Even though it has slowly become more acceptable as it has been legalized across America, the use of weed recreationally can still be a divisive subject.
That might change, though, if the benefits and medicinal effects of the drug were revealed. “Weed The People” exposes just that, as the documentary follows five families and their cancer stricken children’s they’re treated with marijuana, which achieves some astonishing results.
I recently had the chance to speak to its director Abby Epstein, and she admitted that she was originally attracted to the project because the research that proved using cannabis to help cure cancer was just so “compelling.”
“There was a lot of anecdotal research. Not the kind of Facebook anecdotes. But real anecdotal evidence that I got from talking to actual cancer doctors and oncologists that had seen amazing results with patients. The research was pretty conclusive about what happens, at least in the test tubes.”
“I remember seeing Sophie, the little baby in the documentary, when she started on her cancer regiment for the first three months, then she did her scan, I was like, ‘Oh my God! The tumor will just be gone.’ And of course it wasn’t, it was bigger. But you had no idea.”
“All you knew is that it couldn’t hurt the children. It was like doing acupuncture. That was comforting. We knew that it wouldn’t hurt and that they didn’t have much better options, so it was amazing when there were good results, because it was proving that what was going on with the research could happen.”
“But it was really like walking through the dark with these families, because they didn’t have any idea if this would help or not.”
After working on “Weed The People” and seeing the benefits, impact and medical miracles that using weed on children with cancer can have, Epstein insists it is crime that the drug is still prohibited and not accessible to sufferers.
“I think it is a crime and criminal that cannabis isn’t accessible to every single person that has cancer. I think it is a human rights issue. I just don’t understand. Someone with stage four cancer, they’re not going to wait 17 years for drug trials.”
“There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that I think, I mean, you can see what happens between cannabis and epilepsy. It was so remarkable. These kids would take the cannabis oil and just stop seizing after trying 13 other medications. So who cares about a clinical trial? That’s what they needed at that point.”
“This is a very, very medicinal substance that in this country and around the world that we have been brainwashed to believe is this dangerous narcotic, with no medical benefit. And it is a sham that has been played on the public.”
“There are many ways that this plant can be used medicinally. I have seen incredible things with autism and auto-immune diseases.”
“For us we chose children with cancer because we thought it was the most dramatic, in terms of showing the mistake and trying to change people’s pre-conceived notions that this was about someone on chemotherapy trying to smoke a joint to stop their nausea.”
“Weed The People” is released in theaters on October 26.