I watched it warily...
NoOne85 | 11/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I started watching this film with a whole lot of doubt and skepticism. I am by no means radical in any way, and until recently was also anti-legalization. John Holowach is a new filmmaker with a lot to say, and he does it without condescension, and with plenty of wry humor and wit. Some parts of the film pissed me off, and others made me very sad. It wasn't a boring, typical documentary by any means, and I highly recommend you check it out, if only because it's the first serious look at the War on Drugs that doesn't cop out to either extreme of the argument."
Totally misleading title
BethanieB | Northeast Georgia, USA | 02/07/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Rather than focusing on marijuana, its effects, uses, and the political & economic motives behind criminalizing it, and presenting any kind of coherent argument for legalization or decriminalization of marijuana, this scattershot documentary runs the gamut of showing human rights violations in privately run prisons to exposing a defunct drug treatment program to explaining the effectiveness of needle exchange programs in reducing transmission of AIDS to telling the unfortunate story of a physician prosecuted by the DEA for prescribing pain medication for his patients. The few minutes that are spent discussing marijuana either lump pot in with all other drugs (in an interview with a visiting professor of Economics at Harvard, which is presumably supposed to impress the viewer enough to accept his argument that ALL drugs should be legalized) or presenting the UMass professor who has been denied a permit to grow marijuana for medical research.
The title is completely misleading, and as any kind of a contribution to the argument for decriminalizing marijuana use in the United States, it is a serious disappointment. Save yourself 90 minutes and watch the far superior "The Union: The Business Behind Getting High (2007).""
Solid Film, but room for improvement
T.N.T. | New England, USA | 02/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Has a lot of good facts and information but the arrangement does seem a bit biased towards pro-cannabis. I would of liked to see more anti-cannabis quotes, videos, etc. to help balance and show the outrageous "factor" of why cannabis is illegal. Overall it was a good film but seemed a little bit dated to me and I prefer the newer "The Union" documentary. The film comes off as a student's argument for the consequences of a current U.S. policy. I would of liked to see the inclusion of medical/scientific studies surrounding Cannabis."
A Funny Film About A Serious Topic
zenovice | Ferndale, AR USA | 08/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A funny yet poignant and provocative film, filled with facts, that causes all but the most narrow-minded, small-minded, simple-minded, conservative Lemmings (like those featured in Bill Maher's film, "Religulous"), and those who are obtuse enough to believe in our federal government's propaganda that attempts to indoctrinate people about the "horrors" of drugs: folks like another reviewer of this DVD - maxGamer.
At the end of his "review," he wrote: "We had a big anti-smoking (tobacco) campaign and it worked.
When will we see the big anti-weed campaign?"
I'll provide the answer - NEVER!
You see, comparing tobacco to marijuana is like comparing apples to, well, giraffes' tongues, or anything else so patently ridiculous that it has absolutely no reasonable connection. For example, tobacco has no useful benefit, causes incredible addiction, and ultimately kills and/or sickens a large percentage of its addicts. Marijuana, on the other hand, possesses a plethora of uses - medical and otherwise - is NOT addictive, and does not sicken or kill its users. maxGamer would know this if he had read any of the definitive books written on the subject (i.e. "Waiting to Inhale), or the numerous medical studies conducted across the planet. His typical, conservative, knee-jerk, I-believe-everything-the-government-tells-me reaction - thankfully - is NOT held by OVER EIGHTY PERCENT of Americans.
In a time when the U.S. education system ranks somewhere around 24th in the world (Costa Rica - a Third-World country - has a lower illiteracy rate), it's heartening to see that the vast majority of our population is still smart enough, and informed enough to not be fooled by Big Tobacco, Big Pharmacy, and Big Brother, all of whom are just about the only entities still trying (without success) to convince us otherwise. Ultimately, they are losing this foolish, profit-driven, propaganda campaign just like the "War on Drugs" has been a losing proposition since the day it began.
I'd suggest that if maxGamer is truly interested in becoming enlightened about marijuana, he should 1) smoke some, and/or 2) read the previously mentioned "Waiting to Inhale," and watch the documentary "American Drug War: The Last White Hope," and "The Union: The Business Behind Getting High" just for starters. He should then Google numerous pieces of research and studies done by people who actually KNOW about which they speak - scientists and doctors, and study both Eastern and Western history of the past six-thousand years. Then, once he actually has the FACTS, he can write another review. Hopefully, that review will begin something like this..."I apologize for wasting the time of those unfortunate souls who actually read my previous review. Furthermore, I actually can now write an informed review, and it goes something like this...." (I will refrain from wishing cancer on him so that he can obtain first-hand knowledge of marijuana's usefulness and benefits: I'm not so fanatical about conversion to my point of view as to employ the use of cruelty as a learning tool.)"