In the world of stoner comedies, “How High” often takes a backseat when discussing intellectual cinema. Released in 2001, this cult classic offers much more than the typical high-jinks and slapstick humor associated with the genre. For the discerning viewer, “How High” is a hidden gem that blends comedy, social commentary, and the celebration of cannabis culture, all within a hilariously absurd package.

How High Theatrical Poster
How High Theatrical Poster

Higher Education

The film follows the adventures of Silas P. Silas (played by Method Man) and Jamal King (played by Redman), two underachieving friends who discover a unique way to excel academically: by smoking cannabis laced with their deceased friend Ivory’s ashes. This absurd premise sets the stage for a stoner comedy that dives into deeper themes.

The Zen of Cannabis Enlightenment

What sets “How High” apart is its unexpected wisdom beneath the surface. Silas and Jamal might seem like typical stoner characters, but their journey incorporates moments of introspection and profound self-discovery. Cannabis often encourages deep thought, and this film uses that concept as a foundation.

Silas and Jamal’s adventures become a reflection of the cannabis culture’s celebration of self-discovery and enlightenment. The cannabis community values the plant not just for its recreational use but also for its potential to facilitate mindfulness and self-exploration. “How High” captures this aspect, showcasing that cannabis can be a catalyst for intellectual growth.

The Cannabis Culture References

While “How High” is not a documentary about cannabis culture, it subtly references and celebrates aspects of it. From the characters’ choice of music to their laid-back attitudes, the film incorporates elements that resonate with cannabis enthusiasts. The soundtrack includes hip-hop tracks that often find a place in stoner playlists, establishing a connection to the cannabis culture’s musical preferences.

Additionally, the film’s exploration of the characters’ relationships and personal growth aligns with the introspection often fostered by cannabis use. Just as a good cannabis session can encourage self-reflection, “How High” showcases moments of personal growth and transformation.

An Ode to Higher Education

The film’s title, “How High,” carries a double entendre that acknowledges the pursuit of higher education and the state of being “high” through cannabis use. It’s a playful nod to the notion that intellectual growth can coexist with recreational cannabis consumption. Silas and Jamal’s unconventional journey through academia illustrates the idea that unconventional paths can lead to success, a message that resonates with the cannabis culture’s progressive thinking.


“How High” is more than your average stoner comedy; it’s an intellectual journey that balances humor, self-discovery, and cannabis culture references. While cannabis is explicitly mentioned in the movie, the film’s emphasis on mindfulness, personal growth, and progressive thinking aligns with the values of the cannabis community. “How High” reminds us that, in the realm of stoner comedies, there’s more to discover than just laughs; it’s an invitation to embrace the potential for self-discovery and intellectual growth that cannabis culture brings. The next time you watch Silas and Jamal’s escapades, remember to appreciate the film’s underlying philosophy and the way it bridges the gap between humor and thoughtful reflection. “How High” encourages us to pursue our unique paths, even when it comes to higher education and cannabis enlightenment, and it’s a journey well worth taking.

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