker,” Randy has been seduced by the big profits in legal marijuana. He expands his operations to cover all of 420 Valley—an actual Colorado valley full of legal marijuana operations. When Randy learns his former South Park neighbors, now customers, have started growing their own cannabis plants, he becomes incensed. Randy claims these neighbors stole his idea. Their actions will negatively impact his children’s life, just not how you might expect.

“While you assholes were out screwing around, I went out and made a living!” Randy yells. “When you grow your own pot, you’re taking weed out of my children’s mouths!”

Stan, at the behest of his father Randy, petitions South Park City Council to ban home-growing in the town. “As the son of a proud American farmer, I’m concerned about what homegrow can lead to. People can grow weed wrong and poison themselves…wait, what?” Stan says, realizing how foolish the stance is.

As preposterous as Stan’s words sound—”Unscrupulous growers could use cheap irrigation and drown babies,” Stan says, clearly reading a statement prepared by Randy—it somewhat mirrors real life. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to legalize marijuana in New York, a bid that ultimately fell short, included a ban of home-growing cultivation. Cuomo got the idea from big marijuana corporations like MedMen, who advised the state on legalization and regulation strategies, including a section on “The Fallacy of Home Grow.” The corporations claimed home growing would sustain the black market, undermine law enforcement as well as public health, and cut into New York’s tax revenue.

South Park makes its criticisms literal when fictional executives claiming to represent “billion-dollar marijuana company” MedMen show up at Tegridy Farms. They heard of Randy’s push to ban home growing and want to help, while also protecting their financial interests at heart. “You seem to be fighting the same fight we are,” one MedMen exec states. The group shares a joint and laments all the drowning babies caused by home growers. Eventually, Randy gets down to brass tacks.

“So you guys want to team up and piggyback on the goodwill of the legalization movement for some good old-fashioned crony capitalism?” he says. “I’m totally in.”

Randy goes on to destroy all the home grows of South Park residents and watches his profits once again rise. Along the way he experiences existential crisis and pushback from his allies. “Weed isn’t supposed to be some money-grubbing business model,” Towelie says. “It’s a gift from God and not something to be exploited by some stupid towel.” (Randy is a stupid towel, according to Towelie; this is still South Park after all.) The episode ends with Randy, in a Godfather-like speech, boasting the spoils of his bounty.

This isn’t the first time South Park lampooned MedMen either. Earlier this year, the dispensary chain teamed up with director Spike Jonze and actor/activist Jesse Williams to produce a social justice campaign titled “The New Normal.” The commercial detailed America’s history of marijuana, and how its prohibition disproportionately harms lives, especially for communities of color. However, South Park’s parody of the commercial flips the script on MedMen.

“Our country did lose its way and begin a War on Drugs that was and still is just a war on people,” Randy narrates in the parody. “And then a bunch of young corporate banker types come along telling us we’re all in the ‘new normal,’ as they try to turn god’s green miracle into an easy buck for themselves.”

We can’t help but ask: How did Randy lose his tegridy along the way? If the season premiere is any indication, we’re sure we’ll find out—and the jokes on corporate cannabis will keep coming.

In its season 23 premiere South Park squarely aimed its punchlines at dispensary chain MedMen, lambasting the company’s allegedly shady business practices and political maneuvers…

Something New

South Park: Randy Marsh Finally Addresses the Weed Problem at Home

South Park’s 23rd season Halloween Special just had Randy Marsh addressing his marijuana problem in the worst way possible.

WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for South Park’s Season 23 episode, “Tegridy Farms Halloween Special.”

Randy Marsh has had a lot of trouble with his weed business, Tegridy Farms, in South Park Season 23. After cutting ties at long last with China, Randy’s tried branching out into the marijuana burger business, but his stupid antics and love for guns saw him come under fire for animal cruelty, endangering his operations. His family aren’t enjoying the business either, especially as he insists on keeping them on the outskirts of South Park so he can grow his cannabis in peace. However, with the town turning on them, Randy finally decides to address the family’s weed problem, except the person who’s thrown under the bus is his daughter Shelly — and for all the wrong reasons.

Shelly has been vocally against Randy’s morals and ethics since he had the idea for this weed plantation last season. His son, Stan, and his wife, Sharon, have enabled him and played along, but Shelly has repeatedly told him this idea is destroying the family. The oblivious Randy has done a lot of stupid things, including moonlighting as Lorde, but the way he sold out to China and even killed Winnie the Pooh to get in Disney’s good books, rank higher than usual, which is why Shelly’s lashing out at the entire family for allowing this descent into madness.

Early on in the episode, Randy keeps chastizing Shelly for her beliefs, telling her she has a “marijuana problem” in what’s a clear poke at the D.A.R.E. anti-drug campaigns in the ’80s and ’90s. She simply thinks weed smells bad and makes people “dumber than they already are,” but her dad keeps reminding her of its benefits. Still, the obstinate Shelly keeps wishing it were illegal again, further enraged by Randy taking her to an exhibit of ancient Egyptian artifacts at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. He does it under the auspices of a father-daughter outing where they could bond, but as he draws attention to the ancient Egyptians using hemp rope, Shelly’s enraged as she sees this was really another attempt to convince her about marijuana.

It comes to a head when she cooks up a chemical potion in their kitchen like an angry witch and douses his new weed strain, aptly titled “Halloween Special,” altering it. Randy and Towelie are stunned at her witch’s brew and think she’s gone too far, becoming a crazy, violent hag. When Randy refuses to drive Shelly to a book fair on Halloween night, as he thinks she should stay and hang at his weed party, she destroys the packaged Halloween weed, prompting her father to call the police in to put her in jail for the night. She’s placed in lockdown and in the slammer, the cops vilify her for her drug problem.

They stand with Randy, rallying because even though the Tegridy brand has taken a hit, they want weed to still remain legal and believe Shelly’s an evil activist. Randy gaslit everyone into thinking people like Shelly are the real problem plaguing South Park, and ultimately, they need to be conditioned into seeing the light. The issue doesn’t get resolved but seeing as the Halloween strain causes major chaos with the partygoers later on, there’s a sliver of a chance Randy might be coming around, though, sooner rather than later. Sadly, he’s already put Shelly to shame, and it doesn’t seem there’ll be any coming back from this.

Starring Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park Season 23 airs Wednesdays at 10 pm ET/PT on Comedy Central.

South Park’s 23rd season Halloween Special just had Randy Marsh addressing his marijuana problem in the worst way possible.