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Heartland Film Festival: ‘Weed the People’ makes an emotional, compelling case for legal cannabis

Cancer is a devastating illness that no one should have to endure, and  this is especially true regarding children. Childhood is meant to be an  innocent, fun time in a person’s life, but sadly many children are  denied a normal childhood due to the debilitating disease. Medical  advances have greatly increased the survival rate for those afflicted,  but there is still a limit to what modern medicine can do. When all else  fails, we turn to other alternative measures. 


Despite indications that cannabis has anti-cancer properties, the use  of cannabis in the medical field is highly controversial. In many  states, doctors are largely forbidden from prescribing cannabis,  preventing families from but for those in desperate situation the law  literally stands between a potential cure and sure death.

Weed the People follows various families with children  looking to cannabis for treatment. Admittedly, the film is very  depressing. Watching these children who should be outside playing with  friends or watching television are stuck in bed, visibly uncomfortable,  or have been given less than favorable news can be heartbreaking but  also inspiring. Despite all of the hardships, the children that the film  follows are all amazingly brave and determined, and Weed the People  never stops showing off the courage of them and their families. I cried  multiple times through the duration of the film, both due to happiness  and deep sadness. In terms of emotional impact, Weed the People is incredibly moving, beautiful, and respectful to the subject’s situations.

The documentary, using much appreciated expert testimony, makes the  case for the legalization of cannabis. Considering how controversial  medical cannabis is, I was initially concerned that Weed the People  may lean toward propaganda rather than a solid, unbiased documentary.  For the most part, it doesn’t, which is a huge relief. The film is  certainly slanted towards promoting medical cannabis, but it is very  responsible in its advocacy. Something that I thought was very  interesting and useful for those considering medical cannabis is the  documentary’s assertion that unregulated cannabis can be dangerous or  even deadly, further emphasizing responsible, legal usage.

I found myself being swept in completely by the film, a testament to  just how effective it is, and I’m going to assume many other viewers  will have a similar experience. Somebody could certainly watch this film  and decide against medical advisory in favor of a strict cannabis  treatment after seeing this glowing endorsement. The film never promotes  cannabis as a sure-fire solution to cancer, but it certainly does  emphasize just how incredibly effective cannabis can be. Again, the  filmmakers in no way state a person shouldn’t consult a medical  professional; this is just a concern that entered my mind after viewing  the film. However, ultimately the responsibility is on the viewer to  weigh the pros and cons, do the appropriate research and reach their own  conclusion.

Despite this slight concern, Weed the People is an  incredibly good documentary that I think everyone should watch. The  cinematography is great, the editing choices are coherent and smooth,  and many audience members will likely be moved to action. Children  deserve to grow up just like everyone else, and if a little plant can  help make that happen then legalization is at least worth serious  consideration.

Featured Image: IMDb

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