After over 80 years of prohibition, cannabis is now legal for medical purposes in 31 states and in 12 for recreational use. This represents a huge cultural change. In 2017 and 2018 we set out to explore the impact of legalization on one state - Colorado - and to assess this through the voices and experiences of Coloradans themselves. We made a documentary feature film Pot Luck: The Altered State of Colorado and are now making a series of short videos and outreach to address our findings.
Laudable goals for legalization of cannabis have been co-opted by big-business and greed, as a host of new problems are manifesting in Colorado 5 years on - ones of public health and racial justice: over 50% of legal cannabis tests positive for dangerous chemicals and youth of color are being arrested at higher rates than before. Youth homelessness is on the rise. As other states move to legalize, voters can assess the benefits and dangers cannabis in all its forms brings to their communities.
By using the power of film and video -- a feature film, videos on social media, a discussion guide and a campaign -- and focusing on issues of racial justice and public health, this project will raise awareness of the problems as well as benefits of legalized cannabis. Thus it can initiate discussion and steer policy towards protecting public health and racial justice while not sugar-coating the benefits of cannabis at the cost of mis-information and harm to our communities.
By initiating discussion about public health and racial justice related to cannabis, our goal is to preserve and increase both. Creating an avenue for unbiased and fair discussion of facts, voters and policy makers will be able to navigate the onslaught of information and misinformation about legalization.