Waiting for Weed (2017)

Waiting for Weed is a short film about the ethical consumerism and institutional racism in the new age of legal recreational marijuana. Directed by Joe Derr. Written by John Paul Sharp. Starring Jason Dooley and Amy Youngblood, with Navia Panelo, Eric Singletary, Greg Beach, G. Mike West, and Tuna Tempeh. Produced by Writers and Actors Reading and Performing (WARP).

Download the Radio version of Waiting for Weed on Bandcamp!  The soundtrack also includes the original instrumentals used in the short film.

1. Waiting for Weed (Radio Version)
Music and Words by John Paul Sharp
Starring: Jason Dooley and Amy Youngblood, with Navia Panelo, Eric Singletary, Greg Beach, G. Mike West, and Tuna Tempeh. Directed by Joe Derr. 

Waiting for Weed

Six characters. Five people in a line, one in the wings. From left to right, we have BERTIE, ANGEL,
BRYANNE (pronounced BRI-EE-YAN), MAKENZEE, and JEFFERSON (mostly improvises). Everyone’s looking
down at their phones, except JEFFERSON who is staring off into space. BRYANNE is fiddling with their
bedazzled smart phone and sighs excruciatingly.

BRYANNE:
(stomps the floor with one foot, with a slow, painful slide back)
Heavens to Bae, why is this line not moving? What do you think is going on right now?
No one looks up from their phone.

BRYANNE:
(looks around at the people in the line)
No really, I’m talking to you people. What on earth is being decided in there? It’s fucking weed, like,
come and get it, right? (scoffs)

JEFFERSON breaks his gaze and slowly turns to BRYANNE.

JEFFERSON:
(flat)
It’s Black Friday.

Enters JESSTINE from the audience. JESSTINE notices BRYANNE and stops.

BRYANNE:
(impatient)
Well, yeah, okay. Of course it’s Black Friday, and you know I’m all about those three-dollar pre-rolls, but
it’s 8:05 and they were supposed to be open five minutes ago. This is re-DICK-you-loss.

BERTIE:
(turns around)
Hey, you know what-

JESSTINE:
(shouting, walking up to the line)
Now, I know that ain’t MISS BREE-ANNEBRYANNE:
(shouting back)
It’s BRI, like in BRIGHT. BRI-EE-YAN. But you already know this and you’re just trying to-

BERTIE turns back around, waving BRYANNE off.

JESSTINE:
Trying to what?

BRYANNE:
Whatever. How you doin’, gurl? You look GOOD today.

JESSTINE:
Don’t you try and act all cool like you ain’t in line here right now. Don’t be dumb, gurl.

BRYANNE:
(dramatic)
Three. Dollar. Pre-rolls? Are you fucking kidding me?

JESSTINE:
There is a perfectly fine weed store just down the street and you know it.

BRYANNE:
Oh, give me a break. You’re a real piece of work, sometimes.

JESSTINE:
Excuse me? Bitch, all I do is work for a living. I’m a whole mess of work. And here all you people are, in
line, at a store that doesn’t pay their employees jack-shit, don’t do shit for the community, don’t help all
the black people who grew up in this neighborhood and are sitting in jail right now for doing the same
goddamn thing this damn store is doing! At least my store down the street gives a damn!

BRYANNE:
Oh, you’ve just been looking at the headlines of too many Bipartisan Reports on Facebook. It’s all just
weed.

JESSTINE:
YOU KNOW I’VE STOPPED SHARING THOSE.

BRYANNE:
(low, taunting, patronizing)
I never said you shared them. But I know you still see them. (beat) What can be done?

MAKENZEE puts away their phone and interjects.

MAKENZEE:
I particularly don’t appreciate hearing the expression, “you people.”

JESSTINE:
Well, I

MAKENZEE:
Not really, though. You nothing.

JESSTINE:
I …

MAKENZEE:
Deals are deals. It’s Black Friday. What are you here for?

JESSTINE:
I was just walking down the street to the NEIGHBORHOOD weed store. Not the CORPORATE 1.2 million
dollars plus per month TAXABLE revenue weed store.

MAKENZEE:
Yeah, and so what? Corporations are able to give us the big deals because their big. Duh.

JESSTINE:
Did you even know that there’s a TEEN CENTER less than ONE HUNDRED walking STEPS from this line?
And DID YOU KNOW that the teen center has been around for a decade before this store ever existed

BRYANNE:
JESS, calm down, you’re embarrassing me.

JESSTINE:
It’s JESS-TINE, not JESS, not JUSS-TINE, it’s JESS-TINE.

ANGEL:
What a funny name. Is it real?

JESSTINE:
IS IT REAL? ARE YOU REAL?

ANGEL:
Woah – simmer down there, lady.

JESSTINE:
What’s your name?

ANGEL:
(proudly)
Angel.

JESSTINE:
Give me a fucking break. ANYWAY, the City of Seattle never even gave the Teen Center, a BLACK CHURCH, any kind of voice, or any kind of say in the matter. WHY? Because they knew they’d be making a ton of money. AND MONEY MEANS MORE THAN BLACK PEOPLE.

BERTIE:
Okay, I’m gonna’ have to stop everyone right there. Now, listen. It’s 8:10 am and this store is gonna open
in five minutes-

BRYANNE:
What? Who opens their store at 8:15 a.m.?

BERTIE:
They do. Now, don’t interrupt. That’s one of the problems of your generation. You all don’t listen much
and interrupt each other all the time and be distracted by everything all the damn time. It’s a wonder
you all could get anything done. No really, I’m serious, how in the world do you all survive?

BRYANNE & JESSTINE:
We smoke weed.
The line nods their head in agreement.

BERTIE:
Well, now, what can I say to that. But what I’m asking you all is, what are you all gonna’ do about
anything? This … active one over here (gestures to JESSTINE) … has a lot of gripes and complaints about a
whole lotta stuff. But. Whatcha gonna’ do about it?

JESSTINE:
I don’t shop here.

BERTIE:
And ya’ know what? You don’t have to.

JESSTINE:
Okay, well, I respect you, because you’re, you know … ol-der-ly, but I can’t say you have a very good
argument mostly because the source isn’t credible or trustworthy.

ANGEL:
Woah, hey, are you telling me this … person is a liar? I don’t think that’s cool, man, I don’t like that at all.
I’m just an innocent bystandard, but-

MAKENZEE:
It’s bystander. A person who is present at an event or incident but does not take part. And now, since
you’ve entered yourself into the conversation, you have stripped yourself of the right to be a bystander.

ANGEL:
You’re hot.

MAKENZEE:
Yes, and I’ve admittedly been fantasizing about you, but are you moldable? Are you safe? Are you just a
brute or a big teddy bear? (thoughtful beat) Or 90/10? (beat) 70/30? (slow grin) 30/70??

ANGEL:
(grin)
You talk funny. I like that.

MAKENZEE:
I know you do. Now come here, and let me size you up.

ANGEL moves down one in the line and MAKENZEE begins physically measuring parts of ANGEL’s body
parts with their own hands.

BRYANNE:
(to JESSTINE)
Good work, gurl! You got me one step closer to doubling down on as many prerolls as I can get for a
hundred dollars!

JESSTINE:
I’m not trying to help you get closer to buying weed from this store, I’m trying to get you to come with
me down the street.

BRYANNE:
I’m NOT interested!

JESSTINE:
Oh, c’mon-

BRYANNE:
WHERE’S THE DEALS? HUH?

JESSTINE:
Jesus, they have deals every day, you guys.

JEFFERSON:
I don’t appreciate being called a guy. It contributes to the overvaluing of masculinity in society and needs
to be stopped. (beat) You should be stopped.

JESSTINE:
I should be stopped? You’re the one ready to give all your cash away to a place that UNDERCUTS other
businesses! They opened a chain right across the street from another small business in Capitol Hill.
THEY ARE EVIL.

BERTIE:
What’s with all this they business, anyway? We’re all the same thing. We’re all human beings.

JESSTINE:
Oh, this is rich, coming from ole reliable over here.

BERTIE:
Excuse me, but my name is Bertie. And I don’t know how you have all the gumption to say that my word
is in question when you hardly know me from Flim Flam.

JESSTINE:
(grave)
Your generation can’t be trusted. “Do something about it” they say. “Stop complaining and work” they
say. But at the end of the day, DONALD FUCKING TRUMP, is our president and that, I think, we can safely
blame on the old.

MAKENZEE and ANGEL get closer and clumsily fondle each other, and JEFFERSON begins to record them
with his phone.

BRYANNE:
You’re so salty today. Gurl, let me get you something from inside once they open up.

JESSTINE:
I DON’T WANT ANYTHING FROM INSIDE THAT AWFUL PLACE! You’re all criminal for buying from here.
You aren’t helping. You’re just giving more money to corporate interests who don’t care about people,
and you’ll be smoking pesticides!!

BERTIE:
My generation did not get us into this mess. We all got ourselves into this mess together. There is no
magic line where suddenly people act and behave and think differently because they happened to be
around earlier or later. It just doesn’t work like that. Now, yes, there are times when major stuff happens
and the world freaks out. There was the Depression, WWII, Vietnam, all kinds of stuff to mess up a
generation. Now we have 9/11, 11/8, and really, just about every day of 2016. And we’re gonna’ get
through this, together. (beat, gestures to MAKENZEE AND ANGEL) See? Look. They’ve already gotten
started.

BRYANNE:
I don’t know. Things are looking kind of grim right now. One of my besties was telling me the other day
that she grew up being told by her parents and church leaders and stuff that the End of Days were
coming in her lifetime. (beat) They were pretty sure about it.

JESSTINE:
That’s the problem. All these people in love with the end of the world. It’s almost like the older
generations are so obsessed with killing the planet and everyone and everything.

BERTIE:
Well it’s all the young ones buying tickets to see those movies. Just saying.

JESSTINE:
IT’S CORPORATIONS WHO MAKE THOSE MOVIES.

BERTIE:
You need Jesus.

JESSTINE:
NO YOU NEED JESUS! I’VE HAD IT!

JEFFERSON points his phone away from the groping duo and starts filming JESSTINE.

JESSTINE’S SOLILOQUY:
Everything just seems like it’s gotten way the fuck outta’ control and there’s nothing and no one to do
anything about it. Even when you think logic and reasoning will win over fear and hatred, you see, every
time, that fear and hatred are more consumable. People don’t want to deal with anything. We’re like
ants, except we’re very unfocused and we only care about ourselves. No one communicates anymore.
We just call each other names and find fake news to prove what we believe. We are doomed.

BERTIE:
Oh, look. They’re opening.

BERTIE, MAKENZEE, ANGEL & JEFFERSON make their way off stage. BRYANNE is just behind.

JESSTINE:
Bryanne. Are you coming with me or not.

BRYANNE:
(pauses to think)
If you’d give me like five fucking minutes, I could get my prerolls and then, YES, come with you to check
out your little store or whatever.

JESSTINE:
Okay. That’s a start I can deal with. And invite Bertie to come along. I like Bertie’s … spunk.

BRYANNE:
Yeah, okay, whatever. You know, you can be a lot for this time of day. I’m just saying.

JESSTINE:
Yes, I know. I’m that person that grates on everyone’s nerves for pointing the real truths of the world
around me. But I’ll take it. Somebody’s got to.

BRYANNE:
You’re a whole mess of work, gurl. Stay right there.

BRYANNE exits and JESSTINE, feeling satisfied, begins to be aware that people could see them there.
They become embarrassed and try to wait, looking incognito.

2. Opening Sequence
Music by John Paul Sharp

3. Walking Montage
Music by John Paul Sharp

4. Jesstine’s Soliloquy
Music by John Paul Sharp

5. Closing Sequence
Music by John Paul Sharp

Download Waiting for Weed (Original Play) by John Paul Sharp on Scribd

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