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Will: Can somebody call me an ambulance? Because I'm in trouble. Time is moving really, really slowly, and everything is flat. I need you to call me an ambulance, or failing that, my mummy. I really want my mummy because, and I'm not being dramatic, but I think I might be dead. Is that clear? Mummy or ambulance.

[two scenes later]

Paramedic: [incredulously] Did you really take cannabis?

Marijuana is one of the less potent psychoactive drugs. It causes euphoria, thirst, hunger and occasionally paranoia, and it can also cause your thought processes to become one long string of Fridge Logic and/or Fridge Brilliance moments (which may or may not be remembered once the effects wear off). It also takes a little while to get used to it--often, people doing it their first time don't feel any effects at all. Even very high doses won't cause hallucinations in 99% of the population.

You wouldn't know that from the movies, though.

Dean Bitterman or the Doting Parent is tricked or cajoled into smoking up, or more likely eating a pot brownie. Five minutes later, they're riding a unicorn through a rainbow, or arguing with the plants, or being chased by musical notes in time to the background music. Expect to hear Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride" or "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane. It's almost as if they've taken a powerful hallucinogen. Yes, in their universe, marijuana is LSD. It is worth mentioning that large doses of marijuana can produce hallucinations in some people. The array of effects experienced from any dose vary considerably from person to person. Research into this effect may be partly responsible for the myth, along with journalists that ignored how large a dose the "psychonauts" used and what counts as a hallucination to experimental psychologists.

May be a case of Did Not Do the Research, especially in older works. Seldom played straight in recent decades, but there are exceptions. Often overlaps with Scare'Em Straight. Sub-Trope of G-Rated Drug.

Continuing on this trend, often when the effects of LSD are shown, they are powerfully overstated. Even on low doses, characters will experience detailed hallucinations and Datura-esque delusions, when in reality a single tab of LSD will usually only give someone visual distortions that are readily distinguished from reality.

This page also covers the use of exaggerated or inaccurate effects in other drugs, as well. Alcohol has a history of being portrayed as hallucinogenic; this has its own trope in Pink Elephants.

Examples of Marijuana Is LSD include:


  • This PSA If your dog is talking to you, chances are you have more than weed in your system.

Anime and Manga

  • Leigharch in the Black Lagoon anime hallucinates pretty wildly using marijuana, while driving. Averted in the manga, where his drug of choice is cocaine.
  • Justified in one case of Case Closed, where the marijuana that drove an entire manor full of society elites into a murderous frenzy is said to have been laced with something far more dangerous.


  • Dumbo's drunk sequence looks like this to many modern audiences, but it's actually just Pink Elephants made literal.
  • Reefer Madness, in which marijuana is like acid laced with speed. Not surprising given that it's an anti-marijuana propaganda piece.
    • This is kept in The Musical remake, although now all exaggerations are played purely for laughs.
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen features something more like "marijuana is PCP": Sam's mom eats one hash brownie and goes completely insane, even assaulting a full-grown man. Granted she's just shy of a Cloudcuckoolander as it is, but still...
    • Michael J. Nelson of Riff Trax riffed at this scene "This is apparently the type of pot that gets you drunk instead of high."
    • Justified in that pot brownies are vastly more potent than smoking the weed itself. Even veteran smokers are prone to freaking out if they eat more than one or two at a time, and this only gets worse if nobody tells the person that there's weed in the snacks.
  • Used and then Justified in Training Day, the marijuana was laced with PCP.
  • Inverted in The Men Who Stare at Goats, in which a bunch of people drink water laced with high amounts of LSD, but for the most part just act like mellow, happy stoners.
  • Class of Nuke 'Em High has an excuse for this--the marijuana was grown next to the nuclear power plant.
  • Half Baked uses this trope, but at least it only seems to apply to the really good shit Thurgood gets from the government lab. Semi-justified in that it is so good that other people can see your hallucinations too.
  • Eurotrip had the group visit Amsterdam. During a visit to the bakery, they started hallucinating wildly only to be snapped back when told by the waiter that they were eating just regular brownies.
  • Uniquely reversed by Otto Preminger's "lost" drug-culture fiasco Skidoo: The film's climax involves spiking the food supply of a prison with LSD as part of an escape plan. However, only one member of the cast or crew had actually had any experience with the drug (Groucho Marx's final film credit), and they weren't anywhere near that sequence. So, lacking any sort of direction, everyone settled for either acting drunk, or trying to compensate with volume. How they got Timothy Leary to endorse that is a mystery.
  • Friday sort of touches on it; when Craig gets high, aside from the mellow feeling, fits of giggling and occasional paranoia, he also sees double and/or gets blurry trails, sounds tend to echo, and he hallucinates at least twice. Of course he's also smoking the stuff used by a guy whose NAME is Smokey, and for good reason. In fact the only time Smokey even looks affected is in a flashback, when he smokes a joint laced with angel dust.
  • In the early seventies educational film Focus on LSD, marijuana and hashish are listed as psychedelic drugs along with LSD, mescaline, peyote, STP and psiliocybin.


  • According to Doctor Wood, Modern Wizard of the Laboratory, Robert Wood (patron saint of Education Through Pyrotechnics) in his youth once tested whether it's true that cannabis is hallucinogenic when ingested--for the sake of experiment and because, well, there weren't any reports of fatal poisoning or something. It was. Most memorable scenes of this trip report "experiment summary" involved turning into a fox whose eyes were inside the mouth and being scared shitless by a two-faced doll.
    • As if he'd never heard of a pot brownie.

Live Action TV

  • There's an episode of Frasier which parodies this--Martin eats a hash brownie, not realising what it is, realises he's stoned after a short period of time, and then starts to think he's hallucinating when he sees a video in which Eddie, the dog, appears to be speaking. The video is actually a mock-up commercial, introduced in another subplot, that overdubs Eddie with his mouth moving with Frasier's voice.
    • Martin spends most of his "trip" thinking he feels strange because of the cough syrup he took that morning. There is a brand of cough syrup well known for mild LSD-like effects.
    • In the same episode, Niles ate a normal brownie which he thought was a hash-brownie and started showing the symptoms of being stoned at once until he was made aware of the mistake, at which point he instantly "sobered-up".

 Niles: I'm especially looking forward to something called the "munchies" stage. It's where one enjoys bizarre food combinations... I'm thinking of pairing this Chilean sea bass with an aggressive Zinfandel!

  • Parodied on Monk. Monk (mistakenly) thinks he's inhaled some weed smoke and starts freaking out. Hilarity Ensues. "I'm getting the munchies! Oh God! Reefer Madness!"
  • That 70s Show: the scenes where Eric has to talk to his parents while high, and the wallpaper behind them is moving/swirling and his parents swap heads.
    • There was one episode where Leo accidentally fed his marijuana stash to his dog, who ends up having such a hallucination.
  • Parodied in an episode of Taxi, which features a flashback to Reverend Jim's college days, where he is a straight-arrow book-grinding nerd named James Caldwell. He gets talked into eating a marijuana-laced brownie: one bite, and his expression instantly (and hilariously) dissolves into Reverend Jim's crazed bug-eyed stare.
  • In Breaking Bad, Jesse sees two men in white shirts who want to talk to him about Jesus as hulking, leather-clad thugs with machetes and hand grenades after smoking methamphetamine. Possibly justified, since he could have gone a long period without sleep or began to suffer from stimulant psychosis, both meth-related issues that cause hallucinations.
    • Definitively justified. Meth can cause Hallucinations even without lack of sleep.
  • In Party Down, Roman eats multiple pot brownies without realizing they're laced. He curls up the bathroom and calls for an ambulance, because he is either dead or soon will be. After the paramedics show up, the hippie fellow who baked the brownies leads Roman on a journey to meet his spirit animal and Roman writes an entire screenplay (on the toilet paper). The paramedics take him to the hospital, not because he's overdosing on pot, but because they've never seen anyone that high before and want to show the nurses.
    • And strangely enough, about 75% justified. Party Down is pretty good about portraying drugs realistically and it's specifically mentioned that Roman ingested about a tenth of an ounce of high-grade marijuana. For someone not accustomed to the effects of marijuana, eating that much certainly could make one feel as if they were going out of their mind. The other 25% is Rule of Funny.
  • In Community, the pill Star-Burns gives Pierce during a Halloween party has Pierce acting like he's rolling on ecstasy...then he starts hallucinating Annie making cracks about his age as talking calaveras fly around.

Stand Up Comedy

  • During his 2002 "Live on Broadway" special, Robin Williams came down on the IOC for treating marijuana usage in athletes on the same level as steroids:

 Robin: [A snowboarder tested positive for marijuana], which is kind of redundant, number one. Number two, they said marijuana was a performance-enhancing drug. (imitates "Incorrect" buzzer) Marijuana enhances many things--colors, tastes, sensations--but you are certainly not fucking empowered. If you're stoned, you're lucky if you can find your own goddamn feet! The only way it's a performance-enhancing drug is if there's a big fucking Hershey bar at the end of the run.

  • Played straight by Woody Allen, who describes marijuana as a "major hallucinogen," and recounts an incident where he took a puff of the wrong cigarette and ended up trying to hijack an elevator to Cuba.

Video Games

  • Inverted in Sam and Max Season 2: Moai Better Blues, where basalt is said to make Moai 'turn on, tune in and drop out' (a phrase associated with LSD). If you feed one of the Moai basalt, he claims that he's hallucinating, but otherwise just acts giggly and stoned. He also exhales stone dust in a way that looks like smoke, Sam jokingly calls him 'Cheech', and Max teases him for being a lightweight by not holding it in for more than a few seconds. Obviously this is justifiable, though.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • Averted and parodied in King of the Hill, when Hank accidentally smokes a joint ("Pretty funny lookin' cigarette.") but feels no genuine ill biological effects. Of course, Hank is so familiar with this trope that he naturally assumes that the drug has transformed him into a crazed maniac and caused him to black out (in actuality, his "blackout" was just a much-needed nap).
  • In The Simpsons, Homer is given medical marijuana for his eye injuries. He sees a number of Beatles-esque hallucinations, mostly everything smiling at him (including his razor) and any flowing liquid (like his blood from cutting himself shaving) are rainbows.
  • In Clone High, raisins are like LSD...ON ACID!
  • In Family Guy, the episode where Peter and Lois had a band. They used Marijuana as the group's muse and it doesn't take much to get them completely baked, rolling on the floor and moaning nonsense (while thinking that they were singing a great song while unicorns danced in the background). They had similar trips throughout out the episode, another of which involved them licking Chris under the hallucination that he was a sundae. (To be fair, though, the "incoherent off-key rambling mistaken for fantastic singing" effect it had on their talent show performance is a pretty accurate depiction.) Averted in the series' pot-centric episode, "420."
  • In an episode of South Park';, Mr. Mackey — of "Drugs Are Bad, m'kay?" fame — is finally convinced to try mari-jou-wanna. His head becomes a free-floating children's balloon.