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Top 5 Negative Movies About Cannabis

Posted by Thom Dyer on

A magnifying glass over the Google search bar.

CBD And Pop Culture

Hemp and pop culture, about as broad of a topic as you can generate. They are what I refer to as blanket words; meaning, they can cover a wide variety of terms.

The first road block I hit was the alarming amount of stoner blogs I ran into. Blogs with references to famous pot-smoking characters with plots centered around weed.

Next, I shortened the blanket a bit by cutting it down to two terms: CBD and cinema. How many times has the wonder plant been on the big Screen, or even just referenced to?  

So, I did another search..only to once again come away with the same results. This was all proving to be a difficult task. I was not getting the answers I was hoping for, no matter how I refined my searches.

Why was I getting such incorrect results? Why is it when I Google CBD references in film, I get blogs about Pineapple Express and Dazed and Confused? 

There are no traces of CBD in either of those two movies! To be honestly, it didn’t even matter how big the reference was, I was looking for anything. I would have accepted something as random as a character using a rope made out of hemp.


A a confused yellow smiley face.

Dazed and Confused: CBD Is Not Weed 


So, what gives? Are there not any references to CBD in Hollywood? (beside this one Schitt’s Creek clip). Or is there something else going on? Something that has caused us to blur the lines that separate these two words.

The answer to why there is a lack of CBD in cinema isn't really important, I'll be honest. I don’t really care why CBD has not yet become a star on the silver screen. Nor, am I holding my breath for the moment to happen. 

I am more interested in the social confusion between weed and CBD


Is it really because many people don’t know the difference between the two? Or do they not care to distinguish them? Figuring, hey what the hell, they are similar enough. Unfortunately, the two words have become intertwined with each other, even in our pop culture. 

Society still views CBD as a less dangerous alternative to its evil cousin: weed. Is this because of how weed has been depicted in our pop culture throughout the early years of film-making?

We know about the pot-friendly stoner films, but what about the antithesis to those movies? The propaganda driven movies that created a foundation of lies, depicting the plant as a cancer to our culture.

The hope is to shed a light into what makes people fearful of being caught inside a CBD shop or having their neighbor find out they get CBD shipped to their doorstep?

Let's get to the bottom of this question by now taking a look at the history of cannabis’ representation in film. Without further delay, here are the top five movies that caused the most harm to cannabis. A long lasting harm is now affecting the image of CBD.


Clip art of a projector with a line of film in a beam of light

Top 5 Negative Movies About Cannabis


5. The Terrible Truth (1951)

Directed By: Sid Davis Prductions

Starring: William B. McKesson

Most Damaging Scene: The whole movie (being that it is only 10 minutes long)

Synopsis: A phony judge, who is trying to become a District Attorney for LA County, investigates a family who lost their daughter Phyllis to drug addiction. Phyllis first succumbed to the dangers of marijuana, which quickly lead to a heroin addiction. After becoming "hooked" she turned to a life of crime, pushing "H" on the streets and eventually getting arrested. And this all happened because of marijuana... and the Soviet Union

IMDB: 3.6/10


4. Marijuana (1968)

A red-headed woman looking bewildered with tiny pot plants in the background.

Directed By: Max Miller

Starring: Sonny Bono

Most Damaging Scene: Once again, the entire film

Synopsis: A documentary, or public services announcement narrated by forgettable singer: Sony Bono. It leads off with a gripping image of kids being arrest for marijuana use, they shout about its legalization while being rounded-up. The big hard hitting question asks the audience which is worse: alcohol or marijuana. After listing the  many damages of alcohol, they fail to make any damaging points against marijuana. It's 33 minutes of nonsensical 'what-ifs' accompanied by terrible music. 

IMDB: 4.4/10


3. MayJane (1968)

A movie poster with quote bubbles everywhere.

Directed By: Maury Dexter

Starring: Fabian, Diane McBain

Most Damaging Scene: The trailer should be enough

Synopsis: Basically, a town fights back against the ruthless drug marijuana. This monster of a drug takes a forefront in the towns people's lives after a lethal car wreck due to an intoxicated, high, driver. Jordan Bates and his posse are responsible for peddling this dangerous dope around the small town. It is up to one man, Phil Blake, to save the heart of student Jerry Blackburn, thus saving town. (If you have the option to watch paint dry, take that route instead) 

IMDB: 5.6/10


2. Marihuana (1936)

Movie poster for the film Marihuana. 

Directed By: Dwain Esper

Staring: Harley Wood, Hugh McArthur, Pat Carlyle

Most Damaging Scene: The Trailer

Synopsis: (Spoilers) The main character, Burma, and her friends meet some strangers at a bar, together they all head to a party. While there, Burma and her friends smoke marijuana by mistake. A fatal mistake that was. Burma ends up having premarital sex with her boyfriend, Dick Collier. Not far away from the coitous, one of her friends drowns while skinny dipping. Burma gets pregnant and Dick has to take up a life of crime to support his future family, becoming a drug smuggler. Naturally, Dick dies and Burma turns into a drug dealer too. Eventually, she is forced to give up her baby to adoption.

IMDB: 4/10


1. Reefer Madness (1936)

Movie poster for the film Reefer Madness.

Directed By: Louis J. Casnier

Starring: Dorothy Short, Lillian Miles, Dave O'Brein

Most Damaging Scene: The classic piano scene 

Synopsis: Finally, the most famous film of them all. An icon of the anti-smoking scene. The film is about a couple that sells weed together, cute. This movie is about a ridiculous chain of events turn of events all because a kid got high. I don't want to spoil this one, because it actually is worth watching.

IMDB: 3.8/10


Cannabis and Its Representation in Cinema 

Why is this all important? Because film representation matters, it dictates your opinions. If you have excluded yourself from a certain lifestyle or culture, then you really have no idea how it operates.

What you do have to go off from is what you see in the news, film, or television. And if what those outlets show is lies, then you will only know falsehoods - you will never understand the truth.

Stereotypes are started through propaganda and are cemented in popular culture. Film is a window into the lives of cultures most people will never be a part of, so what they understand is what they see.

This is why film representation matters to us. If you are only familiar with the stereotypes of cannabis and you go to watch a film that perpetuates those stereotypes, then your mind has been made up for you. If you only see the lies, then you will only believe the lies. 

The propaganda I've shown above is still damaging cannabis and even skim CBD. Those films, and others like it, have laid the foundation for the negative damaging stereotypes.

They based their lies from the politicians who wished to see cannabis be evaporated from this Earth. These dirty politicians were stoking the propaganda flames, spreading the fire of lies, choking their constituents with their fumes of hatred.

As children we were taught that milk is bad and we should never try cannabis. Because of this, many people don’t understand milk and wish to stay away from it. 

Our country has come out and said CBD is legal, CBD can help you, CBD is good. However, people still doubt it and still associate it with its ‘evil’ cousin: weed.

These same people don’t want to be involved with CBD, for fear of judgement. For fear that it leads to a dangerous road; if I try CBD once, then who knows what I’ll be craving next.

It is hard for them to separate cannabis and CBD. It’s an even harder task to accomplish if one is accepting of cannabis, but is not familiar with the differences, and the task is almost impossible if all you know is the lies.

Yet, we will continue to break down the lies, gradually. Creating a better imagine in popular culture has been a big success to the gradual change. People will always be a little hesitant to the unknown. They fear what they don’t know; what they don’t know is, there is nothing to fear. 

We need to let them know that CBD is here to help, not harm.


The content on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. While research has shown that CBD has the potential to help provide beneficial outcomes for several complaints, it is advisable to seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider when you have questions regarding any medical condition and when starting, augmenting or discontinuing any existing health routine. 

FDA Disclaimer: Any statements made within this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. No products produced, manufactured, marketed, or distributed are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your physician before beginning any supplements or botanical extracts. If pregnant or breast feeding, consult with your physician before use. For use by adults 18+. Keep out of reach of children.



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