Combine lots of on-screen toking, snappy comedy writing and an ultra-violent action adventure film, and it adds up to a winning formula for Pineapple Express.
The talented Seth Rogen co-wrote (with Evan Goldberg) and co-starred (with James Franco) in this likable buddy comedy.
Dale Denton (Rogen) is a high-all-the-time process server who witnesses a drug-related execution. The roach of Pineapple Express weed he leaves behind at the scene of the crime leads murderous drug lord Ted Jones (Gary Cole) straight to Dale's pot dealer, Saul Silver (Franco).
Look for cameo appearances by Ed Begley Jr. and James Remar, and don't miss Rosie Perez as a delightfully detestable, hilariously horny crooked cop.
According to producer Judd Apatow, the inspiration for Pineapple Express was Brad Pitt's stoner character, Floyd, in True Romance. "I thought it would be funny to make a movie in which you follow that character out of his apartment and watch him get chased by bad guys," Apatow told Entertainment Weekly.
4. How High 
Method Man and Redman prove their musical chemistry extends to the screen as well in this giddy, light-hearted "street kids go to Harvard" romp.
OK, so maybe the plot is a little threadbare in spots, but who cares.
There are plenty of stoned laughs and a plethora of "fish out of water" jokes.
After Silas and his friend Jamal lose their best friend to a disquieting pot-related dreadlock fire, they grow a pot plant in his ashes, and the resulting herb gives them all the knowledge they need to make it in the high-stakes academic world.
With a storyline featuring magical weed that makes you smart and helps you study, you certainly don't have to spend any time straining your brain by figuring out heavy social statements.
While the guys are enjoying their new Ivy League lifestyle, their supernatural smoke eventually and inevitably runs out, leaving them on their own with only each other to survive.
Added bonus: How High features a cameo by Monk's psychiatrist (the new one, not the guy who died), the always-great Hector Elizondo.
3. Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle 
A stoner comedy about getting the munchies? Yeah, and it's about 1,000 times funnier than you think, if you've never seen it.
The two pothead title characters, investment banker John Cho (Harold) and prospective doctor Kal Penn (Kumar), decide to munch out at White Castle after getting high, but when they can't find the restaurant, they have a series of drawn-out comical misadventures.
The film is directed by Danny "I must love potheads" Leiner, who also gifted us with the stoner classic Dude, Where's My Car back in 2000.
Among the high points is when Harold and Kumar pick up Neil Patrick Harris, playing a high-on-ecstasy, hitchhiking Neil Patrick Harris. (Dude, he steals their car. But later he shows back up, apologizes, gives them $200 for "love stains in the back seat" and gives the car back. Sweet.)
Also watch for a cameo by comedy great Fred Willard.
2. Friday 
Friday is a hypnotic, funny, expertly done look at one particular day in the lives of friends Craig Jones (Ice Cube) and Smokey (Chris Tucker) in Los Angeles.
Craig, who doesn't smoke weed when the film begins, has recently been fired from his job and his parents are consequently threatening to throw him out. His best bud Smokey is a devoted stoner who's smoking his way through a batch of indo he was supposed to be selling.
In an attempt to explain to the dealer why the weed is gone yet there's still no money, Smokey accidentally incriminates Craig. The dealer, Big Worm (Faizon Love) gets tired of Smokey "playing with his emotions" and gives the guys an ultimatum: Pay up by 10 p.m. Friday, or be killed.
At the end of the movie, just when you think it's becoming another dumb-assed, pre-packaged sellout -- Smokey announces he's going into rehab -- Smokey looks up, lights a joint and ends the film by shouting, "I was just bullshittin'! And you know this... man!"
1. Up In Smoke 
Cheech & Chong's first feature film was a real trail blazer in many ways.
Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong had already been a comedy team for a decade before they reworked some of their best material for Up In Smoke.
Tommy Chong plays Man, an unemployed pothead drummer (bit of trivia: his character's "real" name in the movie is Anthony Stoner, but that's only mentioned once). Cheech plays Pedro de Pacas, who picks up the hitchhiking Man, starting their adventures.
While many stoner films don't hold up very well if you aren't high when you see 'em, Up In Smoke is a definite exception. The movie is genuinely hilarious, stoned or not, and features a strong supporting cast including Stacy Keach's iconic Sgt. Stedenko and Tom Skerritt's PTSD-ridden Vietnam veteran, Strawberry.
Director Lou Adler's low-budget movie surprised critics, earned millions, spawned a series of follow-up films (all worth watching, stoner-wise), and forever etched the names of Cheech & Chong in hemp history.
Paramount's market research team determined that for obscure reasons, the greatest hotbeds of Cheech & Chong fandom were in Texas and Canada. Since Up In Smoke was the duo's first film, Paramount wanted the first screenings to be filled with their most ardent fans -- so the film opened first in Texas, to huge business, then in Canada, boosted by strong word of mouth among the pothead contingent.