The culture of consuming weed and its implementation in society has always been taboo, as it remained in a negative light in mainstream society for long. But times are changing, and more and more pop culture icons are championing the legalization of weed. Popular culture has been trying hard to normalize the use of weed for decades. It is from the mass culture that the idea of ‘stoner films’ evolved. They wanted to legitimize the recreational use of weed through cinema. Since cinema is the most acceptable form of entertainment, the effect on the audience was somewhat instantaneous.
This article will assess the motif behind ‘stoner films’, taking a peek into popular films that have normalized weed consumption.
The Purpose: The purpose of stoner films is to represent weed consumption in a proper light. For decades stoner films have been based on pot-influenced mirthfulness. Awareness is shown through slapstick comedy. The aim was to legitimize both medicinal weed and recreational weed in the views of the audience. Like a movie named Leaves of Grass (2009) set in Oklahoma promoted the use of medicinal marijuana. Two brothers aimed to catch a drug lord in the film.
- Stoner films are educative to the general audience.
- It promotes medical and governmental togetherness in legalizing weed.
- It spreads awareness and is critical of existing taboos through the use of laughter.
Character Development: The films have a similar pattern, portraying a prot agonist(s) who is either in possession or is looking for weed. The characters in such films are assigned with a task at hand. They eventually get into conflict with cops who are inherently clumsy. These films also include the portrayal of moralistic characters like parents who denounce the normalization of weed. The conflict between different generations and societal rigidity is shown. The movie Pineapple Express (2008) is a brilliant action comedy involving a lawsuit and depicting similar themes of weed acceptance. The film was produced exactly 10 years before the legalization of medicinal marijuana in Oklahoma
- Characters break taboos related to weed.
- They represent the follies of societal rigidity.
- They exemplify the better side of using recreational weed.
Films in a Nutshell: The list of films featuring weed, stands nearly uncountable. For the sake of awareness and education, few movies stand insurmountable.
- Dazed and Confused (1993): The film represents a group of teenagers using and misusing weed on the last day of their school.
- Midnight Delight (2016): The film represents people from different spheres of life in a smoking lounge.
- Bad Moms (2016): A mother frustrated with her familial role convinces other equally disappointed moms to engage in breaking taboos through smoking pots.
- The Legend of 420 (2017): It is a documentary available on Netflix. It explores the societal controversy regarding the use of marijuana. This immaculate film strives to decriminalize the use of marijuana in the light of the federals.
The normalization of weed should begin from the grass-root level. It must start with acceptance from the general masses. Stoner films propagate this acceptance.
Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Travel, health, shopping, lifestyle and business are among the many subjects she writes about. Through quality and well-researched writing, she informs and even entertains readers about things that matter. She is also interested in film critiquing and filmmaking. Giving all the glory to God, Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.