In my opinion, there’s no better way to learn something new on the topic that you’re already passionate about than by watching documentaries.
Since you’re here and reading this article, it’s safe to say that we both share a passion for cannabis.
When you Google weed-related things to watch, you’ll notice there’s a huge number of weed documentary movies, shows, and sitcoms. So, how to choose what’s good?
To save you time, I’ll be your reader’s digest with this list of 10 best weed documentaries that are worth your while.
Weed the People (2018), 97 minutes
This is an emotional and overwhelming medical cannabis documentary revolving around struggling parents battling both time and outdated laws.
Documentarian Abby Epstein is following a group of parents and their young children diagnosed with cancer, whose only remaining hope is cannabis. The laws are changing too slowly, which inhibits scientific progress needed to fully grasp the therapeutic properties of cannabinoids.
But when their children are sick, most parents are more than ready to break the law and try alternatives that could be life-saving.
This documentary investigates if cannabis has the ability to eradicate some forms of cancer—which it does, but only specific types of this plant, and in highly concentrated forms and precise doses.
The Union: The Business Behind Getting High (2007), 104 minutes
Although it may seem that The Union is outdated and irrelevant because it was filmed more than 10 years ago, that’s really not the case. Long before cannabis was legalized for recreational use in Canada, 85% of all BS’s cannabis production was exported to the US, making it an international issue.
The author Adam Scorgie interviews medical experts, politicians, police officers, economists and celebrities in order to explain the reasons why weed should be viewed in the same light as tobacco and alcohol.
The entire documentary is available on YouTube, and you can also watch it here.
The Culture High (2014), 120 minutes
The Culture High is a sequel to The Union: The Business Behind Getting High, and it has a very interesting approach. This documentary looks at both sides of the coin: cannabis legalization supporters on one side, and its opponents on the other.
The crew behind Culture High gathered a bunch of celebrities who were willing to talk about this delicate matter, including Richard Branson, Snoop Dogg, Joe Rogan, Rufus Hound, Howard Marks and Wiz Khalifa.
Even a couple of politicians and law enforcement officers were willing to share their views.
This movie premiered on several important film festivals around the globe, and it was also nominated for a bunch of awards. You can stream it on Netflix.
420: The Documentary (2013), 92 minutes
Educational and entertaining—with documentary footage from various 420 civil disobedience festivals, this film tells the story of young people who’ve been arrested (and even shot) for cannabis possession.
In this documentary, you’ll have a chance to hear the heart-warming confessions of former law enforcement officers, who now regret enforcing anti-cannabis policies.
420: The Documentary tells the story of the wrongful propaganda of numerous governments against a plant that so many people can actually benefit from. That’s how pot was made illegal.
The Legend of 420 (2017), 87 minutes
This relatively new documentary gives us an insight into the long and tedious journey cannabis has gone through. The film states facts from both the medical and legal arena, but also provides comic relief through various light-hearted scenes.
Peter Spirer (the director) is an Academy Award nominee (for “Blood Ties: The Life and Work of Sally Mann”), and in this motion picture he interviews patients, lawyers, doctors, growers and artists who talk about the economic, medicinal and artistic potential of this plant.
The Legend of 420 provides an overly optimistic insight about the positive transition of the global cannabis culture.
Plus, it’s available on Netflix.
American Drug War 2: Cannabis Destiny (2013), 90 minutes
Directed by Kevin Booth who became a foster parent himself, this documentary argues that children are the biggest victims of the longest war in America—the War on Drugs.
It follows a 2-year-old boy with brain cancer who underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
After being in a coma for 40 days, the doctors prepared his parents for the worst.
However, while doing research on alternative therapies, the boy’s father found out about a new version of an ancient drug made from cannabis. The parents started injecting the still illegal hemp oil in their dying son’s feeding tube, without the doctor’s approval.
When a miracle happened, medical professionals were left speechless. This is a very intense and emotional documentary, and is definitely something you should watch if you’re interested in the medicinal aspects of cannabis.
Lynching Charlie Lynch (2011), 100 minutes
Back in 2006, Charlie Lynch opened a medical cannabis dispensary within the limits of Morro Bay city in California. He was offered to join the Chamber of Commerce, and a full license to run his business by the civic leaders of this city.
But as pot remained on the list of Schedule 1 substances, Lynch’s dispensary became a target of DEA raids and he was arrested for weed trafficking, distribution and cultivation, and worst of all, for allegedly selling cannabis to minors.
From a respectful citizen to a notorious drug dealer, Lynch soon became a burning topic in the news.
Lynching Charlie Lynch depicts the hell this man went through in the name of medical cannabis.
How Weed Won the West (2010), 100 minutes
Another documentary by Kevin Booth, How Weed Won the West tells a story about the expanding medical cannabis industry in California, in correlation with federal marijuana prohibition laws. This movie also investigates the facets of recreational use.
You’ll enjoy watching a former LAPD officer who is now completely pro-legalization, as well as the notorious conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his personal views on the matter.
It’s a humorous and informative insight about the times when recreational weed was still illegal in California, and the hypocritical laws which were in full swing not so long ago.
You can watch the entire movie in the video above.
Breaking the Taboo (2011), 80 minutes
When Morgan Freeman narrates it, it can’t be a bad film. Breaking the Taboo is a Brazilian picture on global politics and the War on Drugs.
It tells a story of the Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP), which is a panel of world leaders based in Geneva, Switzerland. Their main objective is the “liberation” of controlled substances, which they consider as the best possible solution for ending the War on Drugs once and for all.
The movie was filmed in 18 different cities, and had over 160 participants. Besides the former president of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former US presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter also make an appearance.
My favorite quote from this film is also food for thought:
“If you can’t control drug use in a maximum security prison, how can you control drug use in a free society?”
Code of the West (2012), 75 minutes
Directed by Rebecca Richman Cohen, Code of the West provides a deeper understanding of Montana’s pot laws back in 2011. You’re most likely unaware of this, but Montana is the first and only US state to repeal its medical cannabis laws.
Many users and growers share their views on the entire situation, as well as legalization opponents. Another great movie which unfortunately brings our top 10 list to the end.
If you think I skipped any important documentaries on this subject let me know in the comment section, and I’ll be sure to include them in the article.