All photos courtesy of Abbey Epstein and “Weed the People”
As the United States watched our neighbors in Canada make history by fully legalizing cannabis earlier this month, its denizens revisit an outstanding truth: the plant remains federally illegal in America, despite various state laws and Trump’s ambiguous promise to, uh, think about legalization after the midterms. Still, activists like filmmaker Abby Epstein keep pushing for drug reform — most recently in her documentary Weed The People, made in collaboration with executive producer and long-time collaborator Ricki Lake. After premiering at the 2018 SXSW Festival, Mangurama and Bobb Films acquired the feature, which subsequently opened in select theaters last Friday.
The documentary, shot over the course of six years, follows a stable of juvenile cancer patients as they treat their illnesses with cannabis. Although lots of footage in the film spans the