Marijuana Policy Project
Curved Papers

The Top 40 Stoner Movies of 2020

MUSIC DOC

Every Night’s a Saturday Night: The Bobby Keys Story

Hailed by Keith Richards as the “sixth Rolling Stone,” Bobby Keys is famous for playing saxophone on “Brown Sugar’ and other Stones songs during his years as a stellar sideman with the band. Jeff Stacy traces Keys’ career from his humble start in North Texas to being hired to back Delaney & Bonnie, Joe Cocker and eventually the Stones. His scratchy solos, along with Jim Price on trumpet, added R&B flourishes. Keys was a pothead and drinker first before getting into other drugs. It took Richards to get him back in the Stones years after he was fired for blowing off a gig. While Keys honks his way through several Stones numbers, it’s surprising that his greatest solo, on “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” only gets a passing mention. Keys suffered from cancer and died in 2014.

Prime iTunes YouTube

 

DRUGGY DRAMA

Green Rush

A modern Western about marijuana farmers preyed upon by violent criminals, Gerard Roxburgh’s thriller pits greenhouse grower Rob Hayes (Mike Foy) and his girlfriend Maria (Kriss Dozal) against a couple of hoods with guns. A psychopath played by Misha Crosby is particularly vicious. As the body count piles up, Rob makes a valiant attempt to save Maria. No marijuana is smoked in this B-class druggy drama.

Prime iTunes YouTube

 

POT DOC

Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics

Directed by Donick Cary, the film is half shot and half animated, with 13 different celebrity segments in which they tell their craziest stories on psychedelics (mostly LSD and mushrooms). Nick Kroll recalls munching a bag of ’shrooms on the beach in Malibu and his friends dumping kelp on him. Carrie Fisher had a conversation with an acorn in Central Park. Sting had calf’s blood poured on him while high on peyote in Mexico. Rosie Perez ended up naked on a dancefloor in New York. Psychedelics aren’t just for fun and adventure anymore. Some states (Oregon) and cities (Washington, Denver, Oakland, Santa Cruz, Ann Arbor) have begun to decriminalize their use and possession. Cary acknowledges this development, but his focus is more jovial, thanks to the film’s cavalcade of comedians (also including co-producer Ben Stiller and Sarah Silverman) and music by Yo La Tengo. 

Netflix

 

STONER COMEDY

I Used to Go Here

Now an author, Kate Conklin (Gillian Jacobs) returns to a fictional Illinois college for a reading. When she visits her old off-campus house, Kate hits it off with the kids and hangs with them. She smokes pot and has sex with an undergrad. It’s a needed diversion for Kate, who’s nursing a breakup. Jacobs, who appeared in Ibiza in 2018, is primed for a real breakout role.

iTunes YouTube HBO Max

 

POT DOC

Jack's Garage

Canadian cancer patients embrace cannabis in Kim Saltarski’s 35-minute MMJ short. The focus is burly Jack Kungel, a self-appointed expert who dispenses homeopathic wisdom in his garage. He recommends using pot in all its forms, and also offers dietary and psychological advice. While Kungel has benefitted from aggressive canna-treatment, some of his friends and acquaintances don’t survive cancer’s deadly march. Anti-doctor and Big Pharma, Jack’s Garage has an infomercial feel, but it does mean well and inspire.

Vimeo

 

MUSIC DOC

Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President

A likely Oscar nominee, Mary Wharton’s doc tells how Jimmy Carter used music to get to the White House in 1976. The little-known governor of Georgia made alliances with bands like the Allman Brothers, who helped raise much-needed funds for the campaign. Once in the White House, Carter and First Lady Roslyn invited musicians from all genres to perform there. Three of Carter’s friends – Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and Jimmy Buffett – offer tributes and pithy comments. Early in the film Carter reveals that one of his sons smoked pot with Nelson in the White House. (Though he doesn’t say so, it was Chip). The magical mystery tour of Carter’s musical diplomacy continues until he’s derailed by Ronald Reagan and the Iranian hostage crisis in 1980. Carter’s presidency was a reaction to Nixon and Ford like Biden’s was to Trump. While Trump deserved to be ousted after one term, the rock & roll President Jimmy Carter didn’t.

Prime iTunes

 

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.