“High Society” Spotlights Brits, Cops, and the Elderly Finding Introduced to Pot



The Channel four series received criticism for getting also nonchalant in its depiction of weed use, but the creators take into consideration it a “study of human relationships, told with warmth and humor.”

All images courtesy of “Higher Society”

Could a British Television show about relationships taking spot in an Amsterdam cannabis café dispel myths about the plant and aid couples, close friends and relatives superior fully grasp every other beneath the haze of joint smoke? That is what Channel 4’s Higher Society: Cannabis Café aims to do, amid controversy and criticism that it is treating “casual drug use with a flippancy afforded only to the privileged,” according to 1 columnist.

If the show sounds familiar to MERRY JANE readers, we reported on the initially episode’s most notable incident, when two former drug squad cops caught up more than a joint, with 1 of them suffering a “whitey” and immediately having sick from the higher. The show’s mission is to film British people going to the Coffee Shop cannabis café in Amsterdam, with cameras and mics catching how they method cannabis and how they sort by means of conflicts bubbling up amongst the guests. 

“In the finish, it is a partnership show,” Steph Harris, executive producer of Higher Society: Cannabis Café, told MERRY JANE in a telephone interview. “ Cannabis can foster intimacy and can break down barriers, and for some people today, utilizing cannabis is one thing they want to cross off their bucket list.”

It is difficult not to come across 84-year-old grandma Maureen endearing in episode 1, when she hits the Volcano to acquaint herself with the plant her grandson enjoys so considerably. Also, in the second episode, a group of older close friends who execute in a choir determine to attempt many strategies to consume cannabis at the café, from Volcano bags to joints. Their random giggles and jokes will be recognizable to any individual who’s watched seniors get higher for the initially time.

The initially episode aired on Channel four on September 3rd and episode two debuted on September 10th. Harris mentioned her group is waiting to see if they get greenlit for far more episodes. 

Generating a reality show about cannabis in a nation exactly where drug laws nonetheless prohibit cannabis use is bound to rattle Television columnists and politicians, and Higher Society provoked reactions as quickly as it aired. Generating headlines in the UK was former Shadow House Secretary Ann Widdecombe accusing Channel four of “promoting an unlawful activity.”

Columnist Sarah Carson added her personal take: “The media’s presentation of drug use as an option way of life selection is harmless adequate if you have been, say, 1 of the quite a few white, middle-class, middle-aged people today smoking weed at Bob Dylan in Hyde Park final month, confident that the police would leave nicely alone. Significantly less so if you are an unfairly-targeted demographic — no young black guys function in the initially episode of Higher Society — or an individual who is seriously ill and fighting for the appropriate to access medicinal cannabis.”

She also criticized the show for viewing casual drug use “with a flippancy afforded only to the privileged,” to which Harris responded to MERRY JANE, “The series has by no means purported to be a existing affairs system — it is a factual entertainment program… it is far more a study of human relationships, told with warmth and humor. By inviting distinct couples who reflect a broad variety of society, all with quite relatable difficulties to talk about, we hoped to open the conversation in residences across Britain with a frank, informative, and genuine new format which is each revealing and entertaining.”


Harris wasn’t just repeating press-release speaking points rather, the show can genuinely be engaging when you see a couple, say, get higher collectively and speak about their lackluster sex life. It can be cringey in that it is-so-awkward-it is-entertaining way, but also enables some challenging conversations to come across a property in a space exactly where getting higher pulls down inhibitions. 

I’ve by no means gotten higher with my parents, so I was jealous to watch 31-year-old Abby and her father bond more than a shared joint at the Coffee Shop in episode two, exactly where their previous estranged partnership gave way to a far more open and sincere dialogue. Till the cafe stop by, Abby says she had previously struggled to modify her father’s viewpoint on how she makes use of cannabis as an powerful medication.

In an interview, Abby mentioned about the aftermath of the show, “My dad and I have not had any significant disagreements or disputes due to the fact our trip to Amsterdam. That is a huge step for us.”

On if his tips on cannabis shifted due to the fact he shared a joint with her, she mentioned, “The views my dad held with regards to cannabis previously have now diminished. He understands that cannabis is a medicine, he understands that we all have an endocannabinoid method, and he understands that I am in a considerably superior spot utilizing cannabis than if I have been on prescription drugs.”


In one more poignant moment in the show, a boxer identifying as transgender meets one more boxer who transitioned from male to female, and they share their challenges and triumphs as their buzzed conversations reveals how complicated it can be to embrace a new identity in this macho sport. It is difficult to say if such vulnerability would be shared if the two had been sauced more than a evening of pints.

The criticism lobbed at Higher Society: Cannabis Café fails to see the forest by means of the trees (pun intended): sharing cannabis collectively can provoke tolerance and intimacy, so considerably so that a partnership show constructed about having higher could open closed minds. Also, this series shreds myths of the “lazy unmotivated stoner” and as an alternative spotlights the quite a few distinct people blazing for the initially (or 200th) time, from curious grandmothers to conservative cops. We’ll toke to that. 

For far more on “High Society: Cannabis Café,” stop by Channel 4’s web site right here

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