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 ...
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Anthony 'Man' Stoner (archive footage)
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Fiorello LaGuardia ...
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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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

14 July 2000 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Erva  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$21,578 (USA) (4 June 2000)

Gross:

$313,039 (USA) (17 September 2000)
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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Ontario Censor Board wanted to remove some 1960s footage of some lab monkeys forced to smoke dope as it depicted animal cruelty. 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

After the credits there is one more black & white clip, of a man saying that if just one person is discouraged because of the film, it was worth their time making it. See more »

Connections

Features Marijuana (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Quit Playing Games With God! (Grass Theme)
Written by Mark Mothersbaugh
Performed by Mark Mothersbaugh
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User Reviews

A War Documentary
8 November 2000 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

'Grass' is a war documentary. From small beginnings, this war has escalated throughout the 20th century, costing billions of dollars, with no resolve in sight.

This sociological piece favors one side, that of legalization, and an end to the war on drugs. 'Grass' raises questions that, whatever your feelings towards the drug, are due for some objective debate. The subject matter is exclusively Grass in America, with only occasional mention of other drugs or countries.

Grass hurtles through a fascinating account of the social and political history of marijuana in the US. Important bills, social movements, and other events are documented in an appropriately mellow manner. The production is mostly stock footage with clever animations dispersed to signal a new law or time period. The soundtrack delivered the required music; 'One toke over the line', some Louis Armstrong and the Peter Tosh classic 'Legalize it'.

While largely focusing on the socio/politics of marijuana there is also an effort to dispel many of the myths of user effects. Humorous interviews and 'informational video's' from all eras show attempts by lobby groups to portray pot as Satan in a plant. It is made clear that there is no evidence that the drug causes insanity, perversion, and homicidal behavior. Just what the drugs effects really are, the documentary admits, is almost entirely unknown.

'Grass' is not a pot adventure; it doesn't advocate use. The focus is a condemnation of American belief that throwing people in jail will change individuals private practices.


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