Gnarly weed songs you need to hear to believe

No matter your views on weed, these 12 songs are worth listening to.
Black Sabbath File Photos
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Do you know the story of Fehaid Al-Deehani? In 2016, the Kuwaiti military officer won a Gold Medal in double trap at the Brazil Olympics. But they did not raise the Kuwaiti flag or play the national anthem. That’s because Kuwait was banned from international competition and Al-Deehani was competing as an “independent Olympic athlete.”

For the past thirty years or so, the IOC has used this designation to allow athletes ineligible to represent their homeland entry into the competition. They essentially form an independent, unaffiliated team. The only commonality amongst them is the fact that, in Olympic terms, they have no home.

In our discussion of great weed songs, we have already examined 12-song teams from the world of Americana, reggae, and hip hop. Today we come to our fourth and final competitor – Team Unaffiliated. Or Team Everything-else. Call it whatever you like. Just so long as its members are not playing on one of the other teams.

Weed songs worth listening to no matter how you feel about the herb

And that gets tricky. What follows is an amazingly diverse group of tunes, covering more time and more musical styles than any of the other teams. There is some overlap. For instance, Jelly Roll’s 2020 song “Bottle & Mary Jane” is a great blues rocker about sinking into the comfort of alcohol and weed when life gets too hard. But like many Jelly Roll songs, about half of it consists of him rapping. So should it be playing on Team Hip-hop? I decided to exclude it here.

I did include a couple of songs that are inspired by reggae. One is an actual cover of the reggae original. But I think the version I chose is different enough to qualify for this team. You may disagree.

Another reason I left Jelly Roll off the team is the “Mary Jane” issue. There are some corners of the internet – ones which I frequent – where every single song ever written that mentions the name “Jane” or “Mary,” or heaven help us, “Mary Jane,” is considered a drug song.

Because many of the songs under consideration for this team come from the world of pop rock, the euphemistic “Mary Jane” became a not-so-veiled stand-in for saying marijuana, or one of its many commonly-accepted nicknames, without pissing off your record label. Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and Tom Petty are just a few of the major names who put out such songs.

I probably could have filled an entire 12-song team with them if I really wanted to, but I decided to restrict myself to just one “Mary/Jane” song. The best one, as you will see.

Oh, and unlike the other teams, this one doesn’t have a captain. It wouldn’t be fair to ask one artist to represent all the diverse voices that follow. The fact is, this team does lack a certain coherence. But it makes up for it with some killer tunes.