Grass (2000) DVD
Although there are more than a few films out there about the history of marijuana, few tell the tale as informatively, and entertainingly, as Grass. This is a full-length documentary film that is narrated by Hollywood film star Woody Harrelson, himself being known for an outwardly positive attitude toward cannabis. Harrelson does a smart job of handling these duties, and is easy to listen too through the 80 minutes of the production. This film follows the often ridiculous history of marijuana policy in the United States, and covers the sometimes frivolous social attitudes about the issue as well.
The interesting thing about this film’s approach to the subject matter is the way that it breaks down the historical context into different segments, which each segment covering around a decade at a time. As expected of a good historical recount, there is a lot of good archival footage in here, including some priceless and fairly damning footage of Harry J. Anslinger himself. Anslinger the notorious leader of the first ever incarnation of what would soon evolve into the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency. Anslinger, a notorious bigot and racist to the extreme, is shown in his true light as being the destructive, close-minded G-man that he was.
There is also a laundry list of other historically relevant figures featured in the film as well; including such instantly recognizable subjects as former American Presidents, numerous famous entertainers, and others relevant to the now nearly century-long struggle for sensible marijuana policies in this country. With its broad historical content recounted in an informative yet humorous way, and boasting a highly relevant cast of historical players directly involved with the issue, Grass is a nice overview of the long and sorted history of cannabis policy in the USA.
This film was produced by seasoned documentary film producer Ron Mann, and written by Solomon Vesta. Grass was initially released at the Toronto Film Festival in September of 1999. It is a good film to help educate and entertain those that are already on the cannabis loving side of the argument, but would certainly prove an even more valuable watch for those that may not know much of anything about the plant, or its illustrious history, at all.
All and all, this is an easily recommendable film, and as previously stated, an enjoyable time as well. But perhaps the biggest reason to take a look at this one is the sheer necessity for the triumph of true knowledge over government hyperbole and propagandist misinformation about an issue that does dramatically more harm through its policies than could ever occur through human interaction with the cannabis plant itself.