The fight for legalization of marijuana, both recreational and medicinal, has been a hot topic in recent years, and it continues with the premiere of the documentary, “Weed The People” at the 2018 South by Southwest Film Festival.
“Weed the People,” directed by Abby Epstein and executive produced by Ricki Lake, follows five children and their families dealing with the hardships of pediatric cancer and their journeys as they seek medicinal cannabis as an alternative form of treatment.
Although the documentary starts in 2013, Lake said the development of “Weed The People” began a year prior – and by accident.
“We make mostly movies about women’s health and reproductive rights, and we really weren’t necessarily focusing on cannabis,” Lake said. “My husband, Christian Evans, who passed away last year, he sort of discovered this plant for his own healing benefit and also for his grandfather (who) was sick.”
Lake said she and her husband then met a little girl battling an incurable genetic disease, and flew her out to a cannabis doctor to get her help. From there, Lake reached out to Epstein, and together they came up with the premise for “Weed The People.”
“We didn’t come from a place of drug reform policy or cannabis advocacy,” Epstein said. “It came from a personal story, a story of healing, the story of a child that didn’t have any other options other than chemo, and could this be an option for her.”
After meeting that child, Epstein and Lake met