Hazy screens: Is Hollywood pushing marijuana?

Hazy screens: Is Hollywood pushing marijuana?:

There seem to be movies that are produced by a younger generation than the baby boomers, [by people] who seem to have had a lot of experience with marijuana,’ says Jacob Sullum, senior editor at Reason magazine and author of ‘Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use.’

Tom Hedrick, spokesperson for Partnership for a Drug Free America, says he worries that the uptick in such depictions makes the behavior appear too normal, creating bad role models.

“I think movies have a weird line to walk,” says Wesley Morris, a film critic at The Boston Globe. “They derive a lot of entertainment from drug use and yet, at the same time, they go only so far in endorsing it. ‘Harold and Kumar’ … doesn’t have anything to say negatively about drug use, but, at the same time, there is a stigma attached.” In “Knocked Up,” a lead character has to stop smoking marijuana because it gets in the way of him becoming a good father.

Legalization advocates argue that signs of societal tolerance, including decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana, hint that casual pot use is widespread – something filmmakers are increasingly less afraid to portray.

But antidrug campaigners say it’s time for Hollywood to tighten up.

“Is this the beginning of a major new reflection and glamorization in popular culture?” asks Hedrick. “I think it’s too early to tell, but it worries us because it tends to portend, potentially, a return to attitudes that lead to more kids trying, and more kids using.”