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Going to Pot: Film Review

Appropriately enough on 4/20/2021, MTV launched the documentary Going to Pot: The Highs and Lows of It on the streaming service Paramount +. As a lighter infotainment piece, the film touches on the “411 on 4/20” exploring cannabis based accounts throughout it’s history as well as debunks some popular myths and questions one may have about the plant.

Filmmakers and co-producers Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato (World of Wonder Productions) co-directed the 73 minute documentary which is broken up into smaller vignettes of pot-based programming featuring accounts on everything from the history of the 4/20 lexicon to answering questions like “Can I really get a contact high?” into mini-biopics of notable marijuana advocates in pop culture like University of Texas and NFL alum Ricky Williams.

It plays out more like a suburban anti-propaganda education piece than a highly informational look into marijuana but aptly serves its purpose as a documentary showcasing much of the outline of pot FAQs that have generally plagued our popular culture in the past. Not to mention, it’s backed by a strong advisory panel including psychopharmacologists and integrative psychologists, cannabis attorneys, and investigative journalists which lends more credibility to the facts presented to those newer to the matter.

Writer Jim Fraenkel brings a lot of his MTV True Life influence to Going to Pot, following the topic of weed through a brief portrait of its existence andrefiningmore of the impact and positive influence it has had in it’s reintroduction. While a cannabis connoisseur might not gain a lot of new information in the hour-ish view, the featured pot personas show a firsthand glance into the innovation in the industry and where the room for expansion lies with the continuation of positive documentation of cannabis culture such as this.

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