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The Sensory and Narrative Uses of Cannabis in Film

Chart and analyze some great examples of the use of cannabis as a narrative device and/or sensory (i.e. hearing, seeing, smelling, feeling, etc.) symbol on the big screen.

The article could explore the increasingly casual use of cannabis by characters in movies (i.e. the eroding of the cannabis taboo), or how cannabis is portrayed in dramas vs. comedies, etc.

This article should not be answering moral questions about the use of cannabis in film, but should use the perceived immorality of cannabis use over time as a consideration during analysis.

  • Interesting topic. From the counterculture usage in Easy Rider that signals freedom, ultimately punished by reactionary forces, to the casual and unremarkable usage in Inherent Vices, the inclusion of cannabis in film has come a long way. toro – ptoro 5 years ago
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  • It would be interesting to provide a chronology of major films that have featured cannabis use and chart the differences in the framing/perception/reception of this 'taboo' topic. Two examples I can think of right off the bat are The Breakfast Club and Pineapple Express - films that are very, very different in terms of content and style, but both featuring cannabis use. I'm sure that more recent movies are more tolerant and provide a more accurate depiction of the drug's effects, but it could be an interesting exercise to offer comparisons. – ShannonMarie 5 years ago
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