When all hell broke loose with the ganja revolution a few years back, I pulled three stories out of my Ganja Tales short story volume and wove them into the larger narrative of a 110-page dramatic screenplay, also called Ganja Tales. And voila! the book cover is now the movie poster. Simple enough, right? After all, Regulus, our ganja iguana, is a real ham. He even opens and closes the movie.
The Ganja Tales theme is simple: Love wins; it redeems and saves. Not what you’d expect, right? I mean, Cheech and Chong it ain’t. Can’t help it. I’m a serious guy who set out to write a film featuring the 420 people I know: people with honor and dignity struggling through the obstacles life throws at them.
Ganja Tales, then, is a road story, a movie about love, liberation and freedom featuring a brother who loves his epileptic sister so much he’s driving her from Omaha to Seattle to grow legal medicinal marijuana for her seizures and his Iraq War nightmares. It’s a story to make you feel — to make you laugh, cry out in anger and root for the good guys. Think of four people getting in the T-Bird with Thelma and Louise and driving across the set of Pulp Fiction. That’s what I set out to create with my six characters in the old red Chevy Suburban in Ganja Tales.
What’s happening in the marijuana movement now with progress and legalization is beyond my wildest dreams. And I’m so glad I have something to contribute, something to throw in the hopper and move things forward. Joseph Campbell, the great American mythologist and lecturer, said a culture without story is dead. Here, then, is a 420 story for those of us who consider ourselves part of that culture, part of the movement to free the weed and save the planet.