Cancer is a disease most people are affected by in some way whether that’s your family member, friend, or even yourself. The cannabis community has been fighting for marijuana to become a cancer treatment for years without avail. There is a new 2018 film that is hoping to remove the stigma from marijuana and make it a proper treatment for cancer patients everywhere.
"Weed the People," is an inspiring film produced by Ricki Lake that follows the stories of families who have a child that suffers from cancer. The film shows what these families are going through and how marijuana is helping their children through the pain of cancer and chemotherapy. On the movie's website, it details the struggles families have had to endure to simply help their children feel less pain.
WEED THE PEOPLE's site says,
“Cannabis has been off-limits to doctors and researchers in the US for the past 80 years, but recently scientists have discovered its anti-cancer properties. Armed with only these laboratory studies, desperate parents obtain cannabis oil from underground sources to save their children from childhood cancers. Weed the People follows these families through uncharted waters as they take their children’s survival into their own hands. Some of their miraculous outcomes beget the unsettling question at the heart of the film: If weed is truly saving lives, why doesn’t the government want people to access it?”
Some people may feel that prescribing cannabis products to children is morally wrong and should be illegal but what if your child had cancer and cannabis was an effective medicine that could help? There are many parents who were highly against giving their kids cannabis, but everything changed once they received that horrible diagnosis. Each family in "Weed the People" is different but their stories are all the same – they love their children and will do anything to save them from harm.
One mother who is shown in the trailer for the movie says, “When your kid’s got cancer, the rulebook goes out the window. I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t explore everything that there was”. Another mom from the movie says doctors were prescribing her son dangerous medications that made him depend on opioids, so she said enough and switched to cannabis.
She said, “I started reading about the anti-tumor properties of cannabis oil. It’s all about supporting the side effects and helping the chemo to do its job. I just find it staggering that with the billions of dollars that is spent on cancer research, that the medicine we rely on is made in somebody’s kitchen”.
These are not the only cases for parents disobeying the law to do what they feel is right for their children. A recent story from Dallas, Texas shows that some families need to do whatever they can. The Zartler family have an autistic daughter named Kara who needed cannabis to stay calm to prevent self-harm.
Christy is Kara’s mother who is a nurse practitioner, was on the stand proving to a judge that her husband Mark was doing the right thing by providing Kara with cannabis oil.
Christy said, "Kara is a severe case of autism with self-injurious behavior. She punches her head pretty significantly and she has caused brain damage. It prevents her from causing further head trauma and brain damage."
Kara’s attorney, Ellen Williamson, defended their decision and made sure the court new they were not abusing her. Williamson said, "They're parents who are doing a good job. They're in a predicament. It's a bit of a catch-22. You're doing something to be a parent but also doing something that the law doesn't allow. I wouldn't be doing my job to not bring that (CPS) information up."
Ultimately, the judge ruled in their favor which means they are fit guardians in the court's eyes. This is fantastic, but why can't this be the case for cancer patients as well?
A researcher from the movie mentions that it’s hard to get funding for more research because the government says there isn’t enough research done on the subject to prove its helpful- talk about a dilemma. While the government doesn’t approve of weed as a cancer treatment, some doctors disagree.
A doctor in the film said, “It’s the same as any other drug. There are chemical compounds in the plant that interact with the cells in our body and have certain reactions. There’s enough research for me to know that one, it happens to be a very safe medication, and two, it works. Why as a society are we denying people the use of something that I have seen over and over and over again be helpful?”
While it is a shame that marijuana isn’t a legal treatment for cancer patients, things like Weed the People will hopefully change that soon. If you are looking to see the film for yourself, it will play for the third time at the Alamo South on March 14th at 4:45 pm. And Weed the People has a Gofundme account for those who want to support the families from the film.
1.Julie Mazziotta Ricki Lake-Produced Film Weed the People Argues for Marijuana Use as a Cancer Treatment. Retrieved March 12, 2018 from http://people.com/movies/ricki-lake-marijuana-cancer-treatment/
2. WANT TO SEE THE MOVIE?. Retrieved March 12, 2018 from https://www.weedthepeoplemovie.com/
3.NAOMI MARTIN Texas dad OK as guardian in autistic teen, marijuana case | Bradenton Herald. Retrieved March 12, 2018 from http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/health-care/article204100944.html
4.Daniel Asper Cannabis Cure: Marijuana May One Day Be A Cure For Cancer, Israeli Study Shows. Retrieved March 12, 2018 from http://nocamels.com/2015/04/the-cannabis-cure-marijuana-may-cure-cancer/
5. Weed The People's Fund for Children. Retrieved March 12, 2018 from https://www.gofundme.com/weedthepeoplechildren