The Culture High Review


One of my favorite genres of film are documentaries.  I didn’t enjoy much of what I learned in high school, but I am always fascinated with what documentaries have taught me.  Whether the subject is about animal rights or climate change, documentaries help raise awareness of controversial problems that could be solved with intriguing solutions.  The subject I enjoy educating myself about is cannabis prohibition and the devastating effects that happen with keeping cannabis illegal.  The Culture High is one of those films that dives deep into the web of lies caused by cannabis prohibition.  With many participants favoring question 4 in Massachusetts, I decided to re-watch one of my favorite documentaries to educate myself on the bigger picture of marijuana prohibition.

The Culture High is a documentary film released in 2014 created by Adam Scorgie and Brett Harvey.  It discusses the deep-seated roots of the immoral marijuana campaign through interviews with notorious figures.  Notable celebrities that discuss the cannabis prohibition include Wiz Khalifa, Joe Rogan, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Lester Grinspoon, B-Real, Graham Hancock, and other figures.  Other than discussing the history of cannabis prohibition, the film brings to light the concept of cannabis as medicine and the cultural shift of people’s acceptance of using the plant to treat a myriad of diseases.  This film was a sequel to The Union: The Business Behind Getting High, a Canadian documentary film released in 2007 discussing the underground market of cannabis sales and the effects it has in the world.

While this film was released two years ago, The Culture High still remains relevant to this day.  What’s interesting to note was the film’s optimism about how people’s viewpoints on cannabis are slowly changing due to the vast amount of information presented through the internet.  The internet breaks down the barriers and helps users gain the fundamental truths on cannabis.  Social media sites like Facebook are connecting cannabis users all over the world to fight for their beliefs.  With the internet releasing the full scoop on cannabis, more and more Americans are in favor of legalized recreational cannabis use in this country.

Now that the elections are happening in less than a month, the subject on cannabis legalization remains a crucial topic in our society.  Legalization of cannabis will be a question on the ballot for states like Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine, Florida, California, and Arkansas.  Four states have already legalized cannabis within the past four years.  Colorado and Washington State were the first state to legalize recreational cannabis use in 2012, setting the stage for what a legal market would look like.  Besides the growing productivity and decreased crime rate because of cannabis legalization, it’s interesting to point out is how quickly the dominoes are falling in terms of people’s acceptance of cannabis in America.  All signs point to the big question that remains: should cannabis be legal in the United States of America?

It felt great to re-educate myself with The Culture High last night.  I remember first watching this documentary when it came out a few years ago and was floored by how incredible of a film it was.  Watching the film made me happy, angry, sad, and mostly shocked at what cannabis prohibition has done to this country.  The prohibition of marijuana and hemp became one of my favorite PR scandals to learn about after watching The Union: The Business Behind Getting High.  It’s a shocking tale to dive into, but I found the history fascinating to learn about.  Richard Nixon may have created this catastrophe with the War on Drugs, but that only scratches the surface of how marijuana prohibition came into play in the United States.

Viewing the documentary made me think of how important this year will be in politics.  The age of information has helped release Pandora’s box, with cannabis legalization happening around the country.  More Americans have come out in favor of cannabis legalization now than they have the past 20-30 years.  With more people relying on information through the internet, isn’t it time to become rational on legalizing pot?  We have reliable sources right on our fingertips, so why should we cower in fear and ignorance of the sudden change brought on by cannabis legalization?  With a stronger and notorious culture means that the wind will be blowing a completely different direction in the future and it’s up to the people to follow where the wind will be blowing.

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