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Published May 18, 2011 More Info »
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Published May 18, 2011
1GRANDPA GANJA’S EMPORIUM(1st Day)Evan Keliher ©2006EXT. DAY. SHOT OF POT CLUB.A legal medical marijuana dispensary in a L.A. storefrontbuilding in a rundown part of the city. There’s a HellsAngels club on one side with bikes in front, a bar on theother side, etc. The window has posters of pot leaves,tokers, etc., and a large sign overhead reads GrandpaGanja’s Emporium.INT. CLUB.The place is adorned with pot stuff including posters, lotsof pot leaves, brochures, smoking paraphernalia, T-shirtsand mugs, etc. The furniture consists of a table laden withbaggies, scales, an opened kilo of pot, and assorteddoodads. There are display cases with various pot productsfor sale, cash register, etc. Several small tables andstraight-backed chairs are scattered about and a few easychairs and a couch are in evidence. A small table withcoffee fixings and a box of cookies on it and a computer,printer, fax, TV set, etc., complete the furnishings.Clouds of pot smoke fill the ambient air as scatteredpatients relax with coffee and joints. Two regulars share alarge hookah and becloud the air. The air is always smokefilled;passersby often stick their heads in the door andinhale several gulps of pot smoke to catch a contact highbefore staff can catch them.BETH, a brunet in her late thirties and wheelchair boundwith MS, is at the long table where she’s filling eighthandquarter-ounce baggies with pot from a kilo on thetable. Blind EARL eats a cookie with coffee and twounmoving chess players sit motionless in background; theynever move.BETHGrandpa’s late.EARLLate for what?2BETHNot for, from. The hearing.EARLOh. Maybe that’s good news.BETHHow is that good news?EARLBecause if it’s bad news we haven’theard it yet.BETHThen that means if we never see himagain it’s even better news?EARL(shrugs)At least it wouldn’t be bad news.BETH(shakes head)We’re going to have to cut back onour pot, Earl. That almost makes sense.EARL(finishes coffee)No can do. If I cut back on mypot I could go blind, you know.BETH(dryly)Yeah, right. We wouldn’t want thatto happen.EARL(suspicious)Is that sardonic?BETHNo, it’s . . . Hey, there’s Grandpa!EARL(mutters)Not a minute too soon, either.3GRANDPA enters carrying briefcase and nods and waves topatrons as he moves to the table.BETH(apprehensively)What’s the verdict?EARLIf it’s not good news we’ll have toshoot your ass, Gramps.GG(grimly)It’s D-Day. If we don’t make the cutwe’re out on the first.BETHThat’s not good news.EARL(gropes for placeto put cup)I’ll get my gun.BETHThat’s only sixteen approved clubs in thewhole city. Are the fascists winning?GGNaw. It’s just a skirmish. They close usdown and we’ll go underground. Nevergive our real names, work only at night,sign a distribution deal with the HellsAngels…BETHAnd end up in the slammer for lifewithout parole when the feds show up.EARLYou need three strikes to get lifewithout parole.BETHI do but you don’t. Look how theyhandled that crack cocaine law.They gave white coke users a pass andsent black crack users away forever.4GGNobody’s going to jail…(sees NUNS approachingoutside)Ah, we have two Sisters visitingus, Earl.EARLHow can you tell they’re sistersjust by looking at ‘em?GGBy their habits.EARLMan, they must have some meanhabits if you can see ‘em with thenaked eye.The NUNS enter. They peer about apprehensively. Organ musicswells. 1st nun carries a metal Poor Box under one arm.GG(to NUNS)Good afternoon, ladies. And howare we today?1st NUNWell, that’s what we wanted to see youabout because…2nd NUN…the bishop isn’t doing all that well…1st NUN…or the Mother Superior, for thatmatter…2nd NUN…and some of the Sisters have beenunder the weather lately, as well…1st NUN(thrusts papers at GG)…so these are doctors’ letters foreverybody at the Blessed BleedingStigmata parish. It seems we all have51st NUN (cont’d)some health problem that’s coveredby the state medical marijuana law.GGHow fortunate.(takes letters,riffles them, mutters)And quite a coincidence, too, Imight add. I mean, that you shouldall be sick at once.1st NUNWe think it’s the Devil’s work…2nd NUN…or those Republican bastards.GG(reading)These letters are all signedby the bishop. Isn’t he a doctorof theology?1st NUNYes.GGOkay, that’s close enough. What doyou need?2nd NUN(reads list)A pound of Mexican, six ouncesof Panama Red, four ounces ofsinsemilla and six ounces ofKentucky Blue Grass.EARLMan, that’s two pounds of grass! Youguys must be partying down over there.1st NUNOh, it’s not all for us. We pipeit into the confessionals to putthe sinners at ease.6EARLYou give free pot to sinners?!Hey, I’ll confess to anything.Where do I sign up, Sis?GGHow does it help to turn the sinners on?2nd NUNIt’s hard for stoned people tolie, that’s how. Get a sinnerstoned and he’ll confess to sinshe didn’t even know he committed.GGI still don’t see…1st NUNIt’s simple. We’re an order of flagellantnuns. If one’s sins are trulyegregious, we work him over with…2nd NUN…this!She produces a multi-lash whip from her habit and snaps itwith a flourish.EARL(impressed)You give away free pot andfree whipping’s?GGForget it, Earl. You have to beCatholic.(to NUNS)Two pounds of life-saving potcoming up.(takes pre-wrappedbaggies from stockbehind him)Mexican weed straight fromGuadeloupe. Good stuff. Only 200bucks an ounce.(counts)Four sinsemilla, 6 Kentucky,7GG (cont’d)6 Panama Red.(punches keypad)That comes to an even $4800.1st NUN(box on table; lettersPOOR BOX on it. Takesout roll of cash)BETHUh, isn’t that money supposed togo to the poor?1st NUNOnly 10%. The rest is overhead.2nd NUN(piously)Jesus said you’ll always have the poorwith you.EARLIf you didn’t your poor box dealwould go belly up.1st NUN(counting)Forty-five, six, seven, eight.GGOn the nose. Tell the bishop Isaid hi and I hope the potcures his, uh…(looks at letters)…heebie-jeebies.2nd NUN(hopefully)We can have him say a mass foryou for another baggie of KungPao, if you like.GGUh, no, that’s okay. I’d rathersmoke it myself and take my chances.81st NUNSmart move.(starts out)We’ll be back when we run lowon, uh, medicine.2nd NUN(with a smile)She means next week.The NUNS leave as organ music rises and fills the air.Music fades with next lines.BETHThere must be an epidemic over atthe parish.EARLRemind me not to go to go therefor confession.GGYeah, somebody should tell those guysabout the 5th Amendment. I say if youcan’t remember a sin, it doesn’t count.EARLIt works for Wall Street. Nobodylaid a glove on any of ‘em.BETHWhat about the panel? We need a plan.GGI’ve got a plan. I invited the panelto come here this afternoon tosee our operation. We’ll stack thedeck on ‘em, claim we’re somethingwe’re not, rig it so we lookbetter than we are.EARLSo we copy the Republicans, then?BETHDo you think they’ll fall for it?9GGThey’re average Americans; they’llbuy anything. Over half of ‘emvoted for Bush, didn’t they?EARL(shakes head)You need an angle, Gramps. Stupidalone can’t cut it.BETHHe’s right. These guys are politicians.They’ve seen more angles than adiamond cutter.GGYou know me. I’ve always got an angle.(checks time)Look, I’ve got some stops to make. Canyou guys handle the lunch hour crowd?BETHNo problem. We just need a few moreeighths and quarters and we’re set.GGGood.(paper out)Call these people and have ‘em here atthree. Tell ‘em we’re giving out freesamples.(starts out)I’ll be back by 2:30.EARLDon’t hurry, man. I could run thisplace blindfolded.BETHI’d like to see that.EARL(ruefully)So would I—or anything else.GG leaves and BETH moves to the table and starts weighingbaggies as EARL pulls pot from a kilo and stuffs it intobaggies.10The music is softer now, the guitarist silhouetted againstthe sun-emblazoned window as BETH speaks.BETHIs it true what they say? Thatblind people have extra sensesto make up for being blind?EARLOh, sure. We sense all kinds of stuff.(beat)Take you, now. I see a blondegirl with blue eyes. And a prettysmile. Tall like a model. And allnatural; no makeup.(she’s brunette withbrown eyes, plump,and nicely made up)A pretty girl with a soft voice.Close?BETH(laughs)Pretty close.EARLI knew it!(beat)What about me? How do I lookto you?BETHI see a tall, good-looking manwith a nice smile and a goodsense of humor.EARLAnd a good friend.BETH(reaches out and putsher hand on his)For almost a year now.They hold the pose for a long moment and then both drawback and assume a more businesslike mien.11BETH (cont’d)We’ve got baggies to fill. Thelunch crowd is on its way.EARLPot for lunch.(laughs)That’s what they mean by high noon.(feeling for roachin the ashtray)But first I need my vitamins.A man can’t be too careful when itcomes to his health, you know.BETH(picks up roach)Pot’s better than vitamins; nobodyever got high on beta carotene.BETH applies clip, lights the roach, hits it and hands itto EARL. He takes a hit and smoke eddies in the air aroundthem as music rises. CAMERA on 2/3 baggies of pot. DISSOLVEand back on pile of 20 or so baqgies. The door opens andDOC enters wearing scrubs.BETHHi, Doc.DOCNo time to parley, Beth.(trembling hands up)My Parkinson’s kicked in again andI’m in the middle of a tricky heartoperation. I need to steady down here.EARLPot will make you steady, Doc.I know lots of long-term smokerswho are so steady they can hardlymove at all.CAMERA angle on chess players in background.DOC(an epiphany)Hey, maybe that’s the cause of acatatonic state. You smoke too muchpot and all your parts seize up.12GGCan’t be, Doc. Earl here hasn’tcome down since 1993. He’s smokedenough pot to keep Rip Van Winklein that coma.DOCWhat’s the matter with you, Earl?You ruined my theory. Now we’llnever learn the truth about catatonia.BETH(reaching for baggie)Here, try some Panama Red. A hitof this will stop rigor mortisfrom setting in.DOCGood, good.(fills pipe withtrembling hands)Got the heart out. Got to be carefulI don’t drop it again.EARLAgain?!DOC(defensively)Well, a bloody heart is prettyslippery, you know.(pipe up)Besides, it didn’t hurt it any.(beat)‘Course, it didn’t help it muchwhen the nurse went to pick it upand kicked it across the room.(match readied)But it’s okay. We rinsed it off.DOC lights his pipe and takes a mighty hit, holds hisbreath, and slowly puts a trembling hand out and we watchit steady down in seconds.BETHThere. You saved yourself a trip toLourdes, Doc.13DOC(counting out bills)It’s a miracle of modern medicine—4,000 years old.(starts out)Gotta run.DOC grabs his baggie of weed, hurries out, and almost runsover incoming crowd. A SERIES OF SHOTS of crowded room,smoking, chatting, laughter. People at tables with coffee,cookies, brownies. Several have canes, bandaged heads, etc.LATER. Crowd is gone, hookah smokers puff away, smokeeddies. EARL sits at the table with coffee when GG enters.GGI’m back, Earl.EARL(checking time on wrist)Two-thirty sharp! You may be a stonerbut you’re punctual, Gramps.GG(gets cup of coffee,last cookie)You make those calls?EARLThey’re on the way right now.What’d you want all those people for,anyway?GGDressing. We have to dress the stage.(baggie up, fills pipe)Beth still here?EARLWe ran out of cookies so she’s bakingsome more.Mailman BOB enters.BOBMail call, boys.(looks in bag, inhalespot smoke covertly)14GGHow you doing, Bob?BOBI’m good. Can’t complain.(looks around)You’re doin’ a great job, Grandpa.A real public service.(inhales covert breaths)EARLSomebody should tell our assholedrug czar.GGDoesn’t work. You can’t tell assholesanything.BOB(doling out mail)They closed most of the clubsaround here. Used to be three of‘em on my route ‘n now there’s onlyyou guys left.(sneaks another hit)GG(sorting mail)Nope, it’s not here.EARLWhat are you looking for?GGMy MacArthur Foundation grant. Theygive ‘em out this time of year.EARLThey do? Maybe I should go home andcheck my mail.BOB(spots hookah)Say, that’s a hookah, isn’t it?(approaches it, standsin cloud of smoke)151st SMOKER(exhaling smoke)Also called a hubble-bubble, a narghile,and a water pipe. Want a hit?BOBUh, no, thanks. They won’t let mailmensmoke pot, you know.2nd SMOKERGo ahead, man. We won’t tell anybody.BOB(fanning smoke into hisface & taking deep breaths)No, I better not. Thanks, anyway.(opens bag and fanssmoke into it)BOB backs toward the door and he takes big gulps of smokeas he goes. Smokers watch him go.1st SMOKERCan they do that?2nd SMOKERDo what?1st SMOKERTell a guy he can’t smoke pot?2nd SMOKEROnly in a totalitarian state.1st SMOKERSo that means…?2nd SMOKERYeah.1st SMOKER(mutters)Assholes.They resume smoking.BETH enters from backroom with boxes of cookies on her lap.Both boxes are identical; one has regular cookies and the16other pot-filled cookies.BETHFresh from the oven.(boxes up)Plain ones and designer cookiesfor those with discriminating taste.EARLI have discriminating taste.GG(takes boxes)So you have, Earl. And I’m going toreward you with a free cookie.(opens box, givesit to him)EARL(takes cookie,suspicious)You gave me a plain cookie, didn’tyou?GG(puts box on coffeetable, other on shelf behindtable)Yes, I did. I figured you wouldn’t knowthe difference and I could save 10bucks.EARLWhat about when I eat the cookieand don’t get high? You everthink of that?BETHBut you’re high all the time, Earl.The only way you’d notice anydifference is if you came down forfive minutes.GG(shrugs)And that’s why I gave you a plaincookie.17EARL(shakes head)Now this is some shit. Tricking ablind man. I’ll bet you’renot gonna give me my 40 acres and amule, either, are you?GGAre you still carping about that?It’s a 150 years ago. We thoughtyou’d forget about it by now.EARL(resigned)You’re right. If we ever get 40acres they’ll be in the goddamdesert—and they’ll give us a usedmule, too.The door opens and two guys enter carrying boxes offoodstuffs.GGAh, the caterers are here.BETHCaterers?GGIt’s for our guests. I told you Ihad an angle and this is it.(to caterers)Set ‘er up right here, boys.1st CatererGot more coming. Shrimp, crab cakes,Chablis…EARLSo that’s your plan. You’re gonnawine ‘em and dine ‘em, eh?GGMore than that. We’re talking chemicalwarfare here.18BETHIsn’t chemical warfare againstthe Geneva Convention?GGNaw, it’s the same as torture. Bushsaid it’s all right as long aswe don’t kill anybody.EARLI thought Bush was a Christian.GGHe is—and that’s the problem.Torture has always been verypopular with Christians.According to Bush, the Inquisitionwas a grand idea and perfectly legal.(to 1st Caterer)You brought the shrimp sauce, did you?1st CATERERComing up, Jefe.An attractive spread adorns the table now with foodartfully displayed.BETHYou’ve outdone yourself,Grandpa. It’s a meal fit fora panel of pot judges.GGIt’s bait for our trap is whatit is.The door opens and invitees begin arriving. One guy has abloody bandage around his head, another has a neck brace,another is in a wheelchair, one on crutches, etc.GG (cont’d)We’re having a party! Come onin! Fred! How’s it going? Hey,Marsha, thanks for coming!19EARL(to BETH)Sneak me some of the shrimpbefore these freeloaders get at ‘em.BETHGood idea. Come on.She and EARL close in on the table while others socialize.After a minute, GG calls for their attention and outlinesthe plan.GGFolks, this is two events inone. A party for our friends—that’s you guys—and a schemeto get city approval for ourclub. The panel is due anyminute and we have to convince‘em to choose us for the lastpermit.(beat)Now, when they get here act likethis is a regular thing, likewe’re one big, happy family—andsmoke lots of pot. I want cloudsof smoke so thick you can cut itup in chunks and carry it homein a paper sack. I want…(a VOICE sings out,They’re coming!)Okay, look like you’re having fun!People mill about, talk, laugh, smoke, etc. The PANELmembers enter and stagger back from the onslaught of highgradepot smoke. GG grabs Councilman PLOTT by an elbow andsteers him into the club before he can duck back outside.Council members HAZARD and SLOOTER fan smoke away as theyfollow GG.In the party scene smokers blow puffs of smoke at theunsuspecting panelists so they’re inhaling great gulps ofsmoke from the start.PLOTT(near panic)Fire! Somebody call 911!20GGThere’s no fire, Mr. Plott.A little fog seeped in here,that’s all.PLOTTFog? I’ve never seen fog so thickyou could cut it into chunks andcarry it home in a paper sack.HAZARD(fans smoke away)I should have worn a mask.GG(aside to BETH)That or plastic surgery.(aloud)It’s nothing, a little pot smoke,is all. Breathe all you like,there’s no charge for ambient smoke.It’s just medicine, after all.SLOOTER(looking around)You do seem to have lots of sick peoplehere.BETHThey’re all patients, Ms. Slooter.Each one has a doctor’s letteron file here. We stay completelywithin the law.GG(big ledger on table)Our books are open for inspection,sir.(opens book, slams shutas Plott leans in tocheck it out)Yes, sir, we run an up-front operationhere. Nothing to hide.HAZARD(eyeing food)Are you having a party?21GGOh, no. We do this every weekfor our patients. We figure ithelps morale, you know, gives‘em a lift. Isn’t that right, Jack?JACK(juggling plate)Yep, every Thursday like clockwork.SLOOPERHow long have you been doing this?JACK(perplexed. Looksat GG)What’s this? One in a row?PLOTT(eyeing JACK’S plate)Say, all of a sudden I’m starving!Mind if I have a few of those shrimp?BETHPlease, help yourselves. We loveto share.Panelists move to the table and begin eating everything insight as the pot kicks in.SLOOPERMy, the crab cakes look…(stops, looksright & left)What was that?EARLWhat was what?SLOOPERI thought I saw something.GGYou did but it wasn’t what youthought it was.22PLOTT(on fourth shrimp)This is the best shrimp I’veever tasted! And the sauce!Superb!CAMERA on bottle of popular shrimp sauce on end of table asBETH covertly picks up the bottle and hides it.HAZARDI feel…funny. Like I’m in a strangeplace…GG(offering wine)Have a glass of Chablis, Ms.Hazard. It goes well with the crabcakes.PLOTT laughs and others laugh with him and thoroughlystoned heads come together under the unifying influences ofthe noble marijuana bush. All eat and inhale smoke and havea wonderful time. The panelists join in and a real partybreaks out with all the usual attendant features.By three-thirty the panelists are utterly stoned and unableto do enough for their gracious hosts. PLOTT has justfinished telling an inane anecdote that everyone findstotally amusing and GG figures the time is ripe to lock inthat last permit.GG(to PLOTT)Say, Tom…(they’re on firstname basis now)…about that permit for the club…PLOTTPermit?BETHFor the club. Remember?PLOTTOh, we gave all those out.23GGUh, no, there was one more left.Remember? I spoke to you this morning…SLOOPERHe’s right, Tom. We were going toit to those gypsies but we couldn’tfind where they live.HAZARDGo on, Tom, give it to ‘em.Maybe they’ll let us come backfor the parties.PLOTTSure, why not? I like your style,Grandpa. You’ve got a good heartand I like the way you treat yourpatients. You get the last permit.GGThat’s great, Tom!(to others)You hear that everybody? Thepanel has voted to give us thelast permit! We’re still in business!Crowd cheers and high-fives each other and all light freshjoints and further becloud the air and their minds.SLOOPER(looking around)Have you got a paper sack?I want to take some of this foghome with me.GGGet the lady a paper sack.BETH looks on the shelf behind the table and finds a papersack some of the food came in. She gives it to Slooper.BETHHere you go, Ms. Slooper.SLOOPER takes the sack, opens it, and proceeds to catchsmoke in it. Helpful others obligingly blow smoke in the24sack as she holds it open and she closes it and twists thetop shut. Everyone applauds and she grins broadly.GG(aside to PLOTT)Tom, I think some of the ladieshave had too much Chablis. Let’shave Jack drive you guys back toCity Hall.PLOTT(grinning)Sure, Grandpa. Better safe thansorry, right?CAMERA on trio as they leave stoned out of their minds. Allwear wide grins and appear stoned. JACK guides them towardtheir van.GG, et al, raise a mighty shout, clench fists, high-fivesall around.GGWe did it, boys! Grandpa Ganja’sEmporium is risen like the Phoenix!Beth, give everybody an eighthof Panama Red on the house!All cheer and CAMERA draws back on a scene of joy andexuberance.The End2526272829