It’s a relief for South Park fans to know that Towelie fights cancer 24/7. (Photo: South Park Studios)
Film focusing on medical marijuana research to play in Mammoth next weekend
Whether you love it, hate it or medicate with it, be sure to check out the film “What if Cannabis Cured Cancer,” showing Saturday night, Sept. 18 at the Mammoth Lakes Arts Center.
Written and directed by Len Richmond, the edu-doc compiles a wide array of pro-cannabis doctors, researchers and numerous case studies.
Richmond, an unabashed proponent of marijuana, seeks to dispel myths about cannabis as well as display the scientific breakthroughs involving the controversial plant.
“It’s time to fight back,” said Richmond in a phone interview this week. “People need to get the help they need.”
According to information presented in the film, there have been no cases of death from marijuana and recent studies have found that cancer rates in those who smoke marijuana are actually less than those who don’t smoke.
*Editor’s note: The film does point out that marijuana could kill you if you smoke 1,500 pounds in 15 minutes with the disclaimer that your death would likely be from asphyxiation.
The film does a scrupulous job at confronting the preconceived notions that have plagued the reputation of marijuana since it’s illegalization in 1937, specifically in the medical establishment.
Though the research is still in its infancy and facing push-back from the government, researchers have found that compounds found in marijuana actually slow the growth of multiple types of cancer.
“That is why what Steve [Klassen] is doing is so important,” said Richmond. “It’s ridiculous that Mammoth doesn’t have a dispensary. You can get specific strains of marijuana that don’t have any of the physiological effects, and you can also get strains that have specifically what you need for your ailment. But you need a dispensary to find these things.”
When asked how Richmond got involved in a project of this magnitude he replied, “I made a film called “Everything Bad is Good,” about cancer patients who healed themselves with herbs and diet, and through that I heard about the research being done with cannabis. At first it was tough to get doctors to talk about it. I finally got one doctor to discuss it and then he referred me to another and then it sort of fell into place. But it was a struggle to get doctors to essentially risk their careers because of all the hysteria from the government and pharmaceutical companies.”
“What if Cannabis Cured Cancer” comes across as entertaining and informative, however, it also appears partisan. There’s exactly one line in the whole movie which suggests there might be a counter-argument.
When asked why there wasn’t much research shown depicting possible adverse health effects of marijuana, Richmond defended his work, stating, “There’s so much fear out there I didn’t even want to talk about the other side. There haven’t been any negative [to marijuana] studies that are reputable to date. It’s really not meant to be propaganda. I’m just so sick of hearing all that phony scare tactic crap. We need the truth out there, to inspire people to get off their asses and change the law.”
To help with Richmond’s film, the director called upon friend and next door neighbor Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange), comedy star Roseanne Barr and Emmy-winning actor Peter Boyle. “The funny thing is, neither Malcolm, Roseanne or Peter are potheads, they were just excited to get behind what I was doing,” said Richmond.
“What if Cannabis Cured Cancer” has gained some recent notoriety and has been given to almost every member of the Los Angeles City Council as well as the Marin County Board of Supervisors. Admission to the Mammoth screening is free and Richmond will be on hand for a Q and A segment afterward.