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Films have a love-hate relationship with both booze and drugs, in the sense that many films (no kids films) include a character who has a love affair with one and sometimes subsequently a character who loathes the substances as a result. In the case of most films that include either, alcohol is more common in films which reflects society in general, wherein alcohol is much more acceptable than even marijuana. While I could make many an argument about how, in actuality, marijuana is perhaps a safer bet than alcohol in terms of the health risks, I am going to instead consider how different the film industry would be if they accepted marijuana more so than alcohol.

In the first place, many films only use alcohol in a small way, whereas in some it is far more prevalent, nonetheless even in  those wherein it is not centre stage replacing it with marijuana would still affect the film hugely.

Imagine now, one of Britain’s national treasures, James Bond if the titular character, instead of drinking a martini ‘shaken not stirred’ Bond instead had a few tokes on a joint. While this is hard to imagine actually happening in a film, it is nonetheless entertaining to picture bond bumbling about his mission, high as a kite, trying to be suave but probably failing due to his red eyes giving him away, and his eyes drawing him more towards the buffet provided at swanky parties as opposed to the women.

While both alcohol and marijuana can leave us sufficiently inebriated to where it would alter our actions, and therefore, the former is rarely reflected in film as having that much of an effect, only in extreme cases, whereas the latter is shown as having mind-numbing effects from the beginning in film. While I'm not saying it hasn’t happened before, it would be nice to see a major, not a stoner or drug-related film, be honest about marijuana usage, and show that people from all walks of life smoke it and not just those that take drugs or generally live mad lives.

September 05, 2016 by Gareth Arnold

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