Cannabis is becoming more socially acceptable everywhere—including the fictional realm of the Marvel Comics Universe (MCU). [Spoiler alert] In the latest issue of Daredevil, Wilson Fisk, also known as The Kingpin, legalized cannabis while serving as New York City mayor in the MCU. It is one of the first instances of cannabis reform found anywhere in mainstream comic books.
Daredevil #12 recently was published, and the comic book’s creators set a new precedent for the comic book industry as a whole. Artist Chip Zdarsky and writer Marco Checchetto took comic book reality to another level by introducing progressive cannabis reform into the MCU. The comic’s stunning cover art was done by illustrator Julian Totino Tedesco.
Despite having ulterior evil motives, The Kingpin is likely the first character in the MCU to go as far as legalizing cannabis. “I have the land for growing,” Fisk said. “I have the world’s best people to cultivate it. The biggest hurdle has been to ensure that the licensing department’s rules for selling approval fall in my favor and no one else’s. But it’s gone smoothly so far.”
In real life, the state of New York recently decriminalized cannabis, and the punishment for possession of cannabis was reduced from a misdemeanor to a fine. Two ounces or less is considered a violation and will not result in jail time or a criminal record.
The MCU has come a long way since the Golden and Silver Ages of comic books. The history of censorship in comic books explains a lot, as cannabis and just about everything else that was considered unsavory was wiped clean until practices were eventually changed. In 1948 for example, ABC radio told Li’l Abner creator that comics are “the marijuana of the nursery.” A 1954 sensationalist pulp book Seduction of the Innocent even blamed Batman & Robin for having homosexual undertones, which was completely unfounded.
Daredevil #12 will go down in history as one of the first examples of any sort of cannabis reform depicted in a comic book, thanks to the efforts of Checchetto and Zdarsky.