A List of Movies That Helped Cannabis Become Mainstream


At Peninsula Alternative Health in Salisbury, Maryland, we like to educate our community about medical cannabis, and popular culture is a great way to stay informed about societal shifts in this alternative medicine.

Check out our team's list of fun movies that helped medical cannabis become more mainstream: 

The Big Lebowski. Jeff Bridges takes on the titular role of Jeff Lebowski, also known as The Dude. This easygoing burnout has the same name as a millionaire (David Huddleston) whose much younger wife (Tara Reid) owes money to a lot of dangerous people. This sends The Dude in a spiral that is the Los Angeles underworld.

The 1998 cult film also stars John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Watch the trailer here.

Dazed and Confused. This 1993 coming-of-age film centers around a rowdy high school in Austin, Texas, celebrating the final day of senior year in the 1970s. The class joins an impromptu keg party, but star football player (Jason London) promised to abstain from partying to focus on the championship game.

All the while, incoming freshmen are trying to avoid hazing by the seniors, including the class bully (Ben Affleck). The film also stars Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich, and Parker Posey. Watch the trailer here.

Dude, Where’s My Car? Two partying, cannabis-loving friends known as The Dudes (Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott) can’t remember anything from the previous night, including where they parked their car. They embark on a mission to retrace their foggy steps, only to wind up on the adventure of a lifetime in this 2000 film. Watch the trailer.

Half Baked. When one of their friends gets arrested for killing a New York City police horse by feeding it junk food, the crew is forced to raise bail by selling medical marijuana that’s stolen from a pharmaceutical lab. The 1998 film stars comedian Dave Chappelle, rapper Snoop Dogg, Jon Stewart, and Willie Nelson. Watch the trailer.

High School. This 2010 indie comedy centers around high school senior Henry Burke (Matt Bush), who smokes his first joint ever -- the day before the principal institutes a mandatory drug test for all students.

With his college scholarship on the line, Burke teams up with his “stoner” pal Travis Breaux (Sean Marquette) to steal cannabis from Psycho Ed (Adrien Brody) and use it for brownies in the school bake sale. Watch the trailer.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. When Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) learn that their comic counterparts are being cast in a movie, they’re salivating over the promise of fat paydays. However, when the pair find that no royalties are coming their way, they set out to sabotage the entire film at any cost.

The 2001 film also stars Ben Affleck, Shannon Elizabeth, Will Ferrell, Jason Lee, and Eliza Dushku. Watch the trailer.

Pineapple Express. Seth Rogen and James Franco’s 2008 breakout film centers around a rare strain of marijuana that may prove fatal, as Dale Denton (Rogen) drops his smoked joint in a panic upon witnessing a murder.

Upon learning that the rare cannabis can be traced back to the duo, Denton and his dealer (Franco) begin to run from a dangerous drug lord (Gary Cole) and a crooked cop (Rosie Perez). Watch the trailer.

Still Smokin. In this 1983 film, cannabis lovers Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong head to Amsterdam after receiving film festival tickets from a promoter (Hans Man in 't Veld). When they’re mistaken for Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton at a celebrity party, Cheech and Chong roll with their new characters in this wild international adventure. Watch the trailer.

Up in Smoke. This 1978 cult classic stars an unemployed cannabis-smoking slacker (Chong) who leaves his strict parents behind as he hits the open road, eventually meeting his kindred spirit (Marin).

After being arrested for possession and released upon a technicality, the duo goes on a series of misadventures, including competing in a rock band contest. Watch the trailer.

When it comes to medical cannabis, we have a long way to go in order to end the stigma. However, pop culture and cinema help break down the walls through comedy and realism.

If you want more information about this alternative treatment, contact the Peninsula Alternative Health team in Salisbury, Maryland.