Is Hollywood Saying ‘Yes’ to Drugs Onscreen?

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, comedy duo Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong symbolized the characteristics of stoners as likable goofballs onscreen with the film, Up In Smoke. Now three decades later, Hollywood has shown the public that marijuana isn’t just for dopes anymore.

The hit Showtime series, Weeds, stars Mary Louise Parker as a widowed mother who deals in marijuana to support her children. Since its debut in 2005, the show has received a major buzz from critics and viewers, earning Parker a Golden Globe Award and two Emmy nominations.

Weeds‘ executive producer, Roberto Benabib, stated that he was expecting the show’s chances for success when it aired.

“We felt it was kind of one of the last untouched subjects — that, kind of, sex had been done on HBO on various shows and that drugs had kind of been left alone because it was the last taboo” he said.

The Harold & Kumar movies focuses on a stoner investment banker and a medical school candidate that are also of Asian and Indian descent. According to writer-director Jon Hurwitz, the purpose of these two hit films was to overcome the stereotype that ethnic groups are very strict.

The new movie, Pineapple Express, which comes out this Wednesday, is not just a film about stoners. The action-packed comedy, starring the film’s co-writer Seth Rogen and directed Knocked Up‘s Judd Apatow, centers around a pothead duo running from the police.

“He [Judd] had this notion of a weed-action movie” Rogen stated. “I thought, ‘That could be rad'”.

However, several culture watchers and the conservative Parents Television Council (PTC) believes that these new portrayals on both on the big and small screen will give the romantic notion to today’s youth that it is okay to say “yes” to drugs.

“If kids can be influenced to smoke cigarettes, which are illegal to sell to minors”, said PTC spokeswoman Melissa Henson, “why should we believe that a child would not be inclined to smoke marijuana, which is not legal?”

Still, both film and television producers are arguing that times in society are changing, and that their portrayal of marijuana use now involves ordinary people of all walks of life — but never meant to promote pot smoking.

Even Cheech, 62, and Chong, 70, once a successful comedy team during the 70s said that today’s marijuana films are completely different from their own.

“Ours is more primitive, theirs are more sophiscated” he responded.

Source: Yahoo! News