Running Time: 18 Minutes
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Pothead tells the fictional story of Trevor, a teen becoming gradually addicted to marijuana as his grades slip, his relationships with his parents and friends become strained, and his motivation to do things other than smoking marijuana diminishes.
As Trevor’s downward spiral plays out, the program weaves in interviews with real teens who were potheads, but managed to turn their lives around. Their stories provide a thought-provoking counterpoint to Trevor’s story, underscoring the message that addicted teens can change their lives for the better.
video, plus teacher’s resource book and student handouts in digital format
Bronze Telly Award
This low-key video begins with a young man in the middle of completing his video blog that he calls "Pothead." As he comes to a final decision about actually uploading it onto the Internet, he recalls his experiences from the moment he was introduced to smoking marijuana (to the point where his parents and teachers intervened), which are interspersed with the personal experiences of three other teens. All of them are extremely articulate and personable as they talk about how they found themselves going from casual marijuana use to full dependence. They're quite frank about how their motivation, interest in activities, and ability to handle daily problems eroded. One of them recalls the time he was sitting in his car counting money to determine whether he could afford to buy some pot: "I was so dumb I didn't realize the cop was looking in my window." While this video isn't likely to change the minds of adolescents who are casual users or in hard-core denial, the quality and frankness of the teens, coupled with the absence of any adults or authority figures, is likely to reach those who are wondering or worrying about their marijuana use, and that's a real plus. This will be a very useful and valuable program for schools and public libraries to have available in communities where there is sincere concern about drug use/abuse.
—John R. Clark, Hartland Public Library, ME
School Library Journal
When it comes to marijuana use, young people need to be informed about the risks associated with it. The film Pothead shatters the notion that marijuana is harmless while providing viewers with plenty of food for thought. There are dozens of questions and viewpoints surrounding the issue of legalizing marijuana; it is one of the most controversial topics discussed in high school classrooms today. Students will find Pothead easy to watch, some may even find it humorous. The testimonials of the actors are what make this film relatable; they are your average high school aged students. The message in this film, although lighthearted in its delivery, is powerful and truthful. After watching Pothead viewers will see that there are serious consequences associated with drug use; experimenting with something that has the potential to evolve into a life-changing habit is nothing to play with. Drug abuse among teenagers is a serious problem, and many people who struggle with drug addiction and the use of illegal narcotics often start out as casual marijuana users. That’s why Pothead is an important resource for students, parents and educators. High school librarians should consider adding this title to their DVD collections.
—Professor Carl R. Andrews, Reference & Instruction Librarian, Bronx Community College
Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)