Ricki Lake’s “Weed the People” Follows Parents Fighting to Save Their Kids with Cannabis

“Weed the People” will be out in theaters next month.

"Weed the People" follows parents treating their children with cannabis.

“Weed the People” follows parents treating their children with cannabis.

“When your kid’s got cancer, the rulebook goes out the window,” says one mother in the heartfelt trailer for Weed the People, a documentary exploring America’s cannabis policy and the children who are affected by it.

The film, co-created by Emmy award-winning television host Ricki Lake, is scheduled to make its debut next month. The documentary follows children who use medical cannabis to cope with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Some of these children use cannabis to help offset the effects of chemotherapy while others have miracle stories, like an infant with shrinking brain tumors. 

Weed the People follows the parents of these children and what they endure to get medical cannabis for their kids. In many situations depicted, securing cannabis is precarious and illegal. The film also features interviews with medical professionals who reinforce the notion that cannabis can help people with chronic illnesses. 

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Photo still from “Weed the People”

Even though cannabis is allowed in some form in most American states, it remains stigmatized and largely misunderstood by the medical community. Most medical schools don’t include cannabis in their curriculums. A recent study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found that even though oncologists widely recommend cannabis that they don’t feel prepared to help their patients figure out what works best for them. 

“Cannabis has been a medicine for 3000 years. It only hasn’t been a medicine in this country for 70 years,” says Donald Abrams, MD. in an earlier version of the trailer for Weed the People.

As the documentary points out, cannabis is a Schedule I drug, which has resulted in research blocks on cannabis for medicinal purposes. This is a significant reason why physicians, who are trained to only recommend treatments that have been extensively studied, often don’t feel comfortable recommending cannabis. 

“One of the main reasons I want it legal is so that we can start having standards, and not have it be the Wild West,” said Abrams. 

Many people afflicted by cancer have credited cannabis with bettering their day-to-day lives during recovery, while others say it has cured their cancer entirely.

You can watch the trailer for Weed the People here

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September 28, 2018
Written by Zack Fenech

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