The Representation of Cannabis in Popular Culture
Cannabis has been with mankind for around 5000 years and for most of that enjoyed a stable image as a medicinal plant and raw material for many uses over the past millennia. However, at the beginning of the last century, this changed a lot. Cannabis blossoms were no longer seen as a medicinal plant, but rather as a dangerous intoxicant.
Since then, things changed a bit more again, and premium hemp oils online in Australia are sold widely because of their potential health benefits. We’ve covered some of these health benefits in our blog here.
The stigma and the legal situation around cannabis also have a negative effect on cannabis products that aren’t intoxicating at all. CBD oil online in Australia is available in many online stores and a lot of people benefit from it, and it does not make you high.
The attitudes to hemp in last century can be traced to the so-called mirror of society: pop culture. There’s even the term ‘cannabis culture’: a group of cannabis advocates, with their jargon, humor, and ‘culture’!
Cannabis in Film and TV
The cannabis plant was largely unknown among the American population when a Christian initiative produced the film Reefer Madness (1936). It tells the alarming story of a group of youngsters who become insane after using marijuana. The film achieved cult status and complete stigmatization of the hemp plant among concerned mothers and fathers throughout the USA (you can read more about hemp prohibition the Implications it has on our Health from here).
But films from the last century don’t only paint a negative picture of cannabis. One branch of cinema is dedicated to the depiction of cannabis consumption: Highschool Confidential! (1958) started the stoner film trend, including Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Up in Smoke (1978), Dazed and Confused (1993), The Big Lebowski (1998), and more!
Aside from feature films, cannabis, or at least references to cannabis, also appears in many TV series. The Simpsons have been entertaining viewers since 1989, and in the 16th episode of season 13, Homer briefly breaks the habit of drinking when he discovers cannabis. A refreshingly positive representation of cannabis versus alcohol!
South Park and How I Met Your Mother also each aired an episode that discussed cannabis use. However, the reference from Adventure Time is the most pleasing: clocks always point to 04:20; known among cannabis advocates, or in cannabis culture, to be the best time to light one up!
Cannabis in the Music Scene
Cannabis’s been featured in music since ancient times. In the 1966 film Got to Get You into My Life, for example, Paul McCartney sings about cannabis he discovered at that time.
The stoner genre also exists in music: stoner rock and stoner doom. Cannabis is mentioned in such songs, including work by Queens of the Stone Age, Sleep, and Yawning Man.
Two other key music genres associated with cannabis are reggae and hip hop. Reggae, the home of Peter Tosh’s anthem Legalize It, has beenemblematic of the entire cannabis legalization movement since its release in 1976.
Of course, Bob Marley can’t go unmentioned when it comes to depicting cannabis and reggae. As a Rastafarian, he ritually enjoyed cannabis, which he more than extensively addressed in his music.
Cypress Hill and Snoop Dogg are hip-hop classics and indulge in cannabis use in such a blatant way that they’ve become icons of the marijuana scene. As great as their musical tributes to cannabis may be, their media appearance is even more impressive: Cypress Hill on stage with a joint the size of a newborn baby, or Snoop Dogg smoking weed with a police officer!
Many musicians report the stimulating, mind-expanding effect of cannabis intoxication, which has an inspiring effect on artistic creation. CBD oil online in Australia is available in many online stores already and people use it widely because of its reported benefits, but again, remember –it’s not like smoking a regular joint because CBD will not get you high.
Representation of Hemp and Cannabis in Video Games
Video games have been part of the entertainment media for about 40 years and have a mutual effect on our society. Countless games are more or less about cannabis. In one game, however, dealing with cannabis is pervasive in a way that deserves an honorable mention: Grand Theft Auto V.
A total of eleven parts are already available from the Rockstar Games game series. In the latest part, cannabis is now also mentioned. With the freedom that GTA gives the player(s) the possibilities for spending time and cannabis know no bounds. Marijuana appears in main and side missions, can be smoked, bought, found, or sold. Even the medicinal potential of the plant is discussed, almost like in real life! CBD oil online in Australia is gaining more popularity than ever!
Pop culture knows cannabis primarily as an intoxicant, as a THC-containing herb consumed by disheveled youth. While there’re occasional reflections on the pros and cons of cannabis use containing THC, the portrayal of cannabis in pop culture is largely a rumination or celebration of the stoner stereotype.
To overcome the stigmatization of the hemp plant, the diverse potential of cannabis must also be considered far away from the intoxication and pop culture can’t do that alone.
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