More than half the states in the U.S. have legalized cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, yet it remains illegal on the federal level. Traveling across state lines with cannabis is still a federal offense, and even in states where it’s permitted, parents who want to administer cannabis compounds to their children still run the risk of unwelcome interventions from Child Protective Services, simply because there are minors involved.
Weediatrics: A Covert Medical Mission, produced by OAKZ Media, is a forthcoming documentary that addresses issues such as these, featuring interviews with a number of health professionals and advocates as well as a range of families in different states across the country. Their goal? To finally end cannabis prohibition once and for all—for the sake of the children.
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Weediatrics follows an underground group of moms and dads who are desperate to treat their sick kids, whether they’re suffering from cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, or other debilitating illnesses. When big pharma meds prove ineffective, and speech therapy and occupational therapy only go so far in treating the children, these parents turn to cannabis compounds, mainly CBD, to try to help their kids find some form of relief. But as the film clearly reveals, the hurdles still seem nearly impossible to overcome. Spoiler alert: one family in California was charged with “severe medical neglect” for treating their seven-year-old child’s epilepsy with CBD oil instead of heavy antipsychotic medication.
“The fact that the federal government is making us choose between breaking the law to help our child or watching them suffer is absurd,” cannabis educator Dr. Richard Temple says in the film. He continues to point out that the reason marijuana works is because it contains cannabinoids, just like the human body. “You have an entire endocannibinoid system,” he says. “You are a walking Schedule I narcotic right now. The difference is yours are made within your body. Marijuana and cannabis work because they simply enhance you own body’s system.”
Because cannabis is still a Schedule I substance (as opposed to cocaine and many opioids, which are Schedule II), studying the medical benefits of marijuana is stymied in the United States of America, where the war on drugs has curtailed formal research. What research has been performed on cannabis has focused much more on its side effects and addiction rate than its benefits. Thankfully, Weediatrics has the potential to change the public perception of cannabis from a stigmatized substance to an ingredient that has the potential to effect measurable health.
Currently, Weediatrics: A Covert Medical Mission is gearing up to hit the 2019/2020 film festival circuit before it comes to theaters. The film is directed by John Ehrhard, who’s produced live events for a range of influential figures, from Elton John to Margaret Thatcher and President Bill Clinton. “We didn’t set out to make a pro-marijuana movie,” Ehrhard says in a statement about his new documentary. “In a time where the country at large feels that there is so much progress being made in the legalization of marijuana, this film reveals the painful truth.”