By Steven Hager and Natasha Lewin
Though a blizzard of great pot films was released in 2008, the following year, unfortunately, witnessed a major downturn in the genre. As a result, the biggest breakthrough moment for cannabis in the popular media in 2009 occurred not in theaters, but on television, as Seth MacFarlane stunned viewers with a wildly pro-pot episode of his hit show Family Guy. In 2009, Family Guy was even nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series â€“ the first time an animated series has been nominated for this award since The Flintstones back in 1961.
The dog in Family Guy has long been known for his intoxicating ways, as he is often seen silently drinking beer and watching television with his dysfunctional family, the Griffins. The soft-spoken Brian often plays the role of Greek chorus, delivering intelligent asides while being mocked by the rest of the family. "Pot is illegal because William Randolph Hearst ran a smear campaign," Brian points out early in the 420 episode. Head of household Peter responds by farting loudly and saying, "There's your smear campaign!" And the show takes it from there: Moments of historical clarity regarding pot are sprinkled throughout, always delivered by Brian. After being locked in jail for possession of a small bag of weed, Brian organizes a legalization rally in the showâ€™s fictional town of Quahog, RI. When the rally fails to inspire a sympathetic audience, baby Stewie helps Brian concoct a musical-theater revue titled Everything Goes Better With a Bag of Weed. The segment features Brian and Stewie playing the title song on a makeshift xylophone composed of dozens of bongs, after which they blast free bags of weed to the entire town out of a cannon. The rally is so successful that the mayor of Quahog quickly signs a law making marijuana legal â€“ but after the townspeople become perpetually stoned, the law is overturned, even though the crime rate has virtually disappeared.
This is the first time that an animated character has been named as Stoner of the Year by HIGH TIMES.
Best known as the demure heroine Bella Swan in the Twilight film series, Stewart earned her reefer recognition when she was photographed smoking a bowl on her stoop with a pal. Stewart was also seen showing off her pot pride when a picture of her in a marijuana-leaf bikini emerged. But it's not just her out-of-the-closet greendom that has garnered Stewart the coveted Stonette of the Year title â€“ it was also thanks to her portrayal of the dope-smoking, space-cookie-baking character Em Lewin in Adventureland (see our choice for Stoner Movie of the Year) that shetopped our cheeba charts. Congrats, Kristen!
STONER MOVIE of the YEAR
This yearâ€™s offering from Superbad director Greg Mottola is all about young love,Â summer jobs and getting high. More of a dram-edy than a comedy, Adventureland wins as Stoner Movie of the Year by cramming weed into any and every scene possible â€“ including a stony supper with the parental units. Our 2009 Stonette of the Year, Kristen Stewart, steals the show baking chronic cookies for her pals at Adventureland to wolf down while they work, resulting in a tripped-out bumper-car ride. Adventureland is not only the best (and pretty much only) stoner film of 2009, but itâ€™s also a perfect excuse to get high and take a marijuana-movie adventure of your own.
BEST TV SHOW
Attack of the Show: 420 Special
No cable network has embraced April 20th like G4-TV, which has continued their tradition of the annual 420 special. Last year, the hosts visited Negril, Jamaica; this year, they journeyed to Australia and Humboldt County. The show also featured a segment on the 21st Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam.Â Â Â Â