Though cannabis is relatively new to the political field (compared to other drug and legality discussions), it has long been an inextricable part of the visual popular culture. From Cheech and Chong in the early 80s to stoner comedies like Trailer Park Boys, recreational marijuana use has been bringing people to the theatre and the couch for decades.

It can be assumed that the prevalence and supposed “acceptance” of marijuana in popular culture has had a variety effects on its use in the “real world.” While some viewers might be inspired to sample the product they watched their idols consume on-screen, many others just enjoy the entertainment value of watching actors pretend to “get stoned.”

As the conversation continues and the laws surrounding sale, growth, and use of cannabis continue to change, it will be interesting to observe how (or whether) this political and legal shift affects Hollywood.

1. Television Shows Involving Marijuana

Weeds

2005 – 2012
A widowed mother of two young boys turns to selling marijuana to maintain her lifestyle and support her family.

Trailer Park Boys

2001 –
A mockumentary following the lives of three trailer park residents who get high, concoct money-making schemes, and perform minor infractions.

Wilfred

2011-2014
A man begins seeing his neighbour’s dog, Wilfred, as an adult human man dressed in a dog costume. Wilfred smokes a lot of marijuana.

2. Movies Involving Marijuana

Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle

2004
Two friends decide to take a road trip in search of White Castle burgers after smoking marijuana gives them the “munchies.” Their trip becomes an wild, ridiculous adventure, and the movie spawned multiple sequels.

The Big Lebowski

1998
The misadventures of a Los Angeles stoner and slacker who, due to a case of mistaken identity, ends up involved with dangerous characters.

We’re the Millers

2013
A marijuana dealer who has his money stolen is tasked with transporting a large amount of the drug to a Mexican cartel to pay his debt. In order to avoid detection, he convinces a street urchin, the lonely boy in his apartment building, and a stripper to pose as his family.

Saving Grace

2000
A down-on-her-luck widow discovers she has a green thumb for reviving sickly marijuana, and forms a partnership with a local grower.

3. Documentaries Involving Marijuana

While this final section is not actually linked to Hollywood, the shift in public support and the rise of more and more cannabis advocates can be seen in the number of related documentaries released in recent years.

  • “Weed” – 2015
  • “One Good Year” – 2014
  • “Lynching Charlie Lynch” – 2012
  • “A NORML Life” – 2011
  • “When We Grow, This Is What We Can Do” – 2011
  • “The Union: The Business Behind Getting High” – 2007
  • “Grass: The History of Marijuana” – 1999

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