In recent years, cannabis legalization has spread throughout the United States. Marijuana hasn’t always been so widely excepted, and Grass Is Greener takes an objective look at the history of cannabis prohibition and its lasting effects. It is no secret that marijuana convictions disproportionately affect minority communities, specifically young black men, but this is something those outside of the US may not be aware of.
Grass Is Greener helps shed light on America’s complicated relationship with cannabis while using celebrity guests to help explain the situation. Not only do you get to learn more about the rise of cannabis culture, but you get to hear how the plant has affected names like Snoop Dogg, Damian Marley, and Cypress Hill.
WEED THE PEOPLE
“420” has become the international reference for all things cannabis-related, not just among stoners, but mainstream media too. The Legend of 420 aims to give viewers an all-encompassing overview of marijuana right from its initial legalization in the American state of California to its current applications on a global scale.
GRASS IS GREENER
Netflix-and-chill takes on whole new meaning thanks to the streaming platform’s growing volume of weed-focussed documentaries. If you’ve ever wanted to discover the origins of 420, find out the potential of medical cannabis, or explore the darker side of marijuana cultivation, now is your chance! Line up a few carefully rolled blunts and get comfy, because there is a fantastic range of shows on Netflix that cater to virtually all tastes.
1h 27m | 2017 | 6.7/10 IMDb Rating
Filmmakers Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein of The Business of Being Born show how cannabis can be truly life-saving. This documentary shows how real people are using cannabis medically to help cure ailments to bring home the point that more research needs to be permitted for this potential miracle drug.
The Legend of 420
Series | 2018 | 7.6/10 IMDb Rating
45m | 2011| 5.7/10 IMDb Rating
A Life of Its Own: The Truth About Medical Marijuana
Explained: Weed, is a look at marijuana from ancient Chinese use through today. It looks at the science of the plant, potency, strains, and of course, legalization. Featuring Kevin Smith as narrator and other well-known weed enthusiasts like Tommy Chong.
“Weed the People” also spotlights studies that show how marijuana-derived cannabinoids have killed some cancer cells in test tubes. However, human trials largely aren’t on the table and as a result, science lags behind the copious anecdotal evidence of marijuana’s efficacy. As such, parents of terminally ill children who are desperately searching for some kind of hope are beginning to advocate for increased research and regulation for marijuana as a viable treatment.
But there’s also a lot to be learned, too. So, in observance of 4/20 (and really, any day you like to observe), here are our picks for the best weed documentaries for some, well, higher education.
“Murder Mountain,” Netflix
Fred Brathwaite — the former “Yo! MTV Raps” host who is probably better known as Fab 5 Freddy — opens this documentary by lighting up and musing to the camera, “I’m a longtime cannabis connoisseur and advocate.” Through his eyes, viewers take a journey through the history of the connection between music culture and marijuana in America, from Cab Calloway’s 1932 jazz hit “Reefer Man” to modern hip hop and rap.
Published April 20, 2021 5:38PM (EDT)
It’s prevalent enough that the slope on which Alderpoint sits is referred to as “Murder Mountain,” which is largely known as a hub for seasonal marijuana farm workers. In this six-episode docuseries director Joshua Zeman takes a deep dive into how precarious the transient environment is for so-called “trimmigrants,” like 29-year-old Garret Rodriguez, a surfer from San Diego who traveled north to participate in the green rush and earn money for a Mexico beach shack.
A common thread in anti-drug PSAs and high school D.A.R.E presentation is the idea that marijuana is a “gateway drug.” In “Weed the People,” director Abby Epstein carefully dismantles that argument with the help of physicians and weed advocates and also turns her lens on how Big Pharma has allegedly pushed for marijuana prohibition for over 80 years.
This is an informative, bittersweet documentary that is deeply human.
From nuns who grow to Fab 5 Freddy’s look into how American music was shaped by weed, there’s a story for everyone
“Grass is Greener” is packed with amazing lines from academics and music experts — like, “Louis [Armstrong] was one of our early, glorious potheads,” — as well as evidence of how musicians have long advocated for the legalization of marijuana. For example, Armstrong was once quoted as saying, “All I want is a permit to carry that good s**t.”
But inherent to the narrative is, of course, racism. With the help of musicians Killer Mike, Snoop Dog and B-Real, Freddy outlines the ways in which America’s insistence on cannabis prohibition was motivated by a fear of Blackness (or, as some white politicians coded it, “jazz culture”) and Mexican immigration.