As the Virginia General Assembly considers improvements to last year’s Let Doctors Decide medical cannabis expansion bill, the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse will host a screening of the documentary Weed the People on February 7 at 7:00pm.
The film follows the struggles of families fighting to keep their children alive with the help of medical cannabis.
The screening is presented by Virginia NORML, the organization spearheading marijuana law reform efforts in the Commonwealth.
"This film serves the crucial purpose of educating people about the proven medical value of this incredibly versatile plant,” said Duane Ludwig, a Virginia NORML board member from Falls Church. “One hopes that such education will soon lead to the end of federal marijuana prohibition, and the continued expansion of Virginia’s medical cannabis program.”
Subcommittees at the General Assembly quickly shot down efforts aimed at legalization and decriminalization this session, but four medical cannabis-related bills are still making their way through the legislative process. Delegate Chris Hurst’s HB1720 and Senator Glen Sturtevant’s SB 1632 would allow students registered with Virginia’s medical cannabis program to use their medicine while on school grounds and at school events.
Meanwhile, SB1557, championed by Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, would clarify last year’s landmark Let Doctors Decide medical cannabis bill. It seeks to redefine allowed dosage limitations and formulations, and expand patient access and reduce patient cost by adding nurse practitioners and physician assistants as authorized practitioners. Senator Dave Marsden’s SB1719 would allow “registered agents” for patients physically unable to pick up or receive delivery of their medical cannabis, like those in hospice, assisted living facilities and those who rely on home healthcare providers.
The screening hits home for people like Liz McCauley.
“I have already survived one brain tumor,” said McCauley, secretary of the Virginia NORML Board of Directors and Herndon resident. “With my diagnosis of more brain tumors and tumors elsewhere in my body I expect a future full of medical interventions, palliative care, and the possibility of hospice. The insight I've earned through my experience as a patient and as a caretaker has convinced me that patients and their families should have access to information about the therapeutic potentials of medical marijuana so they can make the most appropriate decisions regarding their healthcare options.”
The screening of Weed the People is open to the public and will be preceded by an information session about Virginia’s medical cannabis laws.
The Los Angeles Times called the film “an urgent cry for help.” Representatives from Virginia NORML will be on hand to answer questions about ongoing legislative efforts and current medical cannabis laws in Virginia.
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