4/20 has rolled around once again, and accordingly a gray smokey haze can currently be seen floating above planet Earth for the next few hours. April 20th has become the unofficial holiday for blazers worldwide, especially relevant because the health and financial benefits of pot are becoming apparent to everyone and many major American cities are now on the verge of legalizing it themselves. Thanks, Waldos.
It’s a day to kick back with bowls of snacks and bowls of green and watch some movies! Of course, cinema’s no stranger to dank, whether we’re talking about movies whose plots are based around it (Half Baked, Friday, How High), just so happen to feature it (Fritz The Cat, Harold and Kumar), or aggressively protest it (Reefer Madness) In honor of 4/20, here are some of the best movies with weed in them.
A perennial comedy classic since its release back in 1995, 16 hours in the life of Craig (Ice Cube) and Smokey (Chris Tucker), two unemployed dudes who need to pay a supplier $200 by 10 p.m. that night, is always good for a laugh. The movie’s being screens in theaters today for its 20th anniversary, so go scope that out.
Reefer Madness (1938)
This infamous anti-marijuana PSA is as well-known for its misinformed stance on smoking as it is for its campy and overly sincere nature. Reefer Madness truly is a relic of a by-gone age.
Fritz The Cat (1972)
Ralph Bakshi’s surreal and overtly political animated feature debut has a lot on its mind (race relations, police brutality, college life), most of which is enhanced by lead character Fritz’s smoking throughout the movie. Even if the subtext isn’t your bag, this is a great movie that can be enjoyed no matter what state of mind you’re in.
Half Baked (1998)
Three friends who are forced to sell marijuana to bail their friend out of jail for accidentally killing a diabetic police horse? It doesn’t get any crazier than that. Half Baked brought together star/co-writer Dave Chappelle and co-writer Neal Brennan, the man who would help co-create Chappelle’s Show, so even if this movie wasn’t a lguh riot from start to finish, we could still thank it just for that.
How High (2001)
Method Man and Redman smoke the ashes of their best friend, who then gives them answers to an SAT-style test that lands them both in Harvard University. It’s a damn shame this didn’t get the sequel it deserved.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson was a nut for various reasons, but the most notorious was his drug use, and it wasn’t even just pot, either. Based on the book of the same name stitched together from a few of his hazy assignments, Fear and Loathing brings the surreal side of Thompson’s book to life, thanks in no small part to director Terry Gilliam and stars Benicio del Toro and Johnny Depp as the man himself, here renamed Raoul Duke.
Dude, Where’s My Car? Ashton Kutcher and Sean William Scott star as two guys who have one of the craziest days imaginable. Spoiling what and how wouldn’t be any fun here, and you either remember this or you don’t (Kutcher seems to wish that you wouldn’t), but either way, it’s great.
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
Directed by the same guy who gave us (or was responsible for) Dude, Where’s My Car, Harold and Kumar‘s first adventure starts off as a simple trip to White Castle but becomes a lengthy road trip involving burgers, Princeton University, and Neil Patrick Harris.
Children of Men (2006)
This post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller isn’t exactly a pick me up, but a large part of the movie involves actor Michael Caine smoking weed while looking like The World’s Oldest Flower Child on top of having gorgeous cinematography and a deeply resonant story.
The Wackness (2008)
Josh Peck shuffles around NYC in the mid 1990s selling pot and getting advice from his therapist Jeff Squires (Ben Kingsley), all while developing feelings for Squires’ step-daughter Stephanie (Olivia Thirlby). The soundtrack’s a little better than the movie itself, but it’s a good time.