High Priority: Legal purchase of medical marijuana the center theme of documentary
Before the screening, Question 5 supporter Ben Chipman, a member of the Maine Marijuana Policy Initiative campaign, spoke to the audience about their efforts and about the opportunity to join them. Campaign volunteers also passed out fliers that called for “Safe and reliable access to their medicine,” along with “protection from arrest, loss of job, home, or children for using medicine their doctor recommended.”
After the brief speech, Chapkis agreed with the campaign, stating, “This is a critical time in Maine. When it comes to medical marijuana, we need to have ethical medical marijuana provisions to ensure patients’ health and safety.”
The documentary presented a range of topics, from the scientific breakdown of the cannabis plant to political efforts for and against its medical practice. The film began with interviews from a family that grew the plant for medical purposes, and who were raided on September 5, 2009 by Drug Enforcement Administration agents. The film also covered Proposition 215, the 1996 initiative in California that allowed for the medical use for the drug and the aftermath that ensued. Successful creation of ID card systems in the state of California after the measure was passed was shown, with Oakland Cannabis Clubs used as the main example. According to the film, the procedure for obtaining an ID card for medical marijuana included a doctor’s permission and a background check of said doctor by the club. Interviews from physicians, politicians such as Barney Frank, and activists were also included in the documentary.
After the screening, Chapkis was available to sign her book outside of the auditorium, which were also on sale for those in attendance.