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From Cheech and Chong to We’re the Millers: Hollywood’s love affair with drugs By Richard Crouse Metro Canada – In Focus August 7, 2013

Were-the-Millers1The famous War on Drugs seems to have been lost… at the movies at least.

These days drugs—some legal, some not; some real, some not—are popular plot devices in Hollywood. Recently Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy battled against a nasty drug pusher in The Heat, the drug lord Braga made a return appearance in Fast & Furious 6 and Love and Other Drugs, starring Jake Gylennhaal as a pharmaceutical salesman played like a 90-minute ad for Viagra.

In this weekend’s comedy We’re the Millers Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston star in the story of a pot dealer who recruits a fake family to help him smuggle enough marijuana to “kill Willie bleeping Nelson” out of Mexico. “Crossing the border alone, huge red flag,” says David (Sudeikis), “but families, they don’t get a second look.”

Jay Baruchel played one of the most unconventional drug dealers of recent times in Fetching Cody.

Variety called the movie a “mix of gritty street-life drama, perky teen romance and seriocomic sci-fi time-tripping,” but that description hardly does this strange little gem justice. Baruchel is Art, a drug pusher on Vancouver’s Downtown East side. When his girlfriend Cody (Sarah Lind) drops into a coma after a drug overdose, Art uses a homemade time machine to visit key moments in Cody’s life. Ultimately he learns that the best way to save her life will be the hardest option for him to choose. It’s a cool film for those who like their romantic fantasy with a bit of grit.

David Cronenberg devised Ephemerol, a tranquilizer used as a morning sickness remedy for his film Scanners. Side effects?  Telekinetic and telepathic abilities. Later, in Naked Lunch, Cronenberg featured the more recreational drug Bug Powder, a yellow dust formally used by exterminators, informally by people looking to find a “literary high.”

A Clockwork Orange was chock-a-block with fake drugs; everything from Drencrom to the synthetic mescaline Synthemesc to Vellocet, which produced ultra-violent tendencies and sudden outbursts of Singing in the Rain.

Brain Candy, the 1996 Kids in the Hall comedy, created a cure for depression called GLeeMONEX that “makes you feel like it’s 72°F in your head all the time.” Unfortunately the pill’s patients also turn into comatose zombies.

Perhaps the strangest recreational cinematic drug was Space Coke from Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie. One snort was enough to literally send both stoned comedians into outer space.

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