My family got cable television in the mid-ʼ80s, and this box changed my life forever…
With this box, I had access to a whole new world of music, entertainment, news, sports and movies. It was an exciting time, to be sure.
Of course, like most folks in suburbia back then, my parents weren’t too keen on their kids being able to see certain movies. And by “certain movies,” I mean movies that showed naked women. In the theater, you had to have identification to see an R-rated movie, but at home, you just needed to bypass your guardians.
Now my parents were pretty strict about keeping my virgin eyes from catching a glimpse of a woman’s breasts, or heaven forbid, unmanicured vagina. Even up to the age of 16, these movies were off-limits. Of course, while I couldn’t get a peek of what every teenage boy wants to see, I was permitted to watch movies with enormous amounts of violence, gore and glorified brutality.
It really is a strange thing when you think about it. The fact that I could watch a movie like Missing in Action 2, where an escaped POW gets burned alive with a flamethrower, but I couldn’t watch Swamp Thing because Adrienne Barbeau showed her tits for a few seconds, is absurd.
This goes far beyond parental restrictions, too.
Cannabis Is the Star
Just as my parents’ restrictions on what I could see were completely illogical, and somewhat damaging to my early worldview, those restrictions were no more bizarre than the restrictions the Hollywood machine has put in place in terms of what it deems appropriate for public consumption.
A perfect example of this is the recent DJ Pooh stoner flick, Grow House.
This seemingly innocent comedy with plenty of light-hearted cannabis-related connective tissue, almost never got made. Which is pretty crazy when you consider the success of both DJ Pooh and Grow House producer, Marcus Morton.
DJ Pooh was responsible for the highly successful Friday series, and Marcus Morton was the brains behind the hit You Got Served. These movies made a lot of money, and just having the two of these folks together on the same team offered tremendous value to any studio looking to make a few bucks. But there was one major obstacle that faced Grow House: There was too much weed in the movie.
From the content in the movie trailers all the way to the images on the movie posters, Hollywood made the production of Grow House about as complicated as trying to explain the Drake Equation to Paris Hilton.
The thing is, if you want to make a movie that depicts cannibalism, incest, rape, torture and extreme violence, you’ll have no problem. And in all fairness, as an unapologetic First Amendment defender, this should absolutely be the case.
But if you want to make a harmless comedy that shows folks smoking weed and growing cannabis, you’ll be in for one hell of a run-around because apparently Hollywood either has a problem with weed (which is doubtful) or it’s too chicken shit to stop bowing down to a dying breed of prohibitionists who still think you’ll go crazy and jump out of a window if you smoke a joint.
Of course, there is one major difference between Grow House and other stoner flicks: In Grow House, cannabis is the star. And that definitely scares the crap out of Hollywood.
In movies like Friday and Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, cannabis use is prevalent, but it’s tucked away nice and neat within the confines of stories that are unrelated to this glorious plant. In Grow House, it’s the main attraction. And that just doesn’t fly with the Hollywood elite. Which is why this film ended up being made independently.
Still, the fact is, Grow House is a fantastic movie. And since it came out, it’s been getting fantastic reviews. It crushed it in exit polls, and on Rotten Tomatoes—a place where it seems like everyone goes to slam movies—it’s enjoying an average rating of 4.5 out of 5.
I saw the movie myself, and I can tell you without hesitation that Grow House will come through if you’re looking for a good laugh (regardless of whether or not you’re high). I strongly recommend checking it out while it’s still in theaters—not just because you’ll enjoy it, but because it’ll help send a message to Hollywood that we, as cannabis consumers, advocates and investors, want to see these kinds of movies.
The bottom line is that purchasing power is what gets Hollywood’s attention. If we want to see Hollywood break free from the clutches of prohibitionist bullies and help normalize the conversation about cannabis, we need to make our position clear by supporting movies like Grow House.
Jeff Siegel is publisher and managing editor of Green Chip Stocks, a prolific newsletter that guides both industry insiders and investment novices on socially conscious investing, which includes alternative energy, agriculture and cannabis. Image credit: Grow House Facebook page.