ABC Australia presents a short documentary concerning the advancements of legalized marijuana in America with a focus on corporate interests in the burgeoning mainstream pot industry.
We are first introduced to Michael Blue and Brendan Kennedy, founders of Privateer Holdings, the first private equity firm dedicated to cannabis.
Giving the appearance of traditional young business men with suits and Ivy league degrees, Blue and Kennedy present themselves as working in the interest of patient rights and civil liberties, with Kennedy expressing his doubt that he could ever work for tobacco or alcohol.
Blue explains that the industry is growing and will only continue to expand as attitudes towards marijuana become more accepting with 85% of Americans supporting legalized marijuana, at least for medical purposes. "You can't get eight in ten Americans to agree on anything," Kennedy explains. "But you can get them to agree on this."
Marijuana activist John Davis provides a history of our societal attitude towards cannabis, and how it was once a valued crop before prohibition derailed its mainstream potential. Acknowledging that marijuana continues to be a mainstream substance despite its ongoing status as an illegal one, Davis indicates the potential for extreme profit in not only the sale of cannabis, but the paraphernalia involved as well.
On the other side of the issue is Representative Patrick Kennedy (of the Kennedys) who is adamantly fighting against the legalization of marijuana. Citing his own experience as a former addict - albeit to cocaine, opiates and alcohol - Kennedy recounts the humiliation and shame involved in his actions while under the influence of drugs. In light of his past personal troubles his pet crusade is now against "Big Marijuana" and what he perceives to be the greed and profiteering behind it.
Giving perspectives from both the pro- and anti-cannabis sides of the aisle, this film gives viewers a fair amount of information to consider – are modern strains of cannabis stronger than they were in the past and does that make them more desirable or more dangerous? If marijuana is regulated will it become safer or will corporate interests corrupt the quality by introducing contaminants as happened with tobacco? Either way the film suggests the answers will surely reveal themselves in real life soon enough.