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The Medicine in Marijuana

This year, 55 million Americans will spend about 55 billion dollars on the medicine in marijuana. In 32 states and the District of Columbia, they will use it for a myriad of medical conditions, depending on anecdotal advice about the frequency and dosage of cannabis, a plant with over 400 different chemical molecules. It's a messy mix of medicine, policy and politics--while cannabis is still federally classified as a Schedule 1 drug.
Based on the 2017 National Academy of Sciences report about the effectiveness of cannabis for treating the side-effects of chemotherapy, chronic pain, epilepsy, and PTSD, THE MEDICINE IN MARIJUANA tells patients' 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.

'The Medicine in Marijuana shows the personal side of the medical marijuana controversy that is important for people to see. It does not contend that medical marijuana is effective for all diseases or that it is risk free. It clearly identifies the weakness in many states' programs, including that physicians need to rely on dispensary personnel who may not be trained in human diseases and pharmacology.' C. Michael White, Department Head and Professor of Pharmacy Practice, University of Connecticut

'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

'As a scientist working with Cannabis Sativa, I am delighted to see a film that takes an honest and thorough view of what this crop is capable of, what we have data to support, and where the science is lacking. This film raises the important point that research is necessary and that the plural of anecdotes is not data...This film does a wonderful job clarifying some of the misconceptions out there and replacing those misconceptions with very solid information.' Jennifer Gilbert Jenkins, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Science, SUNY-Morrisville

'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

'Comprehensive and balanced...Sure to spark debates about the merits and potential medical efficacy of marijuana, this film asks the viewer to think critically about the ongoing marijuana debate. With testimony from patients, scientists, medical professionals, and marijuana providers, The Medicine in Marijuana offers great potential as a teaching and learning resource.' Santiago Ivan Guerra, Associate Professor of Southwest Studies, Colorado College

'Fantastic. This isn't just a film promoting the medicinal use of marijuana, but rather brings to light some very important issues and considerations...Governmental regulations limit research on cannabis, therefore, we as scientists, cannot make evidence-based recommendations...Medicine in Marijuana makes a very important point that patients are not receiving medical advice or instructions from a pharmacist on dosing, indication, strain, etc. and healthcare professionals are not educated on cannabis in their training, so we are leaving the public on their own to treat themselves.' Christine Rabinak, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Wayne State University


Main credits

Marash, Dave (narrator)
Daitz, Ben (screenwriter)
Daitz, Ben (producer)
Daitz, Ben (director)
Judge, Ned (screenwriter)
Judge, Ned (producer)
Judge, Ned (director)
Judge, Ned (videographer)

Other credits

Original music, Sid Fendley; photography, Ned Judge [and 3 others].

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Drug Policy
Law Enforcement
Pain Management
Social Work



marijuana, anecdotal advice, cannabis Schedule1 drug, drug abuse, public health, National Academy of Sciences 2017 report, chronic pain, cannabis and cancer, cannabis and PTSD, cannabis and epilepsy, cannabis and pain, canabis and chemotherapy, Harry Anslinger, marijuana tax act, Raphael Mechoulam, delta9-THC, cannabidiol, CBD, endocannabinoid system, bud-tenders, decrease in opiod use, dravet syndrome, ovarian cancer; "The Medicine in Marijuana"; Bullfrog Films,doc; history; politics

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