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The Nature of Things – Reefer Madness 2 (1998)

CBC Television’s THE NATURE OF THINGS with David Suzuki examines the medicinal uses of marijuana.

There is a growing number of people who regard marijuana ( cannabis ) as a benign medicine, offering relief to people suffering from a variety of illnesses, including epilepsy, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma as well as lessening the side effects of medications and treatments given to cancer and HIV patients.

People who use marijuana to alleviate their suffering, live with the added anxiety of possible arrest, jail and forfeiture of property.  They all say it’s worth the risk.  This program tells the stories of those who have shown courage in providing marijuana to the sick and suffering as well as the stories of people whose lives have been transformed by its medicinal properties.

Reefer Madness 2 also travels to India where marijuana is openly cultivated and used in medicine, rituals and recreationally, as it has been for thousands of years with little indication of its supposed damaging effects.  It came to the West in the mid-1800s, and was commonly used as a folk medicine.  In the United States of the 1930s, it became identified with the corrupting influence of the jazz culture and with Mexican and Chinese immigrants.  From then on, it was labeled as a Schedule 1, or dangerous drug.  The Black Candle, written by an eminent Canadian judge stirred the controversy in Canada in the 1920s.

Reefer Madness 2 introduces audiences to the personal stories of two women who provide marijuana to the sick.  Valerie Corral of California established the Women’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana ( WAMM ) and supplies over 200 people in the Santa Cruz area.  Vancouver’s Hilary Black runs The Compassionate Club.  She talks about her dealings with sufferers, the police and the growers she relies on for supplies.

Dr.  Lester Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School and the author of Forbidden Medicine, recounts how a personal experience affecting his own family reinforced his determination to try and set the record straight about the marijuana use and cancer patients.

Reefer Madness 2 is written by John Bassett and produced by Vishnu Mathur.  Executive producer of THE NATURE OF THINGS is Michael Allder.

From the CBC website: