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Back-to-school movie marathon: Online or on campus, the stoner student trope lives on

By Kate A. Miner EVERCANNABIS Correspondent

Typically, as August rolls in, we start to think about “back-to-school” which can mean heading to a college campus or getting younger kids prepped for another K-12 year. But this year, nothing about “going back to school” will be typical.

Many districts plan to start the academic year online, and it is unclear when or if students and teachers will be back in traditional classrooms anytime soon.

In the face of so much change, we thought a movie marathon to reminisce about old school days might help ease anxiety about all these more serious changes. Or at least these films can provide some degree of entertainment while we’re stuck at home – again.

These movie marathon suggestions all have a ‘green’ theme, of course, including the usual comical offerings, but we have also included some documentaries.

So if learning from the living room is the new norm, why not pack yourself a bowl and see if your learning capacity improves? Cannabis is said to improve neural connectivity in the brain and also may improve the flow of thought and creativity.

If nothing else, you will feel more relaxed and less stressed out about our quickly-changing world.

Back-to-school-basics: Comedies

“How High”

Dir. Jesse Dylan, 2001

Rappers Redman and Method Man portray two cannabis enthusiasts who are visited by the ghost of a friend after smoking weed fertilized with his ashes. The ghost helps with their exams, and they receive scholarships to Harvard University. Considered a classic American stoner film, this one is utter nonsense, along the lines of a Cheech & Chong buddy movie.

“High School”

Dir. John Stalberg Jr., 2010

High school valedictorian-to-be Henry Burke (Matt Bush) takes his first hit of pot with his ex-best friend Travis (Sean Marquette), only to learn that their high school is conducting a drug test that could lead to his expulsion. The obvious solution? Stealing the stash from a dealer known as Psycho Ed (played by Academy Award-winner Adrien Brody) to get the whole school high, invalidate the drug test and save Henry’s future. A Sundance winner!

“Mac & Devin Go to High School”

Dir. Dylan Brown, 2012

Rappers Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa play two high school students – Snoop has repeated senior year 15 times – who must work together to ace their final class. The reviews of this straight-to-DVD movie were overwhelmingly bad, but its soundtrack did bring us the catchy single “Young, Wild & Free” featuring Bruno Mars.

Classic canna-canon: “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” “Dazed and Confused,” and “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”

New heights of education: Documentaries

“Super High Me”

Dir. Michael Blieden, 2007

Determined to find out the true effects of marijuana on the human body, comedian Doug Benson documents his experience avoiding pot for 30 days and then consuming massive amounts for 30 days. Inspired by Morgan Spurlock’s examination of the American fast-food giant McDonald’s in “Super Size Me,” Benson’s journey explores the hotly contested debate over medical marijuana use.

“Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja”

Dir. Billy Corben, 2011

This colorful portrait of Miami’s pot smuggling scene of the 1970s features fishermen-turned-smugglers, a ganja-smoking church, and the longest serving marijuana prisoner in American history. For context, square grouper was a nickname given to bales of marijuana thrown overboard or out of airplanes in South Florida in the 70s and 80s.

“Degenerate Art: The Art and Culture of Glass Pipes”

Dir. Marble Slinger, 2011

Viewers can enjoy learning about the art and culture of glass pipe-making through the voices of the artists themselves and the industry that surrounds them. Despite federal laws, pipe makers are pioneering new techniques in glasswork and have created a whole new genre of American folk art.

“The Culture High”

Dir. Brett Harvey, 2014

The makers of the critically acclaimed “The Union: The Business Behind Getting High” return to the subject of cannabis prohibition, focusing on the culture created to support the war on drugs and how those narratives have been maintained.

Classic canna-canon: “Rolling Papers,” “Weed The People,” and “Clearing the Smoke: The Science of Cannabis”

Kate A. Miner has a degree in visual anthropology, and has worked in marketing and advertising for many years. She writes, takes photos and teaches yoga.
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