The True Story Behind the Stoner Santa Meme

Everyone knows that Stoner Santa lives at the North Pole and grows Matanuska Tundrafunk and Rudolph's Red Bud in his indoor hydroponic growroom, ready to dispense nuggets to all the kind pot lovers in the world, right?

Well, in 2011, Stoner Santa was captured on film while volunteering at the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, a famous cannabis collective in Santa Cruz, California. Seated at a table trimming a pile of outdoor weed, this photo of an authentic-looking Santa went viral, spreading around the internet and delighting pot lovers everywhere.

This version of the photo was posted to Reddit's marijuana forum r/trees.

The true story behind the photo reveals the spirit of Christmas generosity.

In December of 2011, a WAMM caregiver named Troy arrived at the office to surprise co-founder Valerie Corral with his Santa costume before the annual holiday party. The high-quality costume had been created for Troy by an elderly friend who had once sewn costumes for a theater company, so it was tailored specifically for him. While at the WAMM office, Troy sat to help trim buds, and the infamous photo was snapped by another collective member, Mark Mortensun, who shared it on his Facebook page.

An alternate to the viral photo has served as WAMM's Christmas card.

Since then, the photo was posted to Reddit, where it was featured on r/trees and spread as a meme, with the words “He’s trimming the buds, he’s checking them twice, we’re gonna get high, it’s gonna be nice!” Someone later Photoshopped the Santa suit to change its color green, and the photo continued to spread, even recently ending up on Snoop Dogg’s Instagram.

The viral meme ended up on Snoop Dogg's Instagram recently.

Troy thinks the notoriety is hilarious, and he has reprised his Santa performance every year at WAMM holiday parties. Old friends from high school have recognized him from the meme, and his grand-niece sent the photo out as a Christmas card.

“My family thought it was hilarious,” Troy said, and while he doesn’t use cannabis himself, he helps cultivate the collective garden and does volunteer work to assist other ill WAMM members.

“It’s not just about pot,” Troy explained. “There’s all sorts of good work that WAMM does. It’s a group of people who will rally around and give help to those who need it.”

WAMM provides cannabis at little to no cost for members in need, carrying the compassionate spirit of the medical marijuana movement into a new era, and they need the support of the community to continue doing their good work. As our favorite Stoner Santa said, “WAMM is more than a collective, it’s like a family.”

Consider donating to this holiday season, and help get cannabis to patients in need. Santa would approve!

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