In the past few years, marijuana use has exploded, particularly in North America. With increased use and legalization, there has been an incredible amount of conversation, information, and misinformation available on marijuana use, and it can be hard to find good information and research on the topic. If you’re looking to learn more about the benefits, risks, health impacts, and history of marijuana use, watching the best marijuana documentaries is the perfect way to learn more, and see different viewpoints.
Grass is one of the best documentaries on marijuana available, and stands out as being one of the oldest on this list. Grass was groundbreaking when it was released, and still holds up as an extremely factual but funny look at the history of marijuana. Focusing on the United States, the filmmakers take a look at how marijuana has managed to remain one of the most controversial drugs in our history. It contrasts how millions of people use marijuana to their benefit, with no ill-effects, with the social view that marijuana is a serious drug with serious side-effects. Grass is a great place to start when you’re exploring the best marijuana documentaries, and is fascinating to watch if only because it gives a real look at how marijuana use was view in the 90s and earlier.
420: The Documentary
420: The Documentary is a must-watch for anyone who has even a passing interest in the history of marijuana legalization. What makes 420 a standout is the fact that there is no real “pro-legalization” viewpoint expressed in the film. Instead, filmmakers explore the relationship between the United States’ legal system and marijuana. The documentary looks at the many myths that informed the United States policies on marijuana, debunking them one by one using facts and credible research.
The film goes further to show how this war on drugs has halted research into the medical benefits of marijuana, as research was illegal and discouraged, and contrasts this with the legal over-consumption of alcohol.
The Union: The Business Behind Getting High
The Union: The Business Behind Getting High is one of the best and most praised documentaries on the business behind illegal marijuana dispensaries and grow-ops. The Union focuses on the booming, and still illegal businesses that are so successful in British Columbia (Canada). It takes a fascinating look at the people, business structures, and users who have created this thriving business, despite the legal risks. We look into the personal lives of the people involves, and the international impact of having this product cross borders into the United States.
What makes The Union so interesting is that it actually touches on some of the drawbacks that might come along with the legalization movement in North America. The Union is a must-watch for anyone who is interested in business, and particularly the business structures of the illegal marijuana industry
The Culture High
If you love The Union, you also need to check out its sequel. The Culture High is a movie that explores marijuana prohibition in the United States, and the impact on the war on drugs. It explores the history and attitudes that allowed marijuana use to be demonized, while alcohol consumption remained legal in the US. Most fascinatingly, the filmmakers have a huge number of guests, experts, and victims of the War on Drugs, who all share unique and fascinating viewpoints on marijuana use. The Culture High is highly praised and was nominated for a slew of awards, and it definitely one of the best marijuana documentaries to get started with.
The Future of Weed: High Country
If you’re going to watch one documentary on marijuana, High Country is the one to see. This is a short (45 minute) documentary by Vice, looking at Colorado in the months just before marijuana use was made completely legal. The documentary looks at how the massive use and influx of cash have attracted entrepreneurs, service providers, and technology investors from all over the world. What makes this film so interesting is that it explores what may be coming for marijuana enthusiasts, touching very little on the history of its use. For enthusiasts, there is a lot in this movie worth getting excited about, and we can only hope they all come into existence.
When We Grow this is What We Can Do
When We Grow this is What We Can Do is a documentary that was launched through YouTube and has been viewed over 2 million times around the world. It is one of the must-watch films on this list, because it focuses on marijuana use in the United Kingdom. This is one of the only great documentaries on marijuana that does not focus solely on the United States or North America.
The filmmakers take a look at the facts surrounding weed-use, referencing legal studies and the relative safety of the drug when compared to things like alcohol. It also takes a look into the laws surrounding marijuana use in the United Kingdom, and it is fascinating to see how they relate to the politics and laws around the world.
Lynching Charlie Lynch
Lynching Charlie Lynch is the fascinating story of how a business-owner was invited to open a medical marijuana dispensary in California. After following legal procedure, obtaining correct permits, becoming part of the local business community, and operating within rigorous standards, Lynch is targeted as part of a federal drug investigation that ruins his business and life. The story is fascinating but horrifying to watch, as we see a man become victim to legal grey areas and remain a target because marijuana remains classified as a “Schedule 1” drug. Lynching Charlie Lynch gives a great mix of fact and a personal story of injustice, making it one of the best marijuana documentaries available.
A NORML Life
One of the most compelling documentaries on marijuana use is A NORML Life. The film is centered on the views of NORML (National Organization of the Reform of Marijuana Laws), which views marijuana as an essential medical need, and a great alternative to many pharmaceutical drugs. They advocate for the legalization of marijuana on the grounds that there is an unimaginable medical benefit.
The documentary takes us through some of the current laws, and how they prevent people who may benefit from accessing marijuana. There are many personal accounts on the way medical marijuana has impacted lives, and gives facts on clinical studies on the benefits of marijuana use in many illnesses and conditions. A NORML Life is a great watch because it looks beyond recreational usage and provides great information on why marijuana is medically necessary for many people. After watching, you won’t doubt for a moment that medicinal marijuana as an essential.
Super High Me
Super High Me is one of the funniest documentaries available on marijuana. The title and style are a spoof on the movie Super Size Me (a very successful documentary on fast food). In Super High Me, comedian Doug Benson takes a personal look at how marijuana use impacts him. The film shows us Doug’s life when he is completely free of marijuana use, giving us a sense of who he is and how he operates. Then, the filmmakers switch gears, and we see the impact on Doug when he uses weed for 30 days straight. We get to see comparisons of Doug’s comedy performances, SAT scores, and every-day skills, and view the differences between when he is using marijuana and when he is not.
While Super High Me is primarily a comedy, it is a fascinating look at the impact of weed-smoking on one man, and will have viewers considering the impact on their own lives.
Weed is not your typical marijuana documentary, and that is exactly why it is worth checking out. It was made by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, as a special report for CNN. The fact that CNN covered the topic of weed is in and of itself groundbreaking, and shows how attitudes have started to change regarding using weed.
In the documentary, Dr. Gupta meets with several different medical marijuana patients, exploring how weed helps them to feel better. It also looks at how difficult it is for these patients to receive the medicine they need, and how this is a result of the War on Drugs. Beyond this, Dr. Gupta also explains some of the impact that marijuana has on the brain and how usage differs between regular smokers and those who are new to smoking. This is one of the newest, most credible, and best documentaries on the medical necessity of marijuana, and one worth checking out now.
As marijuana use and legalization becomes more mainstream, we will see more and more information and misinformation arise about marijuana use. It can be hard to get a clear viewpoint on the research, the facts, and the myths. The films above are the best marijuana documentaries because take us through the process of understanding the history, the benefits, the medicine and the legality behind marijuana use, and are a great place to start to start exploring.