Documentary examining the cases of five chronically ill people who have been prescribed medical marijuana as part of their treatment.

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Documentary examining the cases of five chronically ill people who have been prescribed medical marijuana as part of their treatment.

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9 July 2007 (USA)  »

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$100,000 (estimated)
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Great Documentary on an Issue Considered Incredibly Taboo
1 May 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I'm only writing this commentary to correct one I have previously read. The film is not attempting to legalize marijuana in any way, it is simply trying to decriminalize medicinal cannabis nation-wide so that it is accessible to all those suffering and in need. Furthermore, the documentary seeks to dispel traditional myths associated with marijuana use, namely its effects on short term memory, motor control and drastic shifts in personality.

Overall it does a wonderful job of presenting its arguments in an unbiased approach. It features interviews with people arguing on opposite ends of the spectrum. These interviews are then juxtaposed to offer the viewer grounds to form an opinion. Of course, like most documentaries, the final editing creates a subliminal bias in favor of medicinal cannabis, indoctrinating the viewer in a way too subtle for most to pick up on. However, unlike Michael Moore and his horrendously cheesy and self-righteous documentaries, this one never comes across as over-preached or enforced. The facts are presented, and often no more.

The only complaint I have aside from the tinge of bias is in one of the film's most lacking arguments. Often the opposing view argues that marijuana abuse is dangerous, reckless and socially parasitic. This traditional myth is rampant in today's society and within the film. Marijuana users are unfairly labeled as degenerates, low-lives and unanimously unproductive in comparison to their 'clean' counterparts. As far as I can remember the film never actually attempts to dispel these myths with the VERY simple argument that these people are discussing marijuana 'abuse', not simple 'use'. Like any drug (alcohol, painkillers, even caffeine), abusing it will lead to resounding side-affects and a drastic change in personality.

To me it's a glaring fact that is never formally raised, but with that aside it's still an excellent film that is important for anyone to see. Even if the battle for medicinal decriminalization has nothing to do with you or your family, this film is worth viewing in order to dispel common myths and to raise awareness on the problematic 'war on drugs' situation.

It's a silly epidemic that I wish America could deal with (myself being Canadian) and this film is greatly suited for dealing with just that.


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