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The best uses of marijuana in popular culture

Thanks to television shows such as Game of Thrones and Arrow, I’m completely behind on most of the programmes I’d usually watch. However, I recently managed to sit down and enjoy a few recent episodes of the Simpsons and one of them, “The Kids Are All Fight”, got me thinking.

In this episode, sensible Marge makes a reference to a place where she used to grow cannabis but added “that’s a story for another day”. The programme then carries on like absolutely nothing happened, despite the revelation that Marge used to cultivate weed. Although I hope this ‘story for another day’ means that we will see Marge the marijuana grower in future episodes, I couldn’t help but think of other examples where cannabis has been better represented in modern culture.

I’ve included some of my top picks below. However, if you think others should be mentioned in this list, get in touch and let us know!

The Simpsons

The Simpsons has actually dealt with cannabis much better in the past. In the episode, “Weekend at Burnsie’s” Homer is prescribed medical marijuana after being attacked by a murder of crows (long story). After Dr Hibbert condones its use, Homer becomes a much more relaxed character. At one point, he even asks Flanders to read him the entire bible (Ned’s reaction is totally worth watching by the way).

After his new personality leads to him being made vice-president of the nuclear power plant, a bill is passed which bans the use of medical marijuana in Springfield. As a result, Homer decides never to smoke again. Shame really, it was going so well for him.

The Big Lebowski

I couldn’t really leave this one out. Despite the fact that smoking a joint eventually leads to a car crash (no surprises there), the Dude teaches us that years of cannabis use can help individuals achieve a constant state of zen. Jeff Bridges’ peaceful attitude in this movie is something which all of us can certainty aspire to achieve.

Pineapple Express

One of the early Seth Rogen/James Franco team ups, Pineapple Express is the story of a pair trying to leave town after one sees a violent drug-related murder. Witnesses to the crime, they must raise money to escape their fates – by selling marijuana.

As evidence of the movie’s popularity, Seth Rogan has gone on record stating that the Pineapple Express strain of marijuana was not around before the film’s release. Therefore, it was created especially to honour the pair. How’s that for a legacy?

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

When two marijuana dealers, Jay and Silent Bob, discover that a movie is being made featuring their comic book likenesses – Bluntman and Chronic – they are thrilled at the prospect of receiving all those royalties.

Unfortunately, due to a licensing issue, they won’t be getting a penny. Determined to prevent the film from ever being made, or at least get a cut of the profits, the pair journey to Hollywood to sabotage its production.

Scooby Doo

Yes, I would argue that Scooby Doo is one the greatest representations of marijuana in popular culture. Let’s ignore that those Scooby snacks obviously contained cannabis, the pair constantly had the munchies, and lived in a stereotypical stoner van, but instead think back to the frankly rubbish Scooby Doo live action movie.

In this, Shaggy finally meets the girl of his dreams – a lovely woman named Mary Jane. Personally, I think that’s absolutely awesome.


A lonely boy at Christmas wishes that his bear will come alive in order to be his friend. His request is answered and the pair become true companions. Twenty odd years later, and ‘Ted’ is not exactly the ‘Winnie the Pooh’ variety; he sleeps with prostitutes, smokes weed, and spouts extremely vulgar language.
Just watch it. You’ll be in stitches.

We’re the Millers

A marijuana dealer is forced to smuggle a ton of weed across the Mexican border and, to avoid suspicion, decides to do so with a fake family – whom he calls the Millers.

A hilarious road trip movie, I think the humour can be summed up with the quote, “This is not a smidge of pot! You got me moving enough weed to kill Willie Nelson!”.

How High

Two underachieving stoners look set for a life of mediocrity. With their exams looming, the pair decide to cultivate a new batch of marijuana instead of revising. Paying tribute to their recently dead friend, the group decide to use his ashes as fertilizer. However, much to everyone’s surprise, they manage to create a new strain of weed which turns them into geniuses.

This, obviously, leads to shenanigans.

Cheech & Chong

Well many might not remember the antics of Cheech & Chong, they are worth noting in just about every article regarding marijuana in popular culture. A comedy duo loved by millions, the pair are renowned for their humorous take on popular culture and love of cannabis.

In one of their more famous films, Up in Smoke, Cheech & Chong find themselves driving a van between Mexico and LA. Unfortunately, the pair don’t realise that the vehicle is pretty much constructed entirely from marijuana.

Although they’ve been largely quiet on the film front since the 80s, it has been rumoured that a new Cheech & Chong movie is in development. Watch this space for more information!

MSNL Team MSNL Team / 20th May 2015

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