If you’re a part of the cannabis culture craze, you’re not alone. Thousands have discovered some of the medicinal benefits of cannabis products. They might take CBD oil for pain relief, anxiety, or sleep problems (available nationwide if ordered online with less than 0.3 percent THC.) They could also try other cannabis products like marijuana edibles or beverages for whatever ails them (available in states where cannabis is legal).
With this growing interest in cannabis, we’ve seen a lot more of it in the media. Cannabis lovers will enjoy sitting back and watching a few classic cannabis-themed movies in 2020.
Pineapple Express is an oldie but goodie. This American comedy was made in 2008 directed by David Gordon Green and written by Seth Rogen and Goldberg. Rogen himself stars in it alongside James Franco. Rogen is a major public advocate for cannabis products, so it’s only fitting that he developed a hit based on cannabis.
The plot involves a server of process (Rogen), the person who serves people with lawsuits, and a marijuana dealer. They go on a hilarious adventure after witnessing a murder by a hitmen and a corrupt police officer.
The film received great reviews and grossed more than $102 million worldwide. Franco was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance.
Cheech & Chong: Up in Smoke
If you love the series Cheech & Chong, a documentary and comedy that ran from 2012 to 2017, you’ll love one of their oldest movies together, Cheech & Chong: Up in Smoke. It was made in 1978, directed by Lou Adler and Tommy Chong. The writers, of course, are Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin.
The plot is based on two stoners, played by Cheech & Chong, who accidently smuggle a marijuana van from Mexico to L.A. The catch is that the van is made entirely of marijuana. As is common in 70’s comedies, there’s an incompetent police officer on their trail. Together, it’s a recipe of hilarious misadventures.
Leave it to the 90’s to produce a great comedy about cannabis when a couple of friends end up taking an extra potent dose of marijuana. However, Half-Baked wasn’t so popular in when it was released in 1998. In fact, it failed at the box office and the negative reviews would have been considered the equivalent of the crowd throwing tomatoes at the performers.
Now, it’s considered a cult film that’s regaining popularity in the light of recently improving cannabis laws. It features four friends who live in NYC and often get high together. When one friend is arrested on a ridiculous charge, they must raise the $1 million bail and do so by dealing marijuana. As you might imagine, things go horribly wrong—but it has a happy ending!
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
The original Harold & Kumar film begins with this 2004 film. What happens when you mix two stoned guys and the fast food chain White Castle? A sequence of silly misadventures, of course. Their comical adventures include feeling from the police (many times), being knocked out by a tree branch, running from a cheetah, and even a little romance.
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle was generally well received, which led to the creation of several other Harold & Kumar films and shorts.
Dazed and Confused
This highly-rated 90’s film is a classic in teen coming-of-age style comedy. Although it was released in 1993, this Indie film is set in 1976 at a Texas high school. It chronicles the lives of several high schoolers with plenty of cannabis involved. There are several actors who would later become big names including Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Joey Lauren Adamas, Jason London, and Milla Jovovich.
Like many cannabis films, Dazed and Confused wasn’t a huge hit in the box office. Cannabis still carried a negative stigma, and that often resulted in lesser reviews. However, it’s gained cult acclaim in recent years, likely spurred by Quentin Tarantino adding it to his list of top 10 best films of all time in 2002.
We’re the Millers
Starring Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, and Will Poulter, We’re the Millers is about a small-time marijuana dealer who creates a devious plan to smuggle pot over the Mexico border. He asks his neighbors to help him by pretending to be part of his family.
As you can imagine, these four personalities make a great comedic quartet, and this 2013 film directed by Rawson Thurber received great reviews. It grossed $270 million, an impressive box office margin compared to the $37 million budget. It was also nominated for four People’s Choice Awards. It also won two MTV Movie Awards and was nominated for 4 more.
The Culture High
There should be at least one cannabis documentary on your list, and it should be The Culture High, a 2014 feature-length film all about marijuana prohibition and the war on drugs in the U.S. It’s the sequel to the 2007 documentary The Union: The Business Behind Getting High, so if you haven’t watched that yet, that’s a good place to start.
The Culture High is rated 8.5/10 on IMDB and was nominated for Best Screenwriter Non-Fiction, Best Overall Sound, and Best Narrator at the 2015 AMPIA Awards. It also won Best Documentary at those awards. It’s highly informative and very well done.
The Big Lebowski
When it comes to cannabis films, it doesn’t get much better than the award-winning Indie film, The Big Lebowski. Like many on this list, this film is a crime comedy. It stars Jeff Bridges who plays an avid bowler and general loafer, Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski. He’s constantly high, along with his friends, which adds to the comedy.
He’s mistaken for a millionaire with the same name, whose wife is kidnapped. The Dude must find a way to save the wife before it’s too late, and he uses his bowling buddies to help him out.
The Big Lebowski is highly rated now, but it wasn’t so popular at the box office. It’s become a cult favorite for the hidden and eclectic comedy throughout the film. It’s definitely worth watching if you’re into cannabis filmography!