Many Hollywood movies have shown medical marijuana being used by sufferers of various debilitating conditions. However, the problem with medical marijuana’s on screen portrayal means that movies are often full of factual errors. We look at some of our favourite medical marijuana moments from the movies and correct the inaccuracies:
In the Julia Roberts tear-jerker Stepmom the mother, played by Susan Sarandon, smokes medical marijuana while she’s slowly dying from cancer. Apparently Susan Sarandon insisted that the film included the scenes. Susan Sarandon was a famous signatory to an ad that appeared in the New York Times promoting the legalized use of medical marijuana and it’s likely that her co-star Ed Harris approved her of pro-pot stance, after admitting in a 2001 interview that it was pot that led him to acting. Even Julia Roberts appears to be pro-pot after asking a waiter in a GQ promotional interview, “Are we allowed to smoke marijuana in here?” But while Stepmom did have a few famous pro-pot activists in its cast that didn’t stop the movie from having some gross inaccuracies. Namely the fact that the movie was set in New York, a place where medical marijuana is not legal and which actually had lengthy and frequent sentences for possession up until 2001, when governor Pataki launched a campaign to reform the drug laws.
Pieces of April
The film Pieces of April saw Katie Holmes playing a completely different character to her usual girl-next-door type. In the film, Katie plays April, the black sheep of her family who, although estranged from her family, opts to invite them all over for a Thanksgiving dinner. The meal is perhaps the last for her mother Joy who is suffering from breast cancer and smoking medical marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of her chemotherapy. The film shows three main journeys including the family’s trek from Suburbia to New York City which is punctuated by various stops for munchies at Krispy Kreme, and Joy’s frequent restroom breaks where she can stop and smoke her medical marijuana. April’s family are travelling to New York from Pennsylvania, and at the time of the film’s release medical marijuana was not legal in Pennsylvania, with possession carrying hefty fines. However, as of 2010, Pennsylvania is currently in the process of passing a bill which, if voted in, would effectively make medical marijuana legal and repeal the provisions that prohibit and penalize marijuana use.
Super High Me
In this 2008 documentary movie, Doug Benson attempts to find out the true effects of marijuana on the body and answer questions on whether medical marijuana is safe and can help alleviate the pain associated with various conditions. Former stoner of the year, Doug avoids pot for 30 days and then consumes massive amounts of pot for the next thirty days in order to see what effect the drug has on his body. The film also includes interview with politicians, dispensary owners, cannabis activists and patients on medical marijuana programs throughout the United States.