Watch Grass

  • R
  • 1999
  • 1 hr 20 min
  • 7.2  (3,619)
  • 64

"Grass" is a 1999 documentary film directed by Ron Mann and narrated by Woody Harrelson, chronicling the history of marijuana use in America. The film explores the cultural and political shifts surrounding the controversial drug, from its early medicinal uses to its role in the jazz clubs of the 1920s to its vilification by the government in the 1930s and beyond.

The film features interviews with politicians, activists, musicians, and historians, including former U.S. drug czar Harry J. Anslinger, who was instrumental in the criminalization of marijuana, and comedian Tommy Chong, who was famously imprisoned for selling bongs. Other notable figures include conservative commentator George Will, musician Joe Walsh, and legendary cannabis activist Jack Herer.

Throughout the film, Mann juxtaposes archival footage with interviews and commentary to examine the evolution of marijuana laws and attitudes over the course of the 20th century. He traces the origins of anti-marijuana sentiment to the early 20th century, when Mexican immigrants brought the drug with them to the United States. These immigrants were often blamed for introducing the drug to American society, and their association with marijuana helped to stigmatize the drug among white Americans.

As the film progresses, Mann documents how the culture of marijuana use evolved, from the jazz musicians of the 1920s and 30s to the counterculture of the 1960s and 70s. He explores the medical benefits of marijuana, and how the drug has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including glaucoma and chemotherapy-related nausea.

Mann also spends a significant amount of time exploring the ways in which marijuana has been demonized by the government, with particular emphasis on the role of Harry J. Anslinger, who served as the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics from 1930 to 1962. Anslinger saw marijuana as a dangerous drug that was corrupting American society, and he worked tirelessly to convince politicians and the public of his viewpoint.

As the film concludes, Mann examines the failure of the government's war on drugs, and the ways in which marijuana has been embraced by popular culture in recent years. He argues that marijuana is a relatively harmless drug that has been unfairly stigmatized, and he makes a case for the legalization of the drug.

Overall, "Grass" is a thoughtful and compelling documentary that sheds light on the complex relationship between marijuana and American society. Through a combination of interviews, archival footage, and cultural analysis, Mann provides a nuanced perspective on the history of marijuana use and the forces that have shaped it. This film is a must-watch for anyone interested in the social and political implications of drug use in the United States.

Grass is a 1999 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 20 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 64.

Where to Watch Grass
Grass is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Grass for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 20 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (3,619)
  • Metascore