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The Union: The Business Behind Getting High (2007)

8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 6,663 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 7 critic

BC's illegal marijuana trade industry has evolved into a business giant, dubbed by some involved as 'The Union', Commanding upwards of $7 billion Canadian annually. With up to 85% of 'BC ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself - Host
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chris Bennett ...
Himself - Author & Former 'Pot TV' Manager
Steve Bloom ...
Himself - Former Editor, High Times
Renee Bojee ...
Herself - Activist
Neil Boyd ...
Himself - Professor of Criminology, Simon Fraser University
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Larry Campbell ...
Himself - Mayor of Vancouver, 2002-2005 (as Senator Larry Campbell)
Rielle Capler ...
Herself - Policy Analyst - BC Compassion Club Society
...
Himself - Comedian
Jack A. Cole ...
Himself - Director of LEAP and Former Undercover Narcotics Agent
John Conroy ...
Himself - Criminal Defense Lawyer
Greg Cooper ...
Himself - Multiple Sclerosis & Ataxia Sufferer
Stephen Easton ...
Himself - Professor of Economics, Simon Fraser University
Marc Emery ...
Himself - Seed Retailer & Activist
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Storyline

BC's illegal marijuana trade industry has evolved into a business giant, dubbed by some involved as 'The Union', Commanding upwards of $7 billion Canadian annually. With up to 85% of 'BC Bud' being exported to the United States, the trade has become an international issue. Follow filmmaker Adam Scorgie as he demystifies the underground market and brings to light how an industry can function while remaining illegal. Through growers, police officers, criminologists, economists, doctors, politicians and pop culture icons, Scorgie examines the cause and effect nature of the business - an industry that may be profiting more by being illegal. Written by Brett Harvey

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

8 June 2007 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Союз  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

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Color:

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Herself - Pot Baker & Comedian: $400 million is spent in Canada arresting and prosecuting marijuana crimes. The total budget in Canada for all drugs is $500 million. That means four-fifths of the drug budget goes towards arresting and prosecuting marijuana users, leaving one-fifth for crack, heroin, coke, crystal meth, the date rape drug - whatever.
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Features Hemp for Victory (1943) See more »

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Original music by Jakob Simek
www.myspace.com/okdown
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User Reviews

An indictment against freedom in America.
18 August 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I was pleasantly surprised by this documentary. As a non-user of cannabis viewing what had to be just another pro-cannabis argument, I had low expectations. My expectations were wrong.

This documentary has about as much to say about North American Society as a whole as it has to say about the legalization of marijuana. Taken in its greater context, the documentary is about how Society allows limits of personal freedom to evolve. The documentary uses the example of the 1920's Prohibition on alcohol to demonstrate how Society can change to allow something within its perceived bounds of decency, for which it previously tossed people in jail. I have seen in my own lifetime the legalization of homosexuality, which also finds its roots in Canada, initiated as it was by a visionary Prime Minister named Pierre Trudeau. What a less tolerant society once restricted through oppression to dark, secret places, it is now allowing freely, even if it is all still happening in dark, secret places. If Society had finally recognized that these prohibited things could not be eliminated, Society may have also recognized that they would at least not be promoted by legalizing them. Not everyone is happy with either societal change, but the majority are. We are now seeing the evolution of acceptance of cannabis in Society. But that's not the point. To me the documentary is not about cannabis. It is about disparities of freedom.

The point is driven home by an exposé on the United States penal system, a system run to a great extent by private corporations who's primary interest, by definition, is to make money. What the documentary helps the objective viewer to realize is America's is not as free a Society as many, if not most, others in the world, and it helps the objective viewer realize, if chillingly, the reason why.


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