Everyone loves a documentary (don’t they?!) … Ken Burns, David Attenborough, or heck anything narrated by James Earl Jones! Documentaries are great and most marijuana users love watching them while high, being entertained, and – let’s face it – get super awesomely cerebral! So for the marijuana enthusiasts who love the herb more than just by using it, here is our review of some of the more popular documentaries about marijuana!
A NORML Life
The American Marijuana Revolution
This documentary was produced by the nonprofit National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws, in an attempt to bring medical marijuana to mainstream America. NORML has pushed for the reform of medical marijuana laws for decades. Many people featured in the documentary have debilitating health conditions, and marijuana and the components within marijuana have helped them.
This documentary is a very good one for those who are new to the medical use of marijuana. Some of the stories are absolutely incredible. Conditions described include pain from cancer and rare diseases, and the mental pain caused by anxiety.
Since the documentary came out in 2011, there have been many changes with medical marijuana. It’s not that A NORML Life’s information is out of date, rather than it’s dated. At the time that this documentary came out it could definitely have been considered cutting edge. Idealists at that time felt that they could change the world with the wonder weed called marijuana.
Fast forward 10 years, and now 38 states in the United States have legalized medical marijuana. We must recognize the difference made by NORML in fighting for this enormous change both in the attitudes of Americans and in legislation. I’m sure this documentary had a lot to do with changing people’s minds, both with voters and politicians.
I give A NORML Life 4 out of 5 marijuana leaves.
The information is dated – and that’s certainly not the fault of the filmmakers! Kudos to NORML for using this information to obtain positive change!
The Business Behind Getting High
This Canadian documentary came out in 2007. The information presented is dated but interesting. The documentary is about grow-ups, illegal underground growing operations in and around Vancouver. The grow-ups fed dispensaries, which turned out to be viable businesses dispensing medical marijuana.
Back in 2007, the growing, wholesaling, and distribution of marijuana were illegal, but the prescribing of it by a doctor for a certain set of medical conditions was legal.
This is similar to the current situation here in the Netherlands, where you’re able to buy marijuana or hashish at the retail level. This has been legal for at least 30 years, although the distribution, manufacture, and cultivation is illegal. This is a paradox here in the Netherlands.
The Union: The Business Behind Getting High features the same paradox in Vancouver in 2007. Medical dispensaries provided marijuana for people, but the question was where did the marijuana come from?
Since then, all of those laws have changed. It’s now legal to grow and cultivate marijuana. It’s regulated and controlled the same way that it is in the United States. Of course, now there are a myriad of dispensaries, not only for medical marijuana but also recreational marijuana.
As with the NORML documentary, the information is dated but it’s still a very good documentary. Marijuana enthusiasts will definitely want to know about this part of the history of marijuana and its road to legalization.
At about an hour and 45 minutes, it’s quite long, but the filmmakers go into incredible detail. The people featured have a panoply of medical conditions. They have come to swear by the positive effects of medical marijuana and have been able to live more normal lives. Medical marijuana has helped alleviate some of their symptoms.
I give The Union: The Business Behind Getting High 4 out of 5 marijuana leaves.
As informative as it is, it is a bit dated, though it is nice to see the history and where we’ve come from.
A Lost History
This one-hour and five-minute documentary was boring, sorry to say. It covers the thousands of years of the history of marijuana, going back to the ancient Chinese dynasties and ancient Buddhism. I think for a history buff who’s a marijuana smoker, this would be a great documentary.
I certainly don’t want to put down the people who created the documentary, because the information they’ve provided is valuable. I just personally didn’t find it engaging. For those looking for a cool documentary to spark up and get stoned, this might not be the one. It’s not a mind-blowing documentary, but if you are curious about how long marijuana has been a part of human civilization, this could be a great one for you.
I didn’t actually watch the whole thing. I lost interest, and I have to say that it’s really just not the type of documentary that I like.
I will give Cannabis: A Lost History four marijuana leaves out of five.
It’s probably a good documentary. Just not to my taste!
Super High Me
We all remember the documentary Super Size Me by Morgan Spurlock, who ate McDonald’s for 30 days and then observed what that did to his body. The movie poster, where he has tons of fries in his mouth, was especially memorable.
Super High Me features a stand-up comedian named Doug Benson, who is a very vocal advocate for marijuana. He dovetails his use of marijuana with his stand-up comedy, and he created this documentary. He abstained from smoking marijuana for 30 days and then smoked for 30 days to see what the effects would be on his body.
I think it’s an intriguing premise to put a spin on Super Size Me. The main difference is that if you eat McDonald’s and nothing but McDonald’s for 30 days, that’s going to have a detrimental effect on your health. If you smoke marijuana for 30 days it will have no detrimental effect.
Doug is a heavy user of marijuana. He uses it for recreation, but also for anxiety and attention deficit order, some of the hyper-brain activity conditions that marijuana is known to be good for. (It’s certainly been helpful for me.)
The 30 days where he doesn’t use were much more detrimental than using for 30 days. I don’t really understand the purpose of this documentary. At first, I thought maybe the intent was to document him getting high for 30 days, and then the funny transformation when he doesn’t use. But because so much of the documentary was those 30 days when he wasn’t getting high, we just watch the guy get grumpy and upset and short-tempered. He is definitely not happy!
He also wasn’t taking any of his pharmaceutical medication that was previously prescribed before he used marijuana. We just observe him being this miserable person. I think the premise is that he would smoke a lot every day for 30 days. He truly is like a modern-day Cheech and Chong.
He claims in the documentary that normally he doesn’t smoke super heavily throughout the day, but I find that hard to believe. I questioned the purpose of the concept of the documentary. Was it to show how grumpy Doug was when he wasn’t smoking for 30 days? And then how happy he was when he started smoking again? I just didn’t find it funny or insightful.
I had been looking forward to Super High Me. I had thought maybe it was a mockumentary on the original Super Size Me. But it wasn’t that, it was a true documentary, just a day in the life, or two months in the life of Doug Benson. I really didn’t get it.
I have found that people love Super High Me. If you’re a stoner, I would say this could be a great movie for you. You could light up and watch all the funny and silly things Doug does and says about marijuana.
I thought it actually was a dud. I’m sure a lot of people will argue with me! I do not want to take away from Doug Benson’s work and effort in the documentary but it just wasn’t for me.
I will say that Doug Benson is absolutely hilarious, so I suggest if you want to get high and watch something really funny, watch one of his stand-up comedy shows. You will have a much better time.
I give Super High Me two out of five marijuana leaves.
(Sorry, Doug …)