Stoners and gamers are like two peas in a pod, so why do video games give marijuana such a bad rap? Why is there any reason for the demonization of weed in games?

It all comes back to politics, in the end. If you read the end of this article, you’ll learnt that the 1988 Anti-Drug Abuse Act was passed in 1988, and this led to a deal between the legislators involved and the American Amusement Machine Association. This meant that the anti-drug patrol were on the same side as the video games makers. Ever since, video games have nearly always taken an anti-drug and therefore anti-weed stance. Which is a shame because with weed games are better. A lot better due to the heightened sensory awareness and more relaxed feelings you get when on a good high.

The strongest example the above article gives is “NARC”, where you are tasked with destroying a ‘weed factory.’ AS the police, you are to shoot and otherwise kill drug users and stoners in ultra violent ways. This gives out the message that extreme violence is justified, yet smoking marijuana is a horribly illegal act. How is that for hypocrisy?

Another example includes Grand Theft Auto 5. You’d think that even though NARC was an old arcade game and Grand Theft Auto is a series about being a drug dealing, violent criminal and completing all sorts of criminal behaviors, that maybe it would treat weed a bit more realistically. After all, in the GTA series you’ve delivered parcels of heroin and crack cocaine, so weed shouldn’t be so unfairly treated as those hard drugs, right? Wrong. The game has a laughable representation of weed; you smoke it, and you become depressed, paranoid and obsessed with your ex-girlfriend.

When it isn’t your character, the background stuff in games also points towards marijuana being some potent killer. In Bad Company 2, you hear a story in the background about someone’s grandmother nearly burning her house down because she took a bong hit whilst watching the super bowl. Or maybe you should consider Space Pirates, where doing drugs will make your head explode. Literally, the message the game gives is that your head will explode.

Clearly, there is massive anti-drug bias, and strangely, the bias isn’t directed to really hard drugs in quite the same way that is directed at weed. There are games like Police Quest 2, where you only get to be involved with drugs if you are also a terrorist. Again, the worst part of this is that it’s a cool game to shoot people, and destroy things and murder. Yet where there is nothing immoral about a Call of Duty style massacre, apparently indulging in a natural recreational activity like smoking a joint is the height of immorality. It is political maneuvers like this that move the whole marijuana movement back decades.

Natalie