People who smoke weed love to laugh - that's just a fact. So we really don't know why it took so long for comedy clubs to start embracing cannabis consumers.
"You just have to watch a Cheech and Chong movie to know that cannabis makes you susceptible to laughter," Mark Breslin, founder of the famed Yuk Yuk's comedy clubs found across Canada, told the Toronto Star. "In a lot of ways, comedy and pot act in similar ways. They both create analogical thought rather than A follows B follows C. The thought process for comedy and pot is: A follows B follows orange follows four."
And as cannabis consumption continues to become increasingly mainstream, comedy clubs in Toronto are embracing that connection and hosting 4/20 friendly events that allow people smoke at their leisure while watching the comedians perform. One such event is the 'Jokes N Tokes' comedy showcase hosted by the Underground Cafe and Social Club.
Cannabis consumers are "one of the most forgiving audiences, just because they’re down to have fun," according to comedian Andrew Packer, who runs the Jokes N Tokes showcase. "You can feel how engaged they are. I don't want to sound too hippy-dippy or whatever, but it's a vibe."
Performing to a cannabis crowd isn't for everyone though.
"There are different kinds of comedy crowds, and cannabis comedy is very specific," said Joanne Baker, who operates the Underground Cafe.
And sometimes the crowd can be tough to read if there are a lot of sombre cannabis consumers in the audience.
"They might not laugh at you the entire show, but after they'll stop you outside and be like, 'Dude, that was the best show'," said comedian Mike Rita - host of the Stoner Sundays comedy showcase at Vapor Central. "I'm like, 'But you didn't laugh.' They're like: 'You don't have to laugh - you've just got to feel it, man.'"
However, if you are terrible, you're a lot less likely to get heckled by high audiences, who tend to respond better to little silences and mistakes.
"With people drinking, it invites them to yell out something in those pauses," Packer said. "If they're stoned, they’ll just zone out or just enjoy themselves regardless of the situation."
And while Breslin says his nationwide chain of comedy clubs won't be allowing people to smoke inside anytime soon, it's clear that there are a number of other establishments willing to step up and fill the void - even though the prohibition of non-medical cannabis use is still in effect throughout Canada right now.