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'Code of the West'

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Reviewed by Jordan Smith, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW Film

Code of the West

Emerging Visions
D: Rebecca Richman Cohen

Navigating the world of drug policy in the U.S. can be a daunting task. It's a world where public opinion clashes often with law and where misinformation steeped in fear can quickly dominate the conversation. Rebecca Richman Cohen's doc illuminates well these issues by focusing on the saga of medical marijuana in Montana. A law to legalize medi-pot there passed with widespread bipartisan support. But when lawmakers subsequently failed to adequately regulate the new industry, a repeal movement quickly grew and convinced lawmakers that children were being endangered by the availability of legal medi-pot – an assertion not backed up by fact. On display here is a keen eye for the how the legislative process works – and doesn't – and the film does an expert job weaving a compelling narrative out of the fear and sadness that has been caused by the federal government's ever-shifting agenda cocerning medi-pot, which many believe has crossed the line and tramples state sovereignty. Code of the West is a must-see for anyone interested in drug reform and patients' – or states' – rights.


Thursday, March 15, 9:30pm, Vimeo; Friday, March 16, 9:30pm, SXSatellite: Alamo Slaughter

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