The push for the decriminalization of Marijuana across the United States, along with an increasing number of states adopting Medical Marijuana programs, has resulted in a massive upswing in cannabis-related media. The increased representation of cannabis on television and streaming services is, undoubtedly, a sign we are headed in the right direction. However, it also offers people who may know little about marijuana the opportunity to understand the substance better and unlearn the harmful anecdotal mistruths previously portrayed in the media.
If you’d like to learn about marijuana and its benefits, boost your current knowledge, or learn more about the medicinal or legal aspect of the culture, check out one of these 5 great documentaries:
Weed the People
Currently available on Netflix, Weed the People offers an in-depth look at the world of medical marijuana, chronicling the stories of people in life-or-death situations who rely on the substance to bring them hope and relief. While the documentary has plenty of tear-jerker moments, it has been praised for its analytical and logical approach. While many other docs of its kind focus on anecdotal evidence almost exclusively, Weed the People relies on facts and statistics to make their argument for them. The documentary is produced by cannabis activist Ricki Lake and directed by Abby Epstein.
The Culture High
If you’re looking for more information on the legislation surrounding marijuana in the U.S., look no further than The Culture High. Featuring great interviews with doctors, lawyers, sheriffs, dealers, activists, and celebrities, this documentary simultaneously entertains as it educates you on cannabis prohibition to the failed war on drugs. In a review of the film, Daniel M. Gold, a former New York Times journalist, wrote that “The Culture High explores the entrenched interests that may be looking to keep marijuana illegal.” All in all, if you want to get a good grasp on cannabis culture, check out this documentary – available on Amazon Prime.
A NORML Life
A NORML Life, streaming on Amazon Prime, is a great place to start for cannabis newbies and connoisseurs alike. This film introduces you to the people who have gotten us one step closer to legalization and reform. Founded in the 1970s, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is a grassroots group that promotes and lobbies for cannabis legalization. Focused more on the medical aspect of legalization, the documentary covers the course of events that led to the legalization of MMJ in Washington, D.C. and educates viewers on exactly what cannabis is and how it interacts with our bodies.
Grass is Greener
Looking for something that is equally as entertaining as it is educational? If so, Grass is Greener is your best bet. A Netflix-exclusive, this documentary offers a ride through history, showing how marijuana played an instrumental role in the lives of jazz musicians (no pun intended) and continues to be a massive part of pop culture. Featuring interviews with 4/20 legends, including Snoop Dog, Damian Marley, and Cypress Hill’s B-Real, this is one of the few documentaries that speaks to the racial component involved in the criminalization of marijuana. Sure to be an eye-opener to many, Grass is Greener is a fun and informative look into the role cannabis plays in our everyday lives.
The Union: The Business Behind Getting High
Last, but not least, The Union: The Business Behind Getting High dives into a topic left mostly unexplored by other documentaries on cannabis. Focusing on the business aspect of marijuana, The Union tells the story behind the growth, sale, and trafficking of cannabis, examining the underground market through interviews with police officers and criminologists, psychologists, growers, doctors, economists, pop culture icons, and politicians. Comparing the prohibition of cannabis to the 1920s prohibition of alcohol, it shows how the underground marijuana market operated swiftly and successfully before the process of legalization ever even began. Find The Union: The Business Behind Getting High on YouTube.
The Greener Institute believes knowledge is power—after all, we wouldn’t be writing these blogs if we didn’t want to empower you to learn more about cannabis! These documentaries do an incredible job of explaining the decades-long war against cannabis, the people fighting back, and the ways in which the substance has impacted our society for the better.