Thursday, February 21Urban Hippie

Marijuana representation on screen: There's still a long way to go

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This post is part of our High-tech High series, which explores weed innovations, and our cultural relationship with cannabis, as legalization in several U.S. states, Canada, and Uruguay moves the market further out of the shadows.


Marijuana has long been celebrated in the world of music and song. In the world of movies and TV, meanwhile, the majority of cannabis-loving characters tend to slot in somewhere between bumbling idiots and dangerous outcasts. 

This divide in media representation stretches all the way back to 1936. That was the year a hit jazz song called “If You’re a Viper” provided a positive view of marijuana use that still checks out (“you know you’re high when your throat is dry / everything is dandy”). But it was also the year of Reefer Madness, the infamous propaganda film that depicted pot as a precursor to lunacy and murder; its users were crazed buffoons to be laughed at or pitied. Read more…

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