Last weekend we hosted a screening at the 41st Annual Mill Valley Film Festival. The MVFF has been a part of our community since 1977, growing into an internationally acclaimed cinema event throughout the decades. Our co-founder Monica Gray grew up in Mill Valley and attended the festival throughout the years, so it brought her a lot of joy being able to give back to the community that’s given her much. Once we heard about the film “Weed the People,” we knew it was something we wanted to support.
It’s a bold look into the medicinal ways cannabis is able to help individuals and shows how challenging it can be to acquire proper medication under the current blanket created by prohibition. Director Abby Epstein and Producer Ricki Lake created a heart wrenching documentary film following five children with cancer and their parents as they desperately try to move past marijuana’s reputation as a recreational joyride and embrace it’s centuries-old history as an effective medicine – one that not only offsets the negative side effects of chemotherapy but may hold the key to healing.”
We had the opportunity to see the film a couple of times, and on both occasions, we were moved to tears. Watching children and their parents experience the devastating journey of cancer is a heart wrenching subject. It follows five children and their parents as they fight to use cannabis as either the sole medicine or in conjunction with Chemo. It provides insight into the difficulty behind each parent’s decision and also reveals how challenging it can be to find safe, reliable sources of medicine in a largely unregulated market.
We meet Mara Gordon, an advocate and guide for people using CBD and THC to treat cancer. She works diligently to gather data, guide families and make different formulas to treat individuals in need. It's a powerful statement about the importance of research, availability and affordability of cannabis and it's cannabinoids. The film gives us a window into how cannabis works on cancer vs traditional treatments and how it can be used to ease symptoms along the way.
“Weed the People,” is an instant classic, a pioneering film with tremendous upside educational potential. We’d like to thank director Abby Epstein and producer Ricki Lake for making a film that directly reflects how incredible the plant really is. Our hope for Ricki, Abby, and the film is to see it spread across the nation falling on receptive hearts and open minds. These are important messages to spread! By changing perception and rescheduling cannabis research would be legal, and it could lead to important medical discoveries, currently unavailable to researchers and individuals suffering from terminal diseases.