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Grass (1999)

R  |   |  Documentary, History  |  14 July 2000 (Spain)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 3,226 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 29 user | 52 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

The history of the American government's war on marijuana in the 20th century.

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry J. Anslinger ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Anthony 'Man' Stoner (archive footage)
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Gene Krupa ...
Himself (archive footage)
Fiorello LaGuardia ...
Himself (archive footage)
Timothy Leary ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

This film explores the history of the American government's official policy on marijuana in the 20th century. Rising with xenophobia with Mexican immigration and their taste for smoking marijuana, we see the establishment of a wrong headed federal drug policy as a crime issue as opposed to a public health approach. Fueled by prejudice, hysterical propaganda and political opportunism undeterred by voices of reason on the subject, we follow the story of a costly and futile crusade against a substance with debatable ill effects that has damaged basic civil liberties. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@home.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

14 July 2000 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Erva  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$21,578 (USA) (2 June 2000)

Gross:

$313,039 (USA) (15 September 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Woody Harrelson narrated this documentary for free. See more »

Quotes

["Prohibition cannot be enforced for the simple reason that the majority of the American people do not want it enforced and are resisting its enforcement. That being so, the orderly thing to do under our form of government is to abolish a law that cannot be enforced, a law which the people of the country do not want enforced."]
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Crazy Credits

No hippies were harmed in the making of this movie. See more »

Connections

Features Drug Addiction (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Hooray for Hollywood
(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One Toke Short Of The Line
29 March 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

The United States of America has spent untold billions to search out, arrest, prosecute, and imprison people who use marijuana; all the time, money, and effort that has gone into this has had very little effect; and it does seem odd, particularly given evidence that alcohol and nicotine are much deadlier, that we put so much emphasis on the clearly futile effort to eradicate its use. It is a situation ripe for a documentary that combines hard fact with witty satire, and this is precisely what GRASS attempts to do.

But "attempts" is the operative word here. While the film is accurate re the facts it presents, it tends to ignore facts it doesn't like--chief among them that any drug, all the way from cough syrup to heroin, can be abused, and marijuana is no exception to the rule. Ron Mann's failure to acknowledge this tends to undercut his own argument, and what ultimately emerges is a film that argues FOR the legalization of marijuana TO people who are already in favor of it.

That said, while the film presents plenty of amusing graphics and often hilarious snips of vintage films such as the notorious REEFER MADNESS, the pace is just a shade too laid back to hold the narrative together. When all is said and done, it lacks both the informational and visual spark of a truly first rate documentary. Worth watching once, but only if you don't expect too much from it.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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