Determined to find out the true effects of marijuana on the human body, stand-up comedian Doug Benson documents his experience avoiding pot for 30 days and then consuming massive amounts of the drug for 30 days. More than just an amusing story of one man’s quest to get superhigh, this documentary also examines the hotly contested debate over medical marijuana use.
Benson took various tests to gauge his physical and mental health both before 30 days of not smoking cannabis, and after doing so for 30 days straight. Benson’s physician concluded that the effects on Benson’s health from his use of cannabis were generally inconsequential. The greatest changes noted were in his weight (Benson gained eight pounds during his “high” month). His sperm count actually increased, contrary to the expectations of medical studies. His overall score on an SAT test increased (mostly verbal), although, it was mentioned that his mathematical skills were significantly reduced. The one effect that Benson was surprised at by the end of the smoking month was that he was sure that he would be sick of smoking cannabis for a continuous extended period and that he felt like he was going to need an extended break afterwards. He instead felt perfectly fine with his continued casual smoking with no apparent, acquired disdain of any kind. In the end credits, the movie was dedicated to Michelle Benjamin, a friend of the filmmakers’ who was killed in a traffic accident involving a drunk driver.
The conception of the film originated with a joke in Benson’s stand-up act, asking, “If there’s a movie called Super Size Me about a guy who ate McDonald’s every day, why couldn’t there be this movie called Super High Me, where I smoke pot every day?” He shared the joke with friend and filmmaker Michael Blieden, who saw potential in producing a film. When they made the film, Benson ensured that his “antics” were legally tolerated in the state of California. The comedian said of the experience, “It would be difficult for anyone who has obligations to do, so I wouldn’t break the law. I didn’t operate a motor vehicle for the 30 days of filming. The crew drove me everywhere.”
The film also includes interviews with marijuana activists, including Marc Emery, the Canadian “Prince of Pot”, along with dispensary owners, politicians, and patients who are part of the medical marijuana movement.