Compulsive Creator

Hopper Recs: 5 Must-Watch Cannabis Docs

March 18, 2021

Over the last decade, as the path towards federal legalization in the U.S. remains riddled with cultural and political challenges, there’s been a steady rise in real cannabis-related stories translated to film. The documentaries on this list aim to humanize and destigmatize cannabis, while giving a microphone to the faces behind the movement. Tag us on social media @hopperreserve to let us know if there’s a documentary we should add to this list! 

Not Just Another Day

Logline

Another Black American is criminalized for an oz of marijuana in the age of the booming multi-billion dollar legal cannabis industry.”

Why You Should Watch

This documentary short from Planet Froth features the story of Lionel Tate. Lionel was one of the 142,000 Black Americans arrested in 2015 for marijuana possession. Unequal criminalization based on racial bias remains staggering, with the ACLU estimating that Black Americans are 3.6x more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than white Americans. A stat that is especially chilling considering the booming multi-billion dollar recreational cannabis industry. Through the telling of one man’s story, this film makes the point that this should not and cannot continue to happen in parallel. Interestingly, Lionel himself appears in the re-enactment scenes – a re-living of events that was surely both heart-wrenching and healing for him.

How to Watch 

Not Just Another Day premiered at the San Luis International Film Festival on March 13. More information on where to watch coming soon!

 

Lady Buds

Logline

“Six women emerge from the shadows of the California cannabis industry to go legal. As farmers, entrepreneurs and activists, these modern-day superheroes battle government bureaucracy, corporate interests and risk financial ruin in order to fight for the industry they helped create and for the survival of their community.”

Why You Should Watch

From director Chris Russo, Lady Buds features diverse voices of women in cannabis, caught in the wake of post-legalization frenzy in California. These women worked tirelessly, largely under the radar, to quite literally sow the seeds of the agricultural possibilities. Transitioning their experience to the regulated market has been a rollercoaster of well-founded uncertainty and fear as recent legislation favors those with the corporate and financial resources to play the game. But nevertheless, they’ve persisted. The film tells the varied stories of these women through both broader historical and intimately personal lenses, highlighting their shared leadership and mission of challenging harmful cannabis and gendered stereotypes.

How to Watch 

Coming Soon. 2021 Release Date TBA. Watch the trailer. 

 

Grass is Greener

Logline

“It lit up jazz and hip-hop — and ignited a war on drugs steeped in racial injustice. Experts explore America’s complicated relationship with weed.”

Why You Should Watch

The 2019 directorial debut of Fred Brathwaite (more popularly known by his hip hop name, Fab 5 Freddy), the Grass is Greener argues it wasn’t until cannabis was linked culturally to prominent African-American and Mexican populations that the US government began to intervene. Notably, this began with New Orleans Jazz legends like Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong in the 1930s and 40s. The rebranding of cannabis as the Spanish word “marijuana” in the US further pushed the narrative of othering both the plant and the people who were using it. The film explores how the stigma of these tactics stuck around. Weaving in weed’s impact on music (and notable musicians) alongside more recent cultural smear campaigns, the Grass is Greener effectively tells the story of the racialization and prohibition of cannabis.

How to Watch 

Available on Netflix. 

 

The Culture High

Logline

“Journeying across the North American landscape, “The Culture High” is the riveting story that tears into the very fiber of modern day marijuana prohibition to reveal the truth behind the arguments and motives governing both those who support and those who oppose the existing pot laws.”

Why You Should Watch

The Culture High provides an in-depth look at all things legislation. A 360-degree look at cannabis prohibition in North America. From the misery-laiden War on Drugs to what led to cannabis prohibition to begin with, The Culture High gets into the nitty gritty, turning over every stone. Featuring interesting interviews with everyone from dealers to medical professionals to law enforcement to celebrities, The Culture High, as it’s name implies unearths the viewpoints from all corners of cannabis culture.

How to Watch 

Available on Amazon Prime.

 

Weediquette 

Logline

“Weediquette is a documentary television series airing on Viceland that follows host, and Vice correspondent, Krishna Andavolu as he chronicles the science, culture and economics of the legalization of marijuana.”

Why You Should Watch

If you want to get in the trenches alongside everyday people all over the world who partake in cannabis activities, this insightful and educational series is a great one to jump into at your leisure. Each episode focuses on telling the story of individuals who’s lives have been impacted by cannabis. With themes ranging from cannabis in the Congo to veterans with PTSD to those who use cannabis to Uruguay’s fully legal market, host Krishna Andavolu shines a light on some of the most interesting angles and “untold” stories of the cannabis world.

How to Watch 

Much of this fascinating series is available on YouTube.

 

Share This Story

OLDER JOURNAL ENTRIES

Hopper Reflections: A Partial Topography of a Creative Mind in The Applied Arts

by John Mamus Overview and disclaimer. These are personal views expressed by the designer.  I’ve been a creative for more than 30 years – most of it on Madison Ave. in New York City. I’ve been on the Advertising Agency side: Ogilvy, Young & Rubicam, Deutsch, Merkley + Partners. I’ve been on the client-side as…

Hopper Stories: Interview with Taryn Weitzman, Founder of Her Travel Style

In case you missed our first guest on our Instagram series, The Creative Commune, we caught up Taryn Weitzman, Her Travel Style founder and creative director, to continue our conversation. Her words captured below echo Dennis’ values of living creatively and truly. Taryn’s perspective as a creative continues to resonate with anyone aspiring to actualize…
Photo by Dennis Hopper, Drugstore Camera

Hopper Reflections: Dear American Dreamer

An open letter to our community from Hopper Reserve CEO, Evan Eneman   Dear American Dreamer, Welcome to 2021!  What an incredible first 21 days we have had.  It’s as if each week has been a year, and our hearts and minds have most certainly aged as much, even if our bodies have not. Or…