Mariah Wilson writes about April filming
I recently hopped aboard the Mary Janes documentary as a field producer for a week of filming along the East Coast.
We first spent a few days at the Students for Sensible Drug Policy 2016 conference in Washington, D.C., listening to student activists and panelists discuss the social and financial merits of ending drug prohibition.
We then followed busloads of SSDP-ers – led by our Puffragette Betty Aldworth – to the United Nations in New York. They hosted rallies and demonstrations to encourage world leaders attending UNGASS to re-think the failing “war on drugs”, and see the myriad human rights implications of legalizing drugs, like cannabis.
Our last stop on the shoot was Boston, where many of the people who were at the helm for the successful effort to legalize marijuana in Colorado are pushing a legalization campaign forward in Massachusetts.
I came into this project knowing very little about the rapidly growing world of the US marijuana industry, and was blown away by the enthusiasm, dedication, and innovation I witnessed in the last few weeks. Hearing impassioned speeches by social activists at SSDP 2016 and UNGASS opened my eyes to the importance in building a responsible marijuana industry from the beginning.
Finally, we had a chance to see a major new sector of American business that holds racial diversity, gender equality, and environmental sustainability as core values, instead of afterthoughts. This is an industry being shaped and built by some of the same people who have suffered the most from the worst aspects of the “war on drugs.” They now have a say in how to move the cannabis trade forward in the most responsible and progressive way possible.
I was also blown away by the range of inventive products being marketed by some of the film’s subjects… from Mountain Medicine’s chocolate-covered pretzel edibles, to Annabis odor-lock purses – where a woman can more discreetly carry her cannabis accessories – it’s clearly an exciting time to be getting in on the ganja game.