GRANDPA GANJA’S EMPORIUM
Evan Keliher ©2006
EXT. DAY. SHOT OF POT CLUB.
A legal medical marijuana dispensary in a L.A. storefront
building in a rundown part of the city. There’s a Hells
Angels club on one side with bikes in front, a bar on the
other side, etc. The window has posters of pot leaves,
tokers, etc., and a large sign overhead reads Grandpa
The place is adorned with pot stuff including posters, lots
of pot leaves, brochures, smoking paraphernalia, T-shirts
and mugs, etc. The furniture consists of a table laden with
baggies, scales, an opened kilo of pot, and assorted
doodads. There are display cases with various pot products
for sale, cash register, etc. Several small tables and
straight-backed chairs are scattered about and a few easy
chairs and a couch are in evidence. A small table with
coffee 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 scattered
patients relax with coffee and joints. Two regulars share a
large hookah and becloud the air. The air is always smokefilled;
passersby often stick their heads in the door and
inhale several gulps of pot smoke to catch a contact high
before staff can catch them.
BETH, a brunet in her late thirties and wheelchair bound
with MS, is at the long table where she’s filling eighthand
quarter-ounce baggies with pot from a kilo on the
table. Blind EARL eats a cookie with coffee and two
unmoving chess players sit motionless in background; they
Late for what?
Not for, from. The hearing.
Oh. Maybe that’s good news.
How is that good news?
Because if it’s bad news we haven’t
heard it yet.
Then that means if we never see him
again it’s even better news?
At least it wouldn’t be bad news.
We’re going to have to cut back on
our pot, Earl. That almost makes sense.
No can do. If I cut back on my
pot I could go blind, you know.
Yeah, right. We wouldn’t want that
Is that sardonic?
No, it’s . . . Hey, there’s Grandpa!
Not a minute too soon, either.
GRANDPA enters carrying briefcase and nods and waves to
patrons as he moves to the table.
What’s the verdict?
If it’s not good news we’ll have to
shoot your ass, Gramps.
It’s D-Day. If we don’t make the cut
we’re out on the first.
That’s not good news.
(gropes for place
to put cup)
I’ll get my gun.
That’s only sixteen approved clubs in the
whole city. Are the fascists winning?
Naw. It’s just a skirmish. They close us
down and we’ll go underground. Never
give our real names, work only at night,
sign a distribution deal with the Hells
And end up in the slammer for life
without parole when the feds show up.
You need three strikes to get life
I do but you don’t. Look how they
handled that crack cocaine law.
They gave white coke users a pass and
sent black crack users away forever.
Nobody’s going to jail…
(sees NUNS approaching
Ah, we have two Sisters visiting
How can you tell they’re sisters
just by looking at ‘em?
By their habits.
Man, they must have some mean
habits if you can see ‘em with the
The NUNS enter. They peer about apprehensively. Organ music
swells. 1st nun carries a metal Poor Box under one arm.
Good afternoon, ladies. And how
are we today?
Well, that’s what we wanted to see you
…the bishop isn’t doing all that well…
…or the Mother Superior, for that
…and some of the Sisters have been
under the weather lately, as well…
(thrusts papers at GG)
…so these are doctors’ letters for
everybody at the Blessed Bleeding
Stigmata parish. It seems we all have
1st NUN (cont’d)
some health problem that’s covered
by the state medical marijuana law.
riffles them, mutters)
And quite a coincidence, too, I
might add. I mean, that you should
all be sick at once.
We think it’s the Devil’s work…
…or those Republican bastards.
These letters are all signed
by the bishop. Isn’t he a doctor
Okay, that’s close enough. What do
A pound of Mexican, six ounces
of Panama Red, four ounces of
sinsemilla and six ounces of
Kentucky Blue Grass.
Man, that’s two pounds of grass! You
guys must be partying down over there.
Oh, it’s not all for us. We pipe
it into the confessionals to put
the sinners at ease.
You give free pot to sinners?!
Hey, I’ll confess to anything.
Where do I sign up, Sis?
How does it help to turn the sinners on?
It’s hard for stoned people to
lie, that’s how. Get a sinner
stoned and he’ll confess to sins
he didn’t even know he committed.
I still don’t see…
It’s simple. We’re an order of flagellant
nuns. If one’s sins are truly
egregious, we work him over with…
She produces a multi-lash whip from her habit and snaps it
with a flourish.
You give away free pot and
Forget it, Earl. You have to be
Two pounds of life-saving pot
baggies from stock
Mexican weed straight from
Guadeloupe. Good stuff. Only 200
bucks an ounce.
Four sinsemilla, 6 Kentucky,
6 Panama Red.
That comes to an even $4800.
(box on table; letters
POOR BOX on it. Takes
out roll of cash)
Uh, isn’t that money supposed to
go to the poor?
Only 10%. The rest is overhead.
Jesus said you’ll always have the poor
If you didn’t your poor box deal
would go belly up.
Forty-five, six, seven, eight.
On the nose. Tell the bishop I
said hi and I hope the pot
cures his, uh…
(looks at letters)
We can have him say a mass for
you for another baggie of Kung
Pao, if you like.
Uh, no, that’s okay. I’d rather
smoke it myself and take my chances.
We’ll be back when we run low
on, uh, medicine.
(with a smile)
She means next week.
The NUNS leave as organ music rises and fills the air.
Music fades with next lines.
There must be an epidemic over at
Remind me not to go to go there
Yeah, somebody should tell those guys
about the 5th Amendment. I say if you
can’t remember a sin, it doesn’t count.
It works for Wall Street. Nobody
laid a glove on any of ‘em.
What about the panel? We need a plan.
I’ve got a plan. I invited the panel
to come here this afternoon to
see our operation. We’ll stack the
deck on ‘em, claim we’re something
we’re not, rig it so we look
better than we are.
So we copy the Republicans, then?
Do you think they’ll fall for it?
They’re average Americans; they’ll
buy anything. Over half of ‘em
voted for Bush, didn’t they?
You need an angle, Gramps. Stupid
alone can’t cut it.
He’s right. These guys are politicians.
They’ve seen more angles than a
You know me. I’ve always got an angle.
Look, I’ve got some stops to make. Can
you guys handle the lunch hour crowd?
No problem. We just need a few more
eighths and quarters and we’re set.
Call these people and have ‘em here at
three. Tell ‘em we’re giving out free
I’ll be back by 2:30.
Don’t hurry, man. I could run this
I’d like to see that.
So would I—or anything else.
GG leaves and BETH moves to the table and starts weighing
baggies as EARL pulls pot from a kilo and stuffs it into
The music is softer now, the guitarist silhouetted against
the sun-emblazoned window as BETH speaks.
Is it true what they say? That
blind people have extra senses
to make up for being blind?
Oh, sure. We sense all kinds of stuff.
Take you, now. I see a blonde
girl with blue eyes. And a pretty
smile. Tall like a model. And all
natural; no makeup.
(she’s brunette with
brown eyes, plump,
and nicely made up)
A pretty girl with a soft voice.
I knew it!
What about me? How do I look
I see a tall, good-looking man
with a nice smile and a good
sense of humor.
And a good friend.
(reaches out and puts
her hand on his)
For almost a year now.
They hold the pose for a long moment and then both draw
back and assume a more businesslike mien.
We’ve got baggies to fill. The
lunch crowd is on its way.
Pot for lunch.
That’s what they mean by high noon.
(feeling for roach
in the ashtray)
But first I need my vitamins.
A man can’t be too careful when it
comes to his health, you know.
(picks up roach)
Pot’s better than vitamins; nobody
ever got high on beta carotene.
BETH applies clip, lights the roach, hits it and hands it
to EARL. He takes a hit and smoke eddies in the air around
them as music rises. CAMERA on 2/3 baggies of pot. DISSOLVE
and back on pile of 20 or so baqgies. The door opens and
DOC enters wearing scrubs.
No time to parley, Beth.
(trembling hands up)
My Parkinson’s kicked in again and
I’m in the middle of a tricky heart
operation. I need to steady down here.
Pot will make you steady, Doc.
I know lots of long-term smokers
who are so steady they can hardly
move at all.
CAMERA angle on chess players in background.
Hey, maybe that’s the cause of a
catatonic state. You smoke too much
pot and all your parts seize up.
Can’t be, Doc. Earl here hasn’t
come down since 1993. He’s smoked
enough pot to keep Rip Van Winkle
in that coma.
What’s the matter with you, Earl?
You ruined my theory. Now we’ll
never learn the truth about catatonia.
(reaching for baggie)
Here, try some Panama Red. A hit
of this will stop rigor mortis
from setting in.
(fills pipe with
Got the heart out. Got to be careful
I don’t drop it again.
Well, a bloody heart is pretty
slippery, you know.
Besides, it didn’t hurt it any.
‘Course, it didn’t help it much
when the nurse went to pick it up
and kicked it across the room.
But it’s okay. We rinsed it off.
DOC lights his pipe and takes a mighty hit, holds his
breath, and slowly puts a trembling hand out and we watch
it steady down in seconds.
There. You saved yourself a trip to
(counting out bills)
It’s a miracle of modern medicine—
4,000 years old.
DOC grabs his baggie of weed, hurries out, and almost runs
over 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, smoke
eddies. EARL sits at the table with coffee when GG enters.
I’m back, Earl.
(checking time on wrist)
Two-thirty sharp! You may be a stoner
but you’re punctual, Gramps.
(gets cup of coffee,
You make those calls?
They’re on the way right now.
What’d you want all those people for,
Dressing. We have to dress the stage.
(baggie up, fills pipe)
Beth still here?
We ran out of cookies so she’s baking
Mailman BOB enters.
Mail call, boys.
(looks in bag, inhales
pot smoke covertly)
How you doing, Bob?
I’m good. Can’t complain.
You’re doin’ a great job, Grandpa.
A real public service.
(inhales covert breaths)
Somebody should tell our asshole
Doesn’t work. You can’t tell assholes
(doling out mail)
They closed most of the clubs
around here. Used to be three of
‘em on my route ‘n now there’s only
you guys left.
(sneaks another hit)
Nope, it’s not here.
What are you looking for?
My MacArthur Foundation grant. They
give ‘em out this time of year.
They do? Maybe I should go home and
check my mail.
Say, that’s a hookah, isn’t it?
(approaches it, stands
in cloud of smoke)
Also called a hubble-bubble, a narghile,
and a water pipe. Want a hit?
Uh, no, thanks. They won’t let mailmen
smoke pot, you know.
Go ahead, man. We won’t tell anybody.
(fanning smoke into his
face & taking deep breaths)
No, I better not. Thanks, anyway.
(opens bag and fans
smoke into it)
BOB backs toward the door and he takes big gulps of smoke
as he goes. Smokers watch him go.
Can they do that?
Tell a guy he can’t smoke pot?
Only in a totalitarian state.
So that means…?
They resume smoking.
BETH enters from backroom with boxes of cookies on her lap.
Both boxes are identical; one has regular cookies and the
other pot-filled cookies.
Fresh from the oven.
Plain ones and designer cookies
for those with discriminating taste.
I have discriminating taste.
So you have, Earl. And I’m going to
reward you with a free cookie.
(opens box, gives
it to him)
You gave me a plain cookie, didn’t
(puts box on coffee
table, other on shelf behind
Yes, I did. I figured you wouldn’t know
the difference and I could save 10
What about when I eat the cookie
and don’t get high? You ever
think of that?
But you’re high all the time, Earl.
The only way you’d notice any
difference is if you came down for
And that’s why I gave you a plain
Now this is some shit. Tricking a
blind man. I’ll bet you’re
not gonna give me my 40 acres and a
mule, either, are you?
Are you still carping about that?
It’s a 150 years ago. We thought
you’d forget about it by now.
You’re right. If we ever get 40
acres they’ll be in the goddam
desert—and they’ll give us a used
The door opens and two guys enter carrying boxes of
Ah, the caterers are here.
It’s for our guests. I told you I
had an angle and this is it.
Set ‘er up right here, boys.
Got more coming. Shrimp, crab cakes,
So that’s your plan. You’re gonna
wine ‘em and dine ‘em, eh?
More than that. We’re talking chemical
Isn’t chemical warfare against
the Geneva Convention?
Naw, it’s the same as torture. Bush
said it’s all right as long as
we don’t kill anybody.
I thought Bush was a Christian.
He is—and that’s the problem.
Torture has always been very
popular with Christians.
According to Bush, the Inquisition
was a grand idea and perfectly legal.
(to 1st Caterer)
You brought the shrimp sauce, did you?
Coming up, Jefe.
An attractive spread adorns the table now with food
You’ve outdone yourself,
Grandpa. It’s a meal fit for
a panel of pot judges.
It’s bait for our trap is what
The door opens and invitees begin arriving. One guy has a
bloody bandage around his head, another has a neck brace,
another is in a wheelchair, one on crutches, etc.
We’re having a party! Come on
in! Fred! How’s it going? Hey,
Marsha, thanks for coming!
Sneak me some of the shrimp
before these freeloaders get at ‘em.
Good idea. Come on.
She and EARL close in on the table while others socialize.
After a minute, GG calls for their attention and outlines
Folks, this is two events in
one. A party for our friends—
that’s you guys—and a scheme
to get city approval for our
club. The panel is due any
minute and we have to convince
‘em to choose us for the last
Now, when they get here act like
this is a regular thing, like
we’re one big, happy family—and
smoke lots of pot. I want clouds
of smoke so thick you can cut it
up in chunks and carry it home
in a paper sack. I want…
(a VOICE sings out,
Okay, look like you’re having fun!
People mill about, talk, laugh, smoke, etc. The PANEL
members enter and stagger back from the onslaught of highgrade
pot smoke. GG grabs Councilman PLOTT by an elbow and
steers him into the club before he can duck back outside.
Council members HAZARD and SLOOTER fan smoke away as they
In the party scene smokers blow puffs of smoke at the
unsuspecting panelists so they’re inhaling great gulps of
smoke from the start.
Fire! Somebody call 911!
There’s no fire, Mr. Plott.
A little fog seeped in here,
Fog? I’ve never seen fog so thick
you could cut it into chunks and
carry it home in a paper sack.
(fans smoke away)
I should have worn a mask.
(aside to BETH)
That or plastic surgery.
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.
You do seem to have lots of sick people
They’re all patients, Ms. Slooter.
Each one has a doctor’s letter
on file here. We stay completely
within the law.
(big ledger on table)
Our books are open for inspection,
(opens book, slams shut
as Plott leans in to
check it out)
Yes, sir, we run an up-front operation
here. Nothing to hide.
Are you having a party?
Oh, no. We do this every week
for our patients. We figure it
helps morale, you know, gives
‘em a lift. Isn’t that right, Jack?
Yep, every Thursday like clockwork.
How long have you been doing this?
What’s this? One in a row?
(eyeing JACK’S plate)
Say, all of a sudden I’m starving!
Mind if I have a few of those shrimp?
Please, help yourselves. We love
Panelists move to the table and begin eating everything in
sight as the pot kicks in.
My, the crab cakes look…
right & left)
What was that?
What was what?
I thought I saw something.
You did but it wasn’t what you
thought it was.
(on fourth shrimp)
This is the best shrimp I’ve
ever tasted! And the sauce!
CAMERA on bottle of popular shrimp sauce on end of table as
BETH covertly picks up the bottle and hides it.
I feel…funny. Like I’m in a strange
Have a glass of Chablis, Ms.
Hazard. It goes well with the crab
PLOTT laughs and others laugh with him and thoroughly
stoned heads come together under the unifying influences of
the noble marijuana bush. All eat and inhale smoke and have
a wonderful time. The panelists join in and a real party
breaks out with all the usual attendant features.
By three-thirty the panelists are utterly stoned and unable
to do enough for their gracious hosts. PLOTT has just
finished telling an inane anecdote that everyone finds
totally amusing and GG figures the time is ripe to lock in
that last permit.
(they’re on first
name basis now)
…about that permit for the club…
For the club. Remember?
Oh, we gave all those out.
Uh, no, there was one more left.
Remember? I spoke to you this morning…
He’s right, Tom. We were going to
it to those gypsies but we couldn’t
find where they live.
Go on, Tom, give it to ‘em.
Maybe they’ll let us come back
for the parties.
Sure, why not? I like your style,
Grandpa. You’ve got a good heart
and I like the way you treat your
patients. You get the last permit.
That’s great, Tom!
You hear that everybody? The
panel has voted to give us the
last permit! We’re still in business!
Crowd cheers and high-fives each other and all light fresh
joints and further becloud the air and their minds.
Have you got a paper sack?
I want to take some of this fog
home with me.
Get the lady a paper sack.
BETH looks on the shelf behind the table and finds a paper
sack some of the food came in. She gives it to Slooper.
Here you go, Ms. Slooper.
SLOOPER takes the sack, opens it, and proceeds to catch
smoke in it. Helpful others obligingly blow smoke in the
sack as she holds it open and she closes it and twists the
top shut. Everyone applauds and she grins broadly.
(aside to PLOTT)
Tom, I think some of the ladies
have had too much Chablis. Let’s
have Jack drive you guys back to
Sure, Grandpa. Better safe than
CAMERA on trio as they leave stoned out of their minds. All
wear wide grins and appear stoned. JACK guides them toward
GG, et al, raise a mighty shout, clench fists, high-fives
We did it, boys! Grandpa Ganja’s
Emporium is risen like the Phoenix!
Beth, give everybody an eighth
of Panama Red on the house!
All cheer and CAMERA draws back on a scene of joy and