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But there’s also the inverse: the creative renaissance black culture brought to American cities, of which cannabis was an essential component. “The history of cannabis in America has long been tied to the history of music in America,” Freddy narrates in Grass is Greener. Even when depicting horrific injustices, Freddy’s new Netflix documentary uses the music of the era to remind us of the power found in the voices of those who stood against the grinding, destructive violence police and government wrought on their communities while using cannabis as an excuse.

Collectively, the music of Grass is Greener makes the perfect 420 playlist.

Grass is Greener Netflix Documentary 420 Playlist

The history of cannabis in American music begins with jazz. “Almost 100 years ago, the biggest advocates of the day were jazz musicians,” Freddy narrates in Grass is Greener.

Songs from the era referenced reefer, gauge, jive and weed. “They used euphemisms,” says Larry “Ratso” Sloman, author of Reefer Madness: A History of Marijuana in Grass is Greener, in the documentary. “99.9 percent of the public wouldn’t have no idea what he was talking about.”

“I’m not so particular about having a permit to carry a gun. All I want is a permit to carry that good shit. You must see to it that I have special permission to smoke all the reefers that I want to, when I want, or I will just have to put this horn down,” jazz legend Louis Armstrong wrote. “I can’t afford to be tense, fearing that any minute I’m going to be arrested,’ brought to jail, for a silly little minor thing like marijuana.” He was later arrested for smoking a joint outside a gig in Culver City, California, targeted for cannabis use alongside other jazz greats like Billie Holiday, Thelonius Monk, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington and Count Basie.