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420: The Documentary (2013)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Crime, History | 27 July 2013 (USA)
Thousands peacefully smoke pot at 420 events - a stark contrast next to stories of college students, and others, who have been arrested, shot by police, and even murdered for mere possession of pot.




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Credited cast:
James Ball
David Chavez
Becky Lea Goodman ... (as Becky Lee Goodman)
Samara Kelly
... (as Margaux Susi)
Ryan Vanduzer


"Seven youthful people (representing the nation's 'youth') question why our government is still arresting people for mere possession of marijuana, even though our last three presidents, and many politicians smoked pot in their youth. Footage from 420 civil disobedience festivals is juxtaposed against ironic statements from politicos who continue to misrepresent the truth - supposedly out of concern for the very youth who have fallen prey to marijuana prohibition laws. To underscore this hypocrisy, 420 illuminates stories of college students, and others,who have been arrested, shot by police, and even murdered for mere possession of pot. 420 scans the history of pot - from the 30s to present day - exposing how the public has been duped, over and over by false propaganda and political agendas. Numerous law enforcement retirees provide shocking commentary and outspoken regret over a policy they helped enforce, only to realize it was a tragic mistake they now want to reverse. Written by Amy Ralston Povah

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cannabis | marijuana | weed | See All (3) »


Not Rated


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Release Date:

27 July 2013 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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User Reviews

Very truthful, heartfelt interviews
10 September 2013 | by See all my reviews

I loved this documentary. I was already well aware of some of the issues raised which may have come as surprising new information to some...for example the fact that research on the medical applications and benefits of marijuana have been systematically discouraged, even banned outright so that any MD or researcher looking for facts will have to rely on foreign universities. I already knew the destructive power that even a minor drug charge decades old can have on the ability of young people to lead a normal life and have a productive career. I also have heard a number of judges, Fed agents, prison officials voice (behind closed doors and in confidence) the opinion that the rigid regulations and witch hunting practices of the drug war were counter productive, promoted corruption among law enforcement, lying on the part of informants, over aggressive prosecutions....and left thousands of peripheral, non violent participants and their families and children with ruined lives, forever marginalized. This documentary is the first time I have seen law enforcement people say clearly that they felt many of those they lured and then arrested would have become contributing members of society and productive IF they had never been arrested. For the first time, 420 lays out clearly through honest interviews the fact that a great number of those behind bars could be us or our kids...just experimenting or helping a friend or dating the wrong man. The majority are not gun toting, wild eyed narco terrorists but thanks to mandatory minimums, guidelines and a variety of "one size fits all" laws, they will serve sentences, often decades long, reserved for "kingpins". If and when they make it back to their community, they will find themselves barred from most professional employment, in practice if not by law. 420 also shows the risks that doctors run just for trying to provide patients with what they believe is the most compassionate and best care. All in all 420 manages to be a very informative and gripping film while also being entertaining and a pleasure to watch.

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