How Weed Won The West

Ratings: 6.79/10 from 14 users.


How Weed Won The WestFrom the creators of American Drug War the long awaited sequel How Weed Won The West delves deeply into the culture and commerce of cannabis featuring California's ganja growers, medicinal marijuana patients and law reform advocates. Kevin Booth's vivid document from behind the front lines of the "war on pot" blows the lid off a multi-billion dollar industry on the verge.

This is a must-see film because it destined to become an icon of the marijuana anti-prohibition movement. Even to someone who has not consumed weed in decades, this film definitely opens anyone's eyes concerning the detrimental economic, social and human ramifications created by marijuana prohibition.

It takes the viewer through a journey of real life stories involving the relatively new California legal marijuana industry using a refreshing angle which does not focus strictly on the medicinal value of marijuana. The widespread responsible consumption of marijuana for personal recreation and mood enhancement is addressed as well.

While there are many light and entertaining moments which are implied by a somewhat playful title, the subject matter and the production values of this film give it a serious historical position as an iconic mainstream documentary film.

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21 Comments / User Reviews

  1. duncan

    Poorly done. I'm personally an advocate of marijuana, but this documentary would only convince people that are already convinced. Too many brash claims, and too many times do they claim to be victims. We know, its unfair, but there are a lot of unjust things in this world. I wish it focused more on science and stayed away from this kind of subjective objection to marijuana laws. Good try, but needs work.

  2. mandy

    The problem with this film?...they only show 'hippy type' puff smokers...makes people think that all people that smoke this medicine are 'drop outs'...not true! I know many people that smoke dope...and they are 'high flyers' not 'yeah man' types.
    Stereotypes do not work when you try to change peoples opinion!...shame

  3. Dr. Dunkleosteus

    Better than most docs on the subject, with a few "big names" from the news. Could have been directed better yes, could have done a better job at convincing people yes, but my personal belief is that these docs won't change anything anyway. It's up to us. Stand up, get organized, get educated, and take on the government. Just like the ex-professor who was burned in the California fire said, we were taught to be revolutionaries. We live in a country founded by revolutionaries, so get off your ass, NOW!

    People who are pro-cannabis need to realize that most Americans are just plain stupid and VERY superstitious. They'll follow whatever is widely accepted, without question... They need to also realize that we can sway the masses too. Why do you think the government does it so much? Because it's SO EASY. Provide a halfway intelligent argument, give them something to fear if they do not comply, and watch them run to us with open arms. Maybe it's evil to use the same tactics as those against cannabis, but who is hurting who? Let's use their own weapons against them, the time is now.

    This doc is decently factual, although lacking in substance. When used in conjunction with docs like The Union and others on this site, however, it serves to affirm the central message within all of them, even though this info is old news to anyone paying halfway attention to the cannabis situation. If more docs like these come out, when presented along side others, the people on the fence will have to accept that it's not just one or two renegade filmmakers making propaganda films, it really is the way things are.

    Legalization may come soon. Those old assholes in power talking about "the good old days" gotta die some day and the numbers for those in favor rises every day. Stay positive, stay vocal, and stay active. If we lapse, even for one moment in our determination, the progres and victories of those working for reform over the countless years will have been for absolutely nothing.

  4. Dr. Dunkleosteus

    Reading norml's site today: Looks like south dakota will soon be added to the list of states that allow medicinal cannabis. Also, California has a bill that will be voted on this november which will decide whether or not to allow persons 21 and over the right to possess, use, sell, buy, trade, share, grow, and distribute cannabis. Also, businesses will be given the opportunity to sell/cultivate cannabis and collect taxes on it. This november could mark the beginning of the end for cannabis prohibition!

  5. M.J. Thomas

    This is a horrible documentary! It's not that it's badly filmed in the sense that it is not aesthetically pleasing. It is more the choices made by the director on how to film it, meaning from what standpoint, as well as what to include and not to include in the film.

    Number 1 mistake - using Alex Jones to narrate 1/4 of the film, in essence. Let's just be clear here: Alex Jones is, frankly, a nut! If you think, for example, that 9/11 was an "inside job", the UN is going to control the world with a "one-world government", homeland security is building an American "gulag archipelago" to put us all in when we start to protest against the institution of an "Amero" and "forced vaccines", and that environmentalism is a government conspiracy to undermine Christianity and make the US population give up all their rights for the environmental movement, then I can't convince you that he's a nut, so I won't try. I think I'll let the reader of this comment do his/her own research on why I have said this. This is not an ad hominem attack: Alex Jones makes a lot of conspiracy theory claims that he cannot back up in this film, and many of those that I cited above are made in this film in less obvious ways.

    Secondly, the film focuses less on science than on subjective accounts of people enjoying it and insisting that it's not dangerous. Who are you trying to convince, because it's obviously not the people against legalization.

    Third, there is a major discrepancy between the fact that film, instead of calling it pot, weed, or marijuana, shows countless people calling it "medicine" while acting , frankly, like they're just getting shit-faced and having a blast (case in point, the guy getting ripped in the first few seconds). Fine - have a blast!! But you're not going to get any sympathy from those who aren't already sold by showing people acting like fools on pot. Also, why insist on calling it medicine? It is just so obvious that this is a re-branding stunt, and nobody is buying it. It's a plant! We all understand that this plant can be used as medicine, but we also all know that it is a psychoactive drug. So, when people hear others refusing to use any label other than "medicine" for what is obviously also a psychoactive drug, people tend to get a little suspicious. It is marijuana, and it is used as a medicine in certain circumstances - so why not just call it marijuana and insist that it's being used in those contexts as medicine. If the goal is to get marijuana legalized solely for medicinal purposes, then it makes good strategic sense to call it "medicine" as often as possible. But the film is obviously coming from a full legalization perspective - and I agree with the latter perspective, not just that medical marijuana ought to be legal.

    You're also not going to get much sympathy by filming a bunch of people who act like hippies, foreigners carrying guns who grow in the United States, people who protest (in the mind of some) over-zealously, and religious nuts who start churches that insist pot is a sacrament. Who are the people against legalization? Most of them, of those between 18-45, are probably conservative. Those are the people that you want to convince! Not the former. Therefore, in order to get them to understand, the best thing to do would be to film people who look and act like them.

    I'm just saying...

  6. Mike

    Free the weed. So many people out there that are over thinking this. I don't smoke weed but I've been around plenty of people who do and they are usually alot more fun to be around and actually alot more informed on their rights and the foundation of America than the control freaks. Relax, it's just a plant! And if it can replace all of those over the counter pills that have side effects worse than death itself, the better.

  7. ProbusinessGuy

    Every Alex Jones Documentary is a classic

  8. snoopy

    does anyone know the movie where the girl said "i didn't know you were a weedhead tony?"

  9. kmeeeeeeezy


  10. TheRealMcCoy

    @ M.J. Thomas

    A.J. is a Christian; an American Christian so there is no question he's a little bit nuts in that respect, but at least his facts stand up to examination, even if he tends to sensationalize them a lot (In a American way)... which is more than I can say for your comment... there is no point in trying to disrepute someone because they say things in a way you don't agree with even though the facts are looking you strait point blank in the face...

    It's not the best documentary to watch if your a middle aged suburban parent that goes to church every weekend and hasn't done a drug in their life, you would need something a bit more foundational to intermediary... understanding how drug cartels work and their connection to the government and CIA for example.

    legalization of drugs could be one of the single most important things that can happen for humanity, it was a crime to make them illegal in the first place..

  11. Peter

    Take note ladies and gentlemen the difference between the american cops and canadian ones. watch the union and you will see a distinct difference.

  12. Hopecat

    saying there's "NO question" AJ is "a little bit nuts" for being an "American Christian" is no different than some "middle-aged suburban parent that goes to church every weekend and hasn't done a drug in their life" saying potsmokers turn into raping murderers because of the DEVIL WEED. it's just more of the same self-righteous self-propagandizing from people who don't know anything about something (whether it's Christianity or marijuana), talking smack about it because it doesn't fit into their convenient (and self-righteous, usually) worldview. why do people bash pot? the same reason people bash "religion." they don't know what they're talking about.

    Crusades: done by Knights Templar, not a Christian organization, to say the least.

    Murdering Abortion Doctors: not very Christian, even if somebody thinks they're doing it for Jesus. kinda like witch trials of various kinds, whether it's Salem, Mass or the West Memphis Three.

    DEA/Drug War Idiocy/Suburban Reefer Madness Hype: equally ignorant people pointing fingers at their perceived nemeses as a result of their self-important ignorance.

    stupidity abounds.

  13. gerald

    I am Jesus and I tell you the truth dont listen to these Evil people that judge wrong that dont have a clue about what i say. in rev22.2 about the tree of life the goverment only wants to control the earth and bring death. The wages of sin is death and i did this to prove my prophecy My father promised eternally life not death so stop the wrong judging i dont want to see no more of my children go to hell(death). Dont be trick by th high prist. This is the life I promised to the world so enjoy and love everyone and everything I have gave you its a blessing.I come to bring salvation and peace to this world not to destroy it. My Sons of God I tell you the truth it is time for true salvation for this cruel world so go and tell my world the truth and nothing but the trut. God is the spirt of love.

  14. Maurintius

    Good documentary only problem is, not enough scientific facts, too much marihuana lovers who smoke on a daily basis are filmed and there's nothing in it about the bad side of marihuana.
    Don't get me wrong, marihuana should be legalised. First, less people smoke it eventually when it's legalised, look at Holland for proof. Second, it has too much medical purposes to be illegal. But believe me, smoking on a daily basis ain't good for you, after a while there's a good chance you get a psychosis, because it opens up the mind and for some just a little too much :)

  15. Dope Game News

    Dude Alex Jones admitted to using pot on air... Check your facts.

  16. Zachariah

    Crusades: Knights Templar, a roman catholic organization, participated. Pope Urban II launched the first one. As did other Popes launch subsequent ones. Yup pretty much christian.

    "stupidity abounds."

  17. Joey

    i am so tired of this conspiracy theory bs.... There is more then enough reason to legalize drugs without diluting the debate with new world order nonsense.

  18. Nakor420

    Vapo Vapo Vapo! Vapo Vapo VAPE!! :D

  19. DogTrainingStoner

    That's because there is no bad side of marijuana. The only "bad side" I hear a lot is "Well I don't want kids using it!" Look, I'm 19. Where I live, marijuana is 100% illegal, not for MMJ, not decriminalized. I can get a dime of pot in literally 20 minutes or less. When I was in high school, I smoked daily. However, I have NEVER been able to buy alcohol. I've only had alcohol on the occasion that, once I was about 18, my parents have allowed me to drink from time to time. Making something legal and restricting use to underaged peoples makes it MUCH more difficult for children to get a hold of.

    Tell me- what bad side do you see to marijuana?

  20. Devon Griffiths

    Of course it has a bad side. Everything does. Apple pie can rot your teeth and give you diabetes. Name something - it has a bad side. Weed included.

    I'd like to see it legalized and regulated similar to alcohol, so that you can't, for example, drive after hitting the bong for an entire day. Going in for heart surgery, do you want the doctor to be all giggly and high? There are lots of situations where weed is bad, and there are a few people for whom it can be an unhealthy habit, despite the fact most people are responsible.

    When Prohibition ended, they did not just say "oh, alright then, just go ahead and drink wherever and whenever! Do anything you want with the stuff!" ... no, because that wouldn't have worked. What they did was take a good look at the stuff and came up with a reasonable plan for legalization. That included restrictions on use (such as driving), sale and distribution, age restrictions, venues, and so on. This has worked reasonably well.

    That's what the legalization movement for weed totally lacks. There is not even an attempt made to see it any responsible way. It's just all good all the time, nothing is ever wrong with it, no caution warranted, it cures everything, etc etc. This is completely counterproductive, and guarantees legalization will never happen.

    The legalization movement needs to get much more sophisticated and practical. It can't be taken seriously until it does.

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