Weed the People (2018) reviewed by Jonathan Berk

There are a few reasons I didn’t love Weed the People (2018). This documentary by Abby Epstein focuses on children who are also cancer patients who are using cannabis oil as a natural treatment either instead of chemotherapy or alongside it. The film has an easy enough job to get the audience on its side as it would take an absolute monster to be okay with kids dying from cancer. The subjects range from an infant to a 17-year-old with a few other ages in between at various stages of cancer treatment and types of cancer. It also focuses on a few doctors and one non-profit collective that is making the oil.

Weed the People offers an interesting perspective on the use of cannabis oil

The biggest issue I had is completely on me, and that is I don’t do well with medical stuff. I figured the film would make arguments for the medical uses of marijuana, which it does, but I hadn’t anticipated seeing some of the more traditional treatments. To be completely fair, there really isn’t anything that “gross” or shocking on this side of the spectrum. However, the fact that is was children having things plugged into their port made me all the more uncomfortable and I found myself squirming in my seats. I also looked away a few times in anticipation of what could be coming on the screen. This shouldn’t reflect poorly on the film or the filmmaker of course, but it still affects my enjoyment of the film thus I felt the need to state it.

The arguments made by the doctors and the parents plus the various interviews are often compelling. There are almost no studies being done on the positive effects of medical marijuana by our government despite a lot of evidence that suggests the multitude of benefits. Initially, the idea of kids smoking weed for medical purposes seemed shocking, but that’s not how the kids are given the components. The cannabis oil is given in fairly small doses usually mixed with food or given on the end of a toothpick and placed under the tongue. While there are only five kids featured in the film, the success of the oil is almost evident in each case. Well, sort of. That’s one of the biggest issues is the tests aren’t controlled as children’s lives are at stake. None of the cases are exclusively using the oil and so conclusions are made by those supporting the oil-based more on faith than on scientific evidence. Buy generic Cialis legal http://www.trendingdownward.com/cialis-tadalafil/ tadalafil quality pills.

That, of course, is one of the points the documentary is trying to get across. There needs to be more conclusive testing done to make this medicine regulated. Mara Gordon runs Aunt Zelda’s the non-profit that makes the oil many of the kids are using in the film. It is a lot of money and not covered by medical insurance. One of the families buys their oil from another supplier before being introduced to Gordon and gets duped into a rubbing alcohol laced product for almost double the money. Two syringes of the oil seemed to be going for $1500 so it’s not something many people can even afford to try. Epstein’s message and focus of interviews are that this naturally growing plant has so many medicinal purposes and, until the government will allow it and regulate it, the weedscriptions are the “wild wild west.”

Final thoughts…

The documentary is compelling in a few ways. It is definitely biased towards its goal that cannabis is a helpful medicine offering almost no conflicting points-of-view. The stories of the people affected are powerful and a lot of time was spent with each family in the course of making this movie. While often gut-wrenching, there are moments of joy found for those who can stick it through. Weed the People earns the Decent Watch rating.

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