THE MEDICINE IN MARIJUANA
This year, 55 million Americans will spend about 55 billion dollars on the medicine in marijuana. In 31 states and the District of Columbia, they will use it for a myriad of medical conditions. They will depend on so-called bud-tenders to give them anecdotal advice about the frequency and dosage of cannabis, a plant with over 400 different chemical molecules, and still classified as a schedule 1 drug, having no medical use and a high potential for abuse.
It’s a cannabis conundrum---a messy mix of medicine, policy and politics, and, in the interest of the public’s health, the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was tasked with looking at the science--- the evidence for the use of marijuana as medicine. The NAS’s 2017 report is the best information we have about what we know, and what we don’t.
“The Medicine in Marijuana” takes it from there. Chronic pain, cancer, PTSD, and epilepsy are the most common conditions for which people use medical marijuana, and we tell their stories, and those of the practitioners and researchers involved in their care: an infant with unremitting seizures; a man with an inoperable cancer; a woman with chronic pain; a veteran of 5 tours of duty with PTSD.
Across centuries and cultures, people have told stories about the healing powers of cannabis, but the plural of anecdote is not evidence. Now, the science is catching up with the stories, and The Medicine in Marijuana tells it like it is.
"It is the most persuasive case I’ve seen for lifting federal bans and allowing more comprehensive research on the medical importance of marijuana."
John Maraldo PhD.
"An excellent inside look into the politics and what is known about the medical benefits of Cannabis.
The most striking message is how it can be more effective in treating pain conditions than addictive medications, like opioids. There has been progress, but politics continues to get in the way."
Lucky Severson: Former correspondent, NBC News, and PBS Religion and Ethics News Weekly
"Medicine in Marijuana is a good introduction to the scientific challenges and thinking around cannabis as medicine...It focuses on what we do know, and more importantly, what we don't."
Jason Hockenberry, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management, Emory University
"Informative and balanced...An important historical perspective on the medicinal uses of cannabis...The individual stories of people whose lives have been changed by the use of cannabis for their medical conditions are moving, but at the same time, the film is careful to stress that the 'plural of anecdote is not evidence.' Until cannabis is removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, scientists are prevented from doing the much needed clinical trials to understand the medicinal benefits of this substance - this is the 'cannabis conundrum.'"
Clayton Mosher, Professor of Sociology, Washington State University, Co-Author, In the Weeds: Demonization, Legalization, and the Evolution of U.S. Marijuana Policy
"An important film. Great information…confidence building for patients and doctors who might be hesitant about medicinal marijuana. Case histories are convincing and emotionally charged. Powerful viewing for legislators, lawmakers, doctors... and police."