2021 was a relatively good year for cannabis – all things considered, with numerous countries and U.S. states moving forward with legalization and regulations, legal sales reaching record highs, an unprecedented amount of public figures and the general population coming out in support of the plant, and money flowing into research and the industry as a whole like it never has before.
However, there is still a lot to be done. Roughly 40,000 Americans are still incarcerated for cannabis-related offenses, and millions all over the world are still lacking access to much needed medicine.
As we walk into 2022, here’s a look of what 2021 has left us in the cannabis world, according to Twitter. Below are some of the most popular tweets of the year, as measured by the amount of likes and retweets they got.
The year started with former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo promising to “legalize cannabis and create an equitable adult-use cannabis program in NYS.”
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The rollout would prove to be slow, but his successor, Kathy Hochul, would ultimately get the job done.
During the United States Capitol attack, a man lit up a joint in the Capitol, and one photographer’s commentary went viral: “When countless citizens lost voting rights to criminal offenses over marijuana possession, a White man trespasses onto the lawmaking chambers of the supposed free nation and lights a joint to parade his privilege. Read that as many times as you need to.”
Even before the assault on the Capitol, things were getting political.
Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta had also highlighted the hypocrisy of America’s marijuana laws: “There are folks in prison right now for a bag of weed, while Trump sits in the Oval Office committing crimes with the help of government employees.”
However, some preferred to keep it light: “The UK doesn’t deserve to be an island. It’s not hot, it’s not happy, I can’t smoke weed legally and our lakes are brown.”
And others took any chance they got to take a swing at Elon Musk.
February took off with some people making early New Year’s resolutions.
Others challenged Senator Amanda Chase’s (R-Virginia) outdated views on marijuana.
Jim Belushi went viral by simply suggesting we legalize cannabis.
And it seems like the good people of New Jersey listened.
March kicked off with another Belushi viral. This time, it was comedic, even though the artist is a well known advocate for criminal record expungement and takes the issue of cannabis very seriously.
Also committed to social justice, Alec Karakatsanis, founder and executive director of Civil Rights Corps, made headlines after shining a light on the injustices and racial biases of our criminal justice system.
Other notable supporters of legalization that month were Senatorial candidate Charles Booker.
Ohio State Senator Nina Turner.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.
And Ilhan Omar.
Meanwhile, the injustices proliferated. Around mid-March, Marvin David Scott III was killed by the police while in custody over a marijuana charge.
Oh, and throughout the month, some nice stuff from Seth Rogen.
From his weed and house goods brand, Houseplant.
To the vinyl records to accompany the herb in question.
To pictures of him in cool attires.
In April, Rep. Barbara Lee took a stand.
“Steve Urkel” actor Jaleel White launched his own brand.
Snoop was getting ready for 4/20
While others shared sound advice for marijuana’s haters.
On the unofficial weed holiday, 4/20, people once again reminded us that many still rot in prison while we have fun.
And others took advantage to push a good cause: vaccination.
May was sort of a slow month on the cannabis twitterverse. But, hey, the “vegan chef guy” made some cannabis infused cannolis.
Wiz Khalifa took a massive bong hit on camera.
One guy wondered what it would be like to smoke in a Mario universe.
And, of course, the injustices continued.
In June, NBA player Alex Caruso was arrested in Texas for possession of marijuana.
Rapper Curren$y reminded us weed is there for us, always.
Someone had a great idea regarding weed and credit scores – probably while high.
Seth Rogen smoked up with Conan O’Brien.
George Wallace was in charge or reminding us there are still 40,000 people in jail in America for cannabis.
And Bernie Sanders had a fine exchange with our esteemed Politico colleague Natalie Fertig.
Summer storms hit hard this year. On July 2nd, Sha’Carri Richardson tested positive for cannabis.
Here’s what she said about it.
While WADA authorities condemned her, ultimately disqualifying her from the Olympics, the public and her sponsors came out in her support.
Others called for more support.
Some highlighted the hypocrisy of it all.
And even politicians weighed in.
AOC highlighted that “The criminalization and banning of cannabis is an instrument of racist and colonial policy.”
Finally, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich pointed out the massive cost of prohibition, this time from an economic perspective.
August, September & October
August, September and October went by with no big viral tweets beyond some random commentary on Beyoncé.
A pretty sad story that, yet again, reminded us the system is all messed up.
And a couple pictures of Miley Cyrus playing with Machine Gun Kelly’s recent “I am weed” quote.
November finally brought back some action. On the 4th, rapper Noname suggested we smoke more weed.
Germany moved forward with legalization.
And Elizabeth Warren called on President Biden “to pardon everyone convicted of nonviolent federal cannabis offenses.”
The last month of the year started with some profound questions.
From this guy.
And this other guy.
As well as some early Christmas wishes.
Some gimmicks that, while fun, once again reminded us of the many people still in prison for a plan that’s legal in a very large portion of the U.S.
And yet another call on President Biden to legalize.
To close it up, Kevin Nash shared his Christmas plans.
And Unrivaled Brands’ Colin Landforce shared his motivational story. Check out the full thread.
Now that we’ve gone over the most viral cannabis-related tweets of 2021: Which one was the best? What do you think was missing in this list?