Stoned (TV special)
"Stoned" is a 1980 made-for-TV movie featured in the Peabody Award-winning ABC Afterschool Special series. The film, starring Scott Baio, is built around peer pressure and its resultant drug abuse. It was featured as the fourth episode in the program's ninth season.
Jack Melon (Baio) is a gangling and awkward teenage freshman who doesn't fit in at his local high school. Distracted by a new girl in school named Felicity (Largo Woodruff), Jack bumps into Teddy (Jeffrey Frichner), a classmate who is a reputed marijuana user and pusher, who tells him to watch where he's going and calls him "Goofball" as he leaves.
Teddy's drug habit is outed in the Spanish class that Jack and Teddy share. Mr. David (John Herzfeld in his major TV acting debut), the teacher, orders Teddy to stand up after catching him sleeping at his desk. Teddy tells the teacher that he didn't sleep well last night but refuses Mr. David's offer to send him to the nurse's office. When Teddy protests, Mr. David tells him "Don't come to class stoned!"
Later, Jack catches Teddy and Alan (Steve Monarque also in his major TV acting debut), another classmate, smoking pot in the boys' room. Teddy offers him a chance to try it, but Jack refuses, saying he doesn't have to eat dirt to know he doesn't like the taste. Alan teases him by asking if his 'goody-goody' older brother Mike (Vincent Bufano) taught him the remark. Jack leaves, and asks Mike if he had ever tried pot. Mike says he had tried it "once or twice", but didn't like it.
Jack also looks up to his older brother, but is often ignored by their father, who constantly praises Mike for his athletic abilities on the swim team, while Jack has no athletic prowess. As there is no presence of a female authority figure in the house, it's presumed that the father is widowed or divorced.
An argument between the normally close brothers happens the day before a swim meet, where Mike tells Jack he wants to take a long drive alone to get his head together for the meet. When Jack suggests Mike talk it over with him, Mike explodes and tells him to stop "hanging around my neck like an anchor".
The next day at school, Jack is approached by Teddy again. This time he grabs the joint, but doesn't feel the effects. Teddy invites him to his home after school, where he presents Jack with a bong. Jack this time gets high after a couple of hits. The experience leads to a friendship between Teddy and Jack, and Mr. David, noticing Jack's change in behavior, conducts class outside one day to teach his students about the dangers of marijuana. Like he did with Teddy, Mr. David outs Jack's obvious use of marijuana when Jack starts goofing off during the lecture.
Felicity, who has been paying attention to Jack's newfound sense of humor, now brushes him off, realizing his behavior isn't what represents the real Jack. Jack's relationship with his brother also deteriorates, as Mike begins to notice the changes in his brother's behavior and reacts when Jack intercepts a letter from school addressed to his father about Jack's absenteeism. When a confrontation between the pair erupt, Mike tries to mend fences with Jack by asking him to do 'laps' with him at a nearby lake, like they had done when they were close.
Jack accepts, but smokes a joint prior to the outing. While Jack is in the rowboat and Mike is swimming, Mike swims too close to the boat and Jack accidentally hits him in the jaw with one of the oars. Jack, stoned and thinking that Mike is joking with him, panics when he realizes that Mike is seriously in trouble. He frantically jumps in the lake and rescues Mike, who has been unconscious and in the water for some time.
Mike wakes up in the hospital with a broken nose and no memory of what had happened. Jack confesses that he was stoned and accepts responsibility for Mike's predicament. Angry at his brother ruining his career as a competitive swimmer, Mike orders him out of the room. Their father bursts in at that point, demanding to know what happened. As Jack gets ready to tell their father the truth, Mike interrupts him and tells him that he was careless and smacked into a tree trunk after swimming ahead of the boat, adding that Jack saved his life.
The following day, Teddy approaches Jack, telling him he has some "dynamite new pot". Jack ignores him and walks up to Felicity and lets her know that he's off pot for good.
"Hi, I'm Jack," he says to her. "Not Super Jack, not Super Stoned Jack, just plain old Jack."
"Nice to meet you Jack," she smiles in quiet realization. "I'm just plain Felicity." They hold hands as they walk down the hall in this final scene.
"Jack is down and depressed. Getting stoned seems like the answer. Until someone almost gets killed."
Scott Baio won a 1982 Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor in a Television Special for this work.