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Grass (1999) More at IMDbPro »

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Grass -- Marijuana is the most controversial drug of the twentieth century. Smoked by generations of musicians, students and workers to little discernible ill effect, it continues to be reviled by the vast majority of governments around the world. With his new film, Grass, veteran filmer Ron Mann brings his impeccable historical facility and story telling skills to  recount how a relatively harmless drug has been demonized for decades.  With a rueful yet incisive script, deft editing and an impressive soundtrack featuring original songs by Mark Mothersbaugh and a veritable pot-pourri of tunes ranging from the Swing Era's "Reefer Man" through Dylan's "Rainy Day Women" to the hippie lament "One Toke Over The Line," Ron Mann's Grass boasts extraordinary production values. Funny yet political, Grass charts the terrible loss in imprisoned lives and billions of dollars wasted fighting a drug that refuses to go away.
Grass -- The history of the American government's war on marijuana in the 20th century.
Grass -- The history of the American government's war on marijuana in the 20th century.


User Rating:
7.3/10   3,239 votes »
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Solomon Vesta (writer)
View company contact information for Grass on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 July 2000 (Spain) See more »
The history of the American government's war on marijuana in the 20th century. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
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(9 articles)
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User Reviews:
Highly entertaining; moderately scholarly. See more (29 total) »


  (in credits order)

Woody Harrelson ... Narrator (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry J. Anslinger ... Himself (archive footage)

George Bush ... Himself (archive footage)

Cab Calloway ... Himself (archive footage)

Jimmy Carter ... Himself (archive footage)

Chevy Chase ... Himself (archive footage)

Tommy Chong ... Anthony 'Man' Stoner (archive footage)

Dwight D. Eisenhower ... Himself (archive footage)

Gerald Ford ... Himself (archive footage)

Jerry Garcia ... Himself (archive footage)

Allen Ginsberg ... Himself (archive footage)

John F. Kennedy ... Himself (archive footage)
Gene Krupa ... Himself (archive footage)
Fiorello LaGuardia ... Himself (archive footage)
Timothy Leary ... Himself (archive footage)

John Lennon ... Himself (archive footage)

Cheech Marin ... Pedro De Pacas (archive footage)
Gertrude Michael ... Herself (archive footage)

Robert Mitchum ... Himself (archive footage)

Richard Nixon ... Himself (archive footage)

Yoko Ono ... Herself (archive footage)
Eli Perell ... Additional Voices
Josh Perell ... Additional Voices

Nancy Reagan ... Herself (archive footage)

Ronald Reagan ... Himself (archive footage)
Harry S. Robins ... (voice)
John Sinclair ... Himself (archive footage)
Douglass Smith ... (voice)

Stephanie Zari ... (voice)

Directed by
Ron Mann 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Solomon Vesta  writer

Produced by
Keith Clarkson .... executive producer
Marc Glassman .... associate producer
Sue Len Quon .... co-producer
Ron Mann .... producer
Original Music by
Guido Luciani 
Cinematography by
Robert Fresco 
Film Editing by
Robert Kennedy 
Art Direction by
Paul Mavrides 
Sound Department
Keith Elliott .... sound re-recording mixer
Mishann Lau .... dialogue editor
Rosnick MacKinnon .... sound
Andy Malcolm .... foley artist
Tom Trafalski .... sound designer
Visual Effects by
David Biedny .... digital rendering
Dave Salter .... animation cameraman
Mark Tureski .... optical effects (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Steve Franko .... colorist
Sue Len Quon .... assistant editor
Music Department
Bob Casale .... music producer: "Quit Playing Games with God"
Robert Kennedy .... music editor
Elliott Lefko .... music consultant
Guido Luciani .... conductor
Guido Luciani .... orchestrator
Herwig Maurer .... composer: song "Dope Dreams"
Mike Rosnick .... score producer
Ted Rosnick .... score producer
Other crew
Craig Baines .... researcher
Simon St. Laurent .... opticals: Film Opticals
Maury Whyte .... graphics coordinator

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for drug content
80 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

With the exception of the animated chapter headings, this film is comprised entirely of archival footage, films, and videos.See more »
["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."] See more »
Movie Connections:
All the Jive is GoneSee more »


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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Highly entertaining; moderately scholarly., 14 May 2005
Author: Claudia King (agentclaudia) from New Jersey, United States

I watched this right after completing a research paper on marijuana policy, and it was certainly a nice break after working entirely out of dry text. Much easier on the eyes than hundreds of pages of tiny type.

There certainly is a lot of stuff this movie left out, including some of the funnier things (such as the marijuana murder trials of 1938, or the 120-second Congressional hearings for the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act), but it definitely gets the point across in a colorful, often rather silly way complete with movie clips, weird songs, goofy video-game graphics, old-ranting-politician footage, and some of the more ludicrous public service announcements. The cultural bent makes it much less dry than most of the strictly historical, legal and political reading I've done, which is saying a bit as the legal history is pretty entertaining.

Just in case you somehow miss the point (or forget about it while watching Cab Calloway tap-dance), Grass makes a heavy point of repeatedly pointing out the escalating amounts of money spent on this unobtrusive little weed, and highlights the blatant lies the public has been subjected to over the past century by reiterating "The Truth" for every decade or so.

The only real downside to the movie is that it skipped over the disclaimer that every marijuana decriminalization piece really needs to have in it somewhere: There is no such thing as an entirely safe drug.

In conclusion, I would recommend this movie quite highly if you're looking to be introduced to the subject in a tolerably entertaining fashion, or if you're sick of reading and want something a little more audially/visually stimulating. For real information on the drug, however, I'd recommend reading "Marihuana: a Signal of Misunderstanding" instead.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (29 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Grass (1999)
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Don Crowe? james-josef
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A few points of criticism willezurmacht24
Jazz Organ song around 36:50 min justnikki84
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I watched it yesterday on sat. TV antimatter235
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