WEED THE PEOPLE, a documentary by filmmakers Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake, is a shockingly informative expose of he medical uses for cannabis, better known as marijuana. If you haven't been paying attention, this is not exactly news, but Epstein and Lake have managed to sear this information into our brains by focusing on young cancer patients and their parents.
I am not implying that these cancer subjects are exploited --- far from it. But by targeting children who are fighting desperately for their lives, we can more than relate to the frustrations of the parents who are willing to try just about anything to find a cure. WEED THE PEOPLE
follows these families as they attempt to navigate the legalities of medical marijuana and how to use it properly.
One crusader in the medical use of cannabis oil, Mara Gordon, has made it her life's work, along with her husband, to treat people as best she can. They claim to be dosing specialists and, as opposed to some others who may be referred to as quacks, they take their chosen field very seriously. It is because our federal government, and particularly Big Pharma, refuses to consider the effectiveness of cannabis in treating cancer that people such as Mara and these families are forced to take matters into their own hands.
It is evident while watching WEED THE PEOPLE that cannabis is definitely effective. Seeing one child after another get cured is a sure sign that there is validity here. Not all of the outcomes are positive --- one of the families from Chicago, who had to establish residency in California in order to get the medical cannabis, lost their son in the end. But that does not negate the successes that people are experiencing.
WEED THE PEOPLE is a powerful advocate for, if nothing more, the need for research. Why is our government so opposed to the idea of a possible miracle cure from a plant? And why is Big Pharma so afraid to explore this option? These are important, life-saving questions --- and we need the answers now!
Opinion: See It Now!
Parents faced with the desperate situation of helping their children stricken with cancer will try anything. In this movie, that means seeking a cure through marijuana.
WEED THE PEOPLE is as important a documentary as you're ever likely to see. The film focuses on children --- ranging from an infant to teenagers --- who suffer from incurable forms of cancer. Standard chemotherapy/radiation treatments are not enough. But the oils found in marijuana plants are literally miracle medications --- just don't call them drugs because the U.S. government and Big Pharma will not recognize cannabis oil as a legitimate cancer treatment. So does this oil work? Witness the incredulous moms and dads in WEED THE PEOPLE who initially felt hopeless.
One 11-year-old named Chico was diagnosed with 20 tumors in his body. After some months of cannabis treatments, the tumors had disappeared. Chico, after his recovery, is virtually unrecognizable from the bloated, pale, sickly person he once was --- truly amazing --- and incredibly uplifting.
Then there is the heart-rending story of nine-month-old Sophie Ryan. This precious infant was facing a prognosis of 100% blindness from her chemo treatments. However, her parents, after reading a suggestion on Facebook, turned to Mara Gordon, co-founder of Aunt Zelda's Oil. Mara and her husband Stewart run this small home-based business developing correct dosages of their cannabis infused edibles. Their recommendations are based on Mara's Aunt Zelda who evidently had a fabulous carrot cake recipe. And little Sophie? Watch the movie to learn the rest of her story.
Appearing often in director Abby Epstein's documentary, Mara explains that no clinical trials for cannabis oil as a cancer treatment exist, so much of their work is trial and error. The thousands of strains of marijuana make it extremely difficult to be exact in their efforts. Which brings us back to Big Pharma.
Could it be that the pharmaceutical industry and its massive lobbying efforts stifle the possibility of weed as a cure for cancer? Could it be that losing a potential $4 billion in annual drug sales trumps any efforts to actually help people in need? One Massachusetts doctor, who prescribes and ardently believes in marijuana as a cancer cure, pleads with Mara Gordon to publish her findings in the prestigious "The New England Journal of Medicine".
WEED THE PEOPLE will have moviegoers thinking much differently about methodologies if they know someone diagnosed with cancer. As we watched the Ohio State-Purdue football game last week, a former Boilermaker player, now a cancer victim, was interviewed extensively from his wheelchair as the game played on. Jeanne and I were practically screaming at the TV to tell this very ill young man to consider marijuana. The word needs to be spread.
Ironically, WEED THE PEOPLE is being released only days after Canada --- the entire country --- legalized all uses of marijuana. Yet there are still 21 states in America where its use is a criminal offense. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized weed for medical purposes only. After watching Epstein's remarkable documentary, we can only hope it has a positive impact on future legislation. Meanwhile, WEED THE PEOPLE should give parents hope they may never have had before.
Opinion: Strong See It Now!