Neve Campbell was, at the time, one of the most recognizable actresses in the film, despite the fact that her role was relatively small. While the production wanted to be able to give her a bigger part, it was decided that it would be unwise to do so, since the two biggest female leads both were romantically involved with Christian Campbell's character. Christian is Neve Campbell's brother.
This is one of the most complicated musicals filmed for television. The movie contains sixteen musical sequences, several complex large-scale dance numbers, and cast members that are proud to display their actual singing voices.
In 1997, writing partners Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney, who had met while studying at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, were driving from Oakland to Los Angeles and listening to Frank Zappa's "Joe's Garage". "So I started picturing it in my head," Studney recalls. "Frank Zappa's concept of a musical and then it just hit me. I turned to Kevin and said 'What about doing Reefer Madness as a musical?'" By the time the creative duo reached Los Angeles, they had already written the first song.
The process of creating the dances was elaborate, complex and highly collaborative, involving everyone from the director to the production designer, costume designer and director of photography. Styles of dance ranged from swing to Bob Fosse-inspired jazz, Bollywood, hip-hop and Las Vegas-type show dancing. More than 400 dancers were auditioned in order to find the 30 used in the final production.
During the orgy dance number, one of the dancers is, in reality, director Andy Fickman's wife, and another dancer is Christian Campbell's real life girlfriend. Since the film was shot in Canada, the remaining dancers were actually Canadian strippers hired to do the dance sequence.
The number 420 can be spotted several times in the film. It appears as a house number, on a sign in the church, as a time of day in the Reefer Den (when Mae and Jack go out for Chinese) and on the town sign.