A video of three grandmothers smoking marijuana for the first time has proven to be a viral internet sensation with over 4.3 millions views in its first 24 hours online.
The video, starring grandmas Paula, Dorothea and Deirdre, was shot by Seattle-based video production company Cut.
The three senior citizens take their first tokes out of a glass bong and later use a vaporiser to get very, very high. Munchies and giggle ensue.
Their subsequent discussion includes titbits such as “I can feel some tingles in my brain,” “I feel like I am smiling,” “I totally lost track of what you were talking about…. I’m feeling like I don’t really care if I understand.”
When asked by Cut staff if they would indulge in the future, one of them answers “Yeah I would do it again, if I could get this bag of chips open.”
The company provided them with snacks, tea and Cards against Humanity, a self-described “party game for horrible people“during the experiment. “No grandmas were harmed in the making of this video” a title-card says at the end of the video.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Washington state since 2012. Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia legalised the sale and use of marijuana for personal use during the most recent midterm elections on November 4, 2014.
Interview with Mike Gaston, of Cut, the video production company behind the weed-smoking grandmas video
Euronews: What was the creative process behind the video?
- This was probably the most effortless video we’ve ever made. The title basically outlined the video for us. Art direction was simple. The actual production was pretty improvised. Jenga and Cards Against Humanity were last minute additions. It was a really loose environment.
How many people were involved in the shooting of the video?
- 7 crew total. Me/Mike Gaston (directing), Blaine Ludy (producing/shooting), Jason Hakala (producing/shooting), Brian Liepe (DP), Eric Soma (audio), Canh Nguyen (behind the scenes photographer), and Adam Russell (EMT – emergency responder, just in case).
How did you cast the three participants?
- This was the hardest part of the shoot. It was nearly impossible finding grandmas that had never smoked weed before. First we asked all our grandmas. Turns out they had all smoked before. Then we asked our friends’ grandmas. They too had smoked before. Eventually we went out to talent agencies. It was still so difficult that the director of Seattle Talent actually had his mom do it since she has never smoked pot before.
Aside from the fun story, after your facebook description, did your Seatlle-based video had an goal or agenda while doing this video?
- There was no real activist agenda. We want to make videos that are culturally relevant but also really fun and accessible. We thought this premise would be a fun way of reflecting on the absurdity of some of the US’s legacy laws.
What strain of weed did they smoke?
- Lavender (that’s the name). It’s apparently an easy strain to start with.
Did you expect it would gather such an attention and go viral overnight?
- No. We thought we had something special. But sometimes the excitement of a shoot doesn’t always translate into the final edit. I think the success of the video is really because those three women were awesome.
Nationwide attitudes towards marijuana are changing rapidly. A Pew Research Center survey conducted in mid-October showed 52% of US citizens are in favour of legal marijuana, while 45% want it to remain illegal.
According to the same survey, the trend crossed for the first time ever earlier this year. To put things in perspective, a 1969 Gallup survey showed a mere 12% of the US population supported legalisation when a whopping 84% wanted it banned. The general downward trend accelerated in recent years, as “support rose 11 points between 2010 and 2013” Pew Research analyst Seth Mothel wrote .
“Separately, 76% in [the Pew Research Center] February survey said people convicted of minor possession should not serve time in jail.” Also telling is the fact that 69% of Americans believe alcohol is more harmful to a person’s health than marijuana, according to Pew.
However, while the Pew survey says almost half (47%) of Americans say they have tried marijuana, the majority of the public is not yet fully comfortable with it. Indeed, 63% of Americans say they would be bothered if people did their weed smoking in public.