I’m not a Rastafarian or a Dead Head, but I still consider April 20th (4/20) a bona fide counter-cultural holiday worthy of celebration. The date has become synonymous with marijuana and coincides with concerts, “smoke-outs”, and even academic retrospectives worldwide. Indeed, societal mores have softened since the paranoid days of Reefer Madness, making “The Devil’s Herb” an appropriate topic for exploration.
In the spirit of 4/20, I’m highlighting a theory I’ve been considering over the past few years, one that connects the scourge of Camp Crystal Lake to a large-scale guerilla grow operation. It’s my assertion that Jason Voorhees is a pot farmer.
Jason’s relationship with marijuana (and those who partake) seems contrary to this theory, as stoners in Friday the 13th movies almost inevitably meet with the business end of a machete. There seems to be a moralistic agenda at play, one that punishes those who participate in illegal consumption of drugs—especially when they should be watching young campers who might be drowning in the lake.
This seems to be the case in the 2009 reboot, as well. Directed by Marcus Nispel from a script penned by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, Jason makes short work of several eager weed tokers (among others). This specific chapter of the Friday franchise, however, breaks with tradition in several ways; one could be Jason’s relationship with marijuana.
I invite all Friday fans and 4/20 enthusiasts to take this challenge: Re-watch 2009’s Friday the 13th accepting the premise that Jason is a weed farmer. As outlandish as it may sound at first, everything falls into place with surprising validity. Let’s review:
The opening act of Friday the 13th sees a group of hikers looking for a rumored field of marijuana, somewhere in the vicinity of Camp Crystal Lake. They tromp noisily through the woods, making them easy for Jason to notice. But he doesn’t make his first kill until a camper stumbles into the weed patch. If we accept that this is Jason’s crop, we see he only resorts to murder when someone’s caught in the act of theft. Jason’s decision to kill the rest of the campers (except for Whitney) may certainly have been an over-reaction, but he could have been acting under the assumption that they were all a potential threat to his business. The world of drugs can be ruthless after all.
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The next obvious question involves how the following group of victims ran afoul of Jason; while the film’s main batch of horny teen definitely includes stoners, none of them invaded the Voorhees “farm”. If Jason’s only motivation is protecting his crop from interlopers, why hack and slash the rich kids at the cabin? It all comes back to weed.
After the First Act, Jason’s next victim is the redneck working on a machine in the dilapidated barn. Immediately preceding his dispatch, he offers to sell Jenna and Clay some weed, some really good stuff that he claims he “found”. He’s obviously another thief (at least in Jason’s mind) which is why he was slaughtered. The fact that Clay and Jenna were seen with the marijuana burglar, unfortunately, made them guilty by association.
Jason’s not the sharpest tool in the shed but still, we can understand how he assumed these new arrivals were all after his crop (which was obviously just about ready to harvest). The kids wakeboarding on the lake: They had to go. Everyone else associated with Jenna: Assumed intruders who needed to be dealt with accordingly. Again, I agree Jason’s actions are extreme, but those operating guerilla grow operations aren’t your stereotypical happy hippies; even in real life, those attempting to infiltrate secret fields are likely to face physical danger.
So who are Jason’s clients? They obviously aren’t the tourists who briefly come and go. I propose they’re the elderly residents of Crystal Lake County: The woman who warned Clay “He just wants to be left alone,” for example. And the old man with the oxygen mask who almost rescued one of the teens: As soon as he saw Jason was on his trail, he sped off. This wasn’t because he was scared, necessarily; rather, he realized it was “business related”. Jason clearly supplied this fellow with marijuana to alleviate the pain of his lung cancer. The unseen, bedridden owner of the farm where Jason killed the redneck is also a client.
When you look at the life Jason lives in 2009’s Friday the 13th, you realize a source of income is necessary. Since he probably doesn’t deal with money, Jason most-likely barters with his customers. That’s how he has gasoline in his generator, light bulbs in his lair, food on his table, and how he landed that wicked machete sharpener.
Furthermore, Jason’s entire underground labyrinth wasn’t revealed and he certainly has enough room for an entire grow operation. The tunnels and rooms were surprisingly dry, making them the perfect place to dry and cure freshly-cultivated crops. Once dried and sealed, he could store stashes in a variety of locations. He could make clones, hybrids, and cultivate seeds in the offseason.
And while Jason would probably benefit from the calming, medicinal qualities of marijuana, he abides by the rules laid out by N.W.A in 1986: A dope man never gets high off his own supply.
I hope Shannon and Swift will be brave enough to one day reveal the truth. In the meantime, raise a bong to Mrs. Voorhees’ Baby Boy! And remember if you stumble across a wild marijuana field while hiking, leave that shit alone!