4/20: 5 Movies About Weed

This blog neither endorses or criticises the use of weed.

For those who have absolutely no idea what 4/20 stands for, it is a (possible) national holiday for cannabis. Yes, that controversial drug that a lot of people do and is still hot topic across the globe is celebrated on the 20th of April. The terminology 420 comes from a code for consuming the drug and, because Americans lay out their dates all funky, internet culture has sent it soaring into the mainstream.

Not to be one to miss out on a hashtag, or capitalise on national(?) holiday, we’re having a look at a few movies that focus on weed. Because, good or bad, there are a lot of characters who are hooked on the green stuff. 

Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

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Weed is very prominent in a lot of Kevin Smith films. He himself has admitted that he smokes weed everyday. It’s natural, then, for his special brand of slacker comedy to feature weed, raps about blunts, and precarious drug use. And whilst we could pick anything from his View Askewniverse selection, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is such a guilty pleasure (and focuses more on the titular stoners.) The film sees Jay and Silent Bob fight back against copyright infringement, animal activist groups, and a state trooper. Divisive as it is, the film has garnered a collection of steady fans and continues to grow in its cult following.

Reefer Madness (1936)

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Speaking of cult films, Reefer Madness is one of the best classic PSA films you’ll ever watch. Perhaps the intentions were good: Fully funded by a church group and intended to be show to parents, the success spiralled out of control and has become legendary within cinematic cultures. The film is so absurd: It revolves around a group of teens being lured into trying weed then experiencing some crazy effects of the drug. These effects include attempted rape, hallucinations, murder, fights, and a total lack of morals which are so anti-indicative of weed itself. It’s one of the first films to find prominence within the midnight movie culture. If you can get a hold of the colourised version, then I’d advise you do. The green smoke effect makes it even more glorious.

The Big Lebowski (1998)

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One of the Coen Brothers’ classic films certainly must feature in this list. After all, the memorable Dude, played by Jeff Bridges here, is so acclaimed with audiences that he has even sparked a cult movement where people try to live by his chilled lifestyle. The notorious stoner is the vocal point of a larger conspiracy when he is confused for another of the same name. Soon he comes embroiled in the madness and has to find a way out when more colourful characters come to his life. Perhaps the most well known role of Bridges’ career, the film has been a staple diet for film fans ever since…alongside a White Russian and a spliff.

Pineapple Express (2008)

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Seth Rogen is definitely the face of recent stoner comedies. His films always, without a doubt, feature a variation of weed somewhere. From Knocked Up to Observe & Report, the green stuff is bound to feature. Pineapple Express is solely about weed though.The title comes from a strong variation of cannabis that two loser drug users use to escape gang leaders after witnessing a terrible murder. Whilst perhaps not as mainstream as Rogen’s other work, teaming up with James Franco in order to create a rambunctious, hilarious, and memorable film.

Easy Rider (1969)

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Dennis Hopper directs and stars in a film about two motorcyclists who go across country after scoring big with cocaine. Starring Peter Fonda, the film features a whole heap of drugs. Like a lot of them – a lot drugs. It’s pretty much infamous for the actors being hopped up on pills too, creating a mesh of images and a undercurrent of emotions.  The film is well known for breaking through young actor Jack Nicholson and establishing his craft. In a popular scene, his “square” character George tries marijuana for the first time and it harness’ all the talent of Nicholson and propels him to popularity.

What do you think? 

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