My picks for the top 10 weed films of all time
As we enter the holiday season tourism slows down, and that’s certainly true of cannabis tourism after the big fall harvest is done. Fortunately, the farm we work with, Emerald City Genetics, plans to run their greenhouses and hoop houses all through the winter, so if you really need to get out to cannabis country to see sungrown cannabis growing even now we have you covered.
For those of you who are ready to settle into the cozy couch, and cuddle up with a bowl of chronic and a good movie, here are my 10 favorite weed movies to keep you entertained until you’re ready to venture out of the house and up to Mendo once again.
This is a completely subjective list. Feel free to agree or disagree, but one thing we can all agree upon is that these ten are some of the best.
This 1936 propaganda film is one of the things that led to cannabis being made illegal in the United States just one short year after its release. Originally made by a church group, and titled Tell Your Children, this morality tale was bought by exploitation film producer Dwain Esper, who added some extra salacious footage to it, and gave it the title it’s now known by. Though the film was originally taken very seriously, and had tremendous influence, it’s now enjoyed by stoners everywhere for its patent absurdity. From all the “teenagers” who are played by actors obviously in their 30’s to the outrageous claims made, to the instant madness everyone falls into with their first puff, this has been a hilarious sesh party entertainment for decades. Since it was produced in 1936, it’s in the public domain, and you can watch the whole thing on YouTube. It runs a little over an hour, so it makes a great opening film to a double or triple feature. I recommend watching it first because of the slower pacing of films of that era.
Up in Smoke
This is Cheech & Chong’s first movie, and the one that started the whole stoner movie genre. It’s also their best, in my opinion. They play two hapless stoners unwittingly smuggling a load of weed from Mexico with an obsessive DEA agent on their tail played by Stacy Keach of Mike Hammer fame. Clever writing, and several hilarious twists and turns make this movie not only the first in the genre, but a much beloved stoner classic.
Right after Dave Chappelle left his highly successful TV show, he made this love letter to weed and the stoners that love it. Rife with celebrity cameos playing all the different types of weed smokers as Dave breaks it down. This is a must see classic for every weed lover.
Harold and Kumar go to White Castle
This film is on everyone’s top ten list, and for good reason. It’s a stoner adventure about two first generation American millennials stopping at nothing to get White Castle because nothing else will do. This is a really fun film that marked the comeback of Neal Patric Harris playing his most unforgettable character – Neal Patric Harris, and Christopher Meloni of Law & Order SVU fame as you’ve never seen him before! I had no idea it was even him till I saw the end credits. And if you pop in the DVD, and take too long to hit play, Harold & Kumar will start talking about you! Great fun!
No marijuana movie list would be complete without a Seth Rogan film. Pineapple Express takes stoner comedies into the action film genre as Seth’s character witnesses a murder, and the murderer tracks him down from the unique smell of the brand new strain of cannabis he smokes.
This is one you may not have heard of. Humboldt County is an excellent indie coming of age film featuring some great heartwarming performances starting right off the bat with a gripping monologue from Fairuza Balk with a surprise twist. It gives you a look inside an illegal cannabis growing community in The Emerald Triangle in the 1990s. This one is a hidden gem you should really see, especially if you want to get a feel for what it was like for black market pot growers before marijuana became legal in California.
What happens when a little boy wishes for his teddy bear best friend to come to life, his wish comes true, and he grows up to be a stoner? His teddy bear buddy grows up to be a stoner with him, of course! Seth McFarland wrote and directed the film, as well as voiced Ted, the weed smoking teddy bear, as he does bong rips, and has inappropriate stoned conversations with his best friend, John, played by Mark Wahlberg.
Super High Me
This one is a documentary that came out of a joke told by stoner comedian Rob Benson. In his stand up routine, he was commenting on the documentary Supersize Me, where a vegan decides to eat nothing but McDonald’s for a month to see what effect it has on his health. He gets a full array of medical tests before and after the 30 days, and he’s not looking too good at the end of it.
Rob Benson joked on stage that he was going to do the same thing with weed, and call the film Super High Me. To his surprise, he was hit up by documentary filmmaker Michael Blieden to make the film. Rob took a full array of medical tests, then went cold turkey for 30 days, and did the tests again. Then he was blazed every waking minute for the next 30 days, smoking joints, pipes, bongs, vaping, doing edibles – you name it, and at the end of that 30 days he underwent the same array of tests again. The results may surprise you.
A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas
Undoubtedly the best stoner Christmas movie ever, this holiday sequel is everything a sequel should be and more! Our favorite stoner buddies are back in this fun holiday romp that takes us to places the other Harold & Kumar movies have never been. Is NPH back from the dead? You know he is! Pour up some cannabis infused eggnog, start a warm fire in your favorite bowl, and enjoy this stoner holiday classic!
Reefer Madness, the Movie Musical
I saved the best for last! To say I love this move is a fattie of an understatement! This may just be the best thing ever put on celluloid! Brilliantly written with phenomenal musical numbers, inside jokes and Easter eggs a-plenty, lots of great 30’s dialogue from the original 1936 film, and sporting an all star cast! Kristin Bell, fresh off her first stint as Veronica Mars plays the ingenuiest ingenue in the history of ingenues, Mary Lane, a role she played when Reefer Madness, the Musical was an off Broadway play. Christian Campbell, Neve Campbell’s little brother, plays young Jimmy Harper, the role he originated when the show was first performed in a small L.A. theater. Ana Gasteyer, of Saturday Night Live fame is amazing as Mae, the reefer den mother with a heart of gold entrapped by her addiction. Who knew she had such a phenomenal voice?!? John Kassir – you might not know the name, but you know the maniacal laugh – he was the voice of the Crypt Keeper in the Tales From the Crypt series. And at the helm of the film is the always amazing, Tony Award winning Alan Cumming, who rocked Broadway in Cabaret. Cumming plays not only the manipulative lecturer who comes to town with his film presentation of the dangers of marijuana, but also several other characters throughout the movie. You need to see this film! I recommend seeing it as a double feature, watching the original 1936 film first so you get all the references. Fortunately, that’s super easy to do. The entire original 1936 Reefer Madness film is one of the DVD extras.
So that’s my list. Enjoy these movies until you’re ready to visit California cannabis country once again. When you’re ready to venture out to the cannabis farms of Mendocino County once more, we’ll be here, ready to show you around!