By sheer virtue of being one of the latest documentaries about cannabis in America, this is an important film as, unlike many of its excellent predecessors, it encompasses the game changing legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington state. But beyond being timely, this film gets high marks for both quality and scope.
Kudos to film maker Kevin Booth for covering a HUGE amount of material in a thought provoking way – medical marijuana, law enforcement abuse and the prison industrial complex, the cartel connection and more. Marijuana is a complex subject with its fingers in many different areas that people never even consider.
There’s so much to talk about that the story lines occasionally jump around a bit disjointedly, but it’s only because the gravitas of the subject merits covering the wide array of important topics that truly influence everyone’s lives, regardless of whether or not they actually use cannabis.
The movie provides a lot to celebrate and gives hope with coverage of all the jobs legalized marijuana would add to the economy and the many ways industrial hemp can benefit the planet.
Booth goes on to tackle topics like our government’s cover up of cannabis as medicine, including its patent on cannabinoids as antioxidants and nueroprotectants, and the latest medical breakthroughs and research on medical marijuana that seems to hold the key to treating and sometime curing many devastating diseases.
Of course, before we can get to all those great things, we still have to legalize. Some of the film’s most important scenes cover how the war on weed feeds the US prison industrial complex and the devastating effects it has had on the citizens of neighboring Mexico.
Prepare to get outraged all over again and prepare to cry – Booth sets much of the movie against the powerful emotional backdrop of the Cash Hyde story – a 4-year old child whose brain tumor went into remission courtesy of cannabis oil, until the government stood between Cash and his medicine, with fatal results.
He also shines a much need spotlight on another little known side effect of the drug war -- child protective services abuses and the system of forcing foster children into prescription drug use. A caring foster parent himself, Booth’s passion for the subject of the drug war’s unintended consequences on children is apparent in his compelling coverage of these little known issues that routinely damage America’s kids.
I consider myself well educated on the topic of marijuana, but even a long time activist like me still learned a lot from this film. Throughout Booth busts popular prohibitionist myths with expert testimony from actual scientists who back up their claims with actual credible research.
If you are at all interested in the subject of cannabis and/or the war on drugs, you NEED to see this powerful documentary. If you want to educate a friend or family member, watch this film together then have a discussion. Highly (no pun intended, really) recommended.