The U.S. government currently classifies marijuana as a “Schedule 1” drug, or a “drug with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” which makes researching the benefits of cannabis in the U.S. incredibly difficult. As a result, patients may have trouble getting information from their doctors about medical marijuana, even in states where it is legal. After hearing of its health benefits from third-party sources, some of these patients turn to an underground world of herbal medicine for treatment.
This “underground world” is at the heart of the new documentary Weed The People. Directed by Abby Epstein and produced by Ricki Lake and Sol Tryon, the film follows desperate parents whose children suffer from cancer as they wade into the uncharted waters of medical marijuana. What they found are promising cases where kids treated with cannabis oil showed marked improvement. After the premiere, we spoke with Epstein, Lake, and Tryon about the film, the stigma behind marijuana, and the incredible stories of these children.