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Weed the People - A Powerful Cannabis Film| MVFF41 Sponsors

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Weed The People

A Healing Revolution Is Growing

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.


Watch the trailer:

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A Global View of Medical Cannabis Use Throughout History - Part 1

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The use of cannabis has been with us for centuries, thought to have originated in the steppes of Central Asia nearly 12,000 years ago, people have been using it for a very long time. In this article we’re going around the globe highlighting the medical uses of one of the oldest cultivated crops in the world. In Neolithic times cannabis was a common agricultural crop used for its high-protein seeds, oils, and fibers to make ropes, enrich diets, and make clothing for ancient societies.

Global use of medical cannabis throughout history

  • Cannabis as a medicine first arrived on the scene around 2737 B.C. when the mystic Chinese Emperor, Shen Neng, began prescribing cannabis tea to treat gout, malaria, beriberi, rheumatism, and poor memory.
  • Around 200 A.D., the first pharmacopeia of the East, known as the “Pent ts’ao,” was created based on much of Shen Neng’s teachings, and contained various uses of cannabis to treat many ailments which also included 365 different medicines derived from plants, animals, and minerals.
  • The Ancient Chinese founder of surgery, Hua T’o, used cannabis mixed with alcohol as an anesthetic during surgeries.
  • In Ancient Rome, Pliny the Elder mentioned cannabis as a painkilling analgesic.
  • Romans were also aware of the plants ability to alleviate labor pains, premenstrual symptoms, and menstrual cramps.
  • In India, Hindus used cannabis to relieve stress and anxiety.
  • The Indian healer, Sushruta, is known for prescribing cannabis for fevers and inflammation of the mucous membrane; while other Indian healers used it to treat coughs and asthma.  
  • Pedanius Dioscorides, a physician in Nero’s Army recommended a juice made out of the seeds of cannabis to aid in earaches.
  • Galen, the Ancient Greek doctor used the drug to treat pain and flatulence.
  • Women in Cambodia and Vietnam ingest a cannabis tea to alleviate postpartum distress, still used today.
  • In Africa, “Dagga,” which is their name for cannabis, varied medically from tribe to tribe.  The Sotho tribe used it during childbirth, whereas residents from Rhodesia used it to treat anthrax, dysentery, and malaria. Some tribes even used it to treat snakebites.
  • In Europe, French doctor Francois Rabelais, wrote a book describing how cannabis could ease the pain of gout, cure horses of colic, and treat burns.
  • Portuguese physician Garcia Da Orta described the plants ability to stimulate appetite.
  • Thanks to the research done by Irish physician William O’Shaughnessy in the 1830’s, both England and the Americas gained interest in the medical potential of the plant.
  • In 1850 the U.S pharmacopeia listed cannabis as a cure for many ailments, and until prohibition began in the 1900’s cannabis tinctures could be found in pharmacies and medicine cabinets all across the country.
  • In the 1950’s a study was done in Czechoslovakia, which confirmed cannabis’s antibiotic and analgesic effects.

Understanding history to end cannabis stigma

You may wonder why one of the oldest cultivated crops in the world is demonized in today’s society, but once you see how entangled cannabis is to religion and commerce it’s easy to see how prohibition was largely influenced by politics of control, rather than from scientific or rational assessments of the drug’s use and effects.  We believe it’s important to know the history because the stigma that cannabis-users are “pot-heads,” lazy, and unintelligent has demonized the plant long enough. The result has limited medical research and turned good people into criminals. Part two of this blog series will dive deeper into prohibition and the different ways cannabis has been misrepresented in the past.


Source:

  1. Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence by Mitch Earleywine

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