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Review of the film
The Union: the Business behind Getting High film by Brett Harvey is one of the most excellent documentaries of modern times covering the issue of marijuana. It is indeed a movie that everyone in the united stated should be interested to watch. The Union: The Business behind Getting high is a Canadian documentary that largely focuses on the Canadian flaws in their policy on drugs.
Nevertheless, the highlighted defects of drug policy are not only applicable to Canada but also to the drug policy of the United States that is very flawed. It is worth noting that the drug policies applicable in Mexico, Canada, and also in the United States are essentially intertwined in the sense that it would be practically be impossible to discuss one of the aforementioned country’s policy while excluding the rest. This documentary makes a good attempt to be all inclusive (Pua 1).
The Canadian documentary focuses generally on decriminalization verses legalization, an issue that has been a center of heated debate both in the United States and Canada. According to the movie, there are a number of reasons that are advanced in support of legalization of marijuana.
The most important reason for legalizing marijuana is that the government would be able to collect a very huge sum of money considering the proceeds that accrue from organized crimes such as drug cartels. Some other reasons advanced by the documentary include the ability of the government to control the sale of such drugs to minors and also collection of tax revenue. The reasons in support of legalizing marijuana as advanced by Harvey in the documentary are indeed convincing.
The documentary is nonetheless incomparable to other movies because of the contribution made in it by experts in this aspect. Uncommon in other movies regarding the issue of marijuana, the Union documentary contains interviews conducted amongst high ranking government officials and politicians from Canada such as Seattle’s former chief of police, mayors, as well as senator.
The documentary also includes experts such as biologists, WA, chemists, and Harvard medical doctors. This is a clear indication that the documentary by Harvey presents testimony from genuine experts, for purposes of giving an explanation and supporting why it would be more appropriate than not to legalize marijuana (YouTube).
The documentary opens the curtains with a famous football player O.J. Simpson who is indicted and found not guilty of the offence of murdering his wife together with a waiter allegedly because of a pair of glasses. According to the medical evidence, the DNA sample got from the scene of crime matched that of O.J. Simpson; nevertheless, the glove did not fit.
This turn of evidence changed the whole turn of events. The documentary further develop a number of issues, it works to blow up some myths and finally concluded that marijuana would be much worthwhile legalized notwithstanding the minor impacts it would have.
The documentary is assembled in a synergistic manner at about 105 minute. It includes fascination stories, taking head interviews and archival footage which are arranged in clips that are entertaining and fast. The documentary clips cover the incognito growers, the obvious suspects, Tommy Chong and dealers as well as clips from other sources such as Joe Rogan and former police chiefs.
All this individuals are very much willing to give their opinion about marijuana which views indicate that criminalizing cannabis is an irrational status. Their narrations, status, and interviews are intertwined with trenchant or highly entertaining clips highlight carefully every aspect that is being affirmed.
There are clips from the reefer madness to those from ancient footage involving farmers gathering hemp, with stops for clips which are related to the previous footage circumstantially. The events that unfold in the documentary are covered so well by the director in that for about thirty five minutes the move has not yet began to scrutinize the business of getting high.
In the first 35 minutes, the movie outlines the foundation of the director’s claims to the effect that marijuana is an affordable and an extremely versatile commodity regrettably criminalized by poor legal framework that are geared towards eradication the icky sticky (Pua 1).
The documentary further maintain that most of the claims of marijuana being harmful are founded on unauthentic findings such as marijuana kills the cells of the brain is just but a misplaced myth. The movie depict that illegalizing marijuana would instead increase the preference of use. According to the movie during the prohibition of alcohol consumption, the rates of boozing increase tremendously not to mention the increase in the organized crime aimed at getting alcohol for the people.
The documentary further makes a comparison between the number of individuals killed by consumption of either tobacco or alcohol per annum and the statistics of deaths cause by marijuana consumption. It is established that cigarettes and alcohol causes hundreds of thousands of people while there has not been direct deaths related to consumption of marijuana.
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The documentary is founded on the reality that the illegal status of marijuana in both Canada and the United States could be reversed if the policy makers could show an open mind to facts that are scientifically proven and also some tolerance. The illegal status of marijuana allows the sellers and growers to charge more. If the rules are changed and marijuana become legal, the cartels will obviously lose a lot of money which will in turn acts as another edition of prohibition (YouTube).
The movie is professionally directed in that it does not veer the audience into accepting the theory. Harvey allows the interviews and research do the talking the research and interview shows that in 104 individuals who uses marijuana, only one individual uses cocaine an almost none of them uses heroine. From the study conducted by UCLA shows that marijuana does not cause cancer.
By using research and interviews is a brilliant idea since the audiences are offered an opportunity to get different facts as well as common sense. There is only one issue about the movie that may be criticized which is that fact that the documentary does not cover the other side of the coin particularly, it does not address the views of law enforcement agencies, politicians and individuals who do not approve of legalizing marijuana.
The Union: The Business behind Getting High documentary is about the cannabis industry in British Colombia, the movie also depicts the stigma associated with marijuana in the western society particularly in America. In documentary uses the term union in the title perhaps because the term is frequently used to refer to the individuals as well as groups which in real life situation take part in illegal marijuana industry in British Colombia.
The documentary is a fantastic eye opener and it should be kept on the supplemental film list. This is because there are very few people who may be aware of the fact that marijuana is not as bad as it seems to be portrayed; the documentary seek to disapprove the negative attitude held by majority of people in the western society about marijuana.
The documentary through expert opinion proves that nobody has ever died from consumption of marijuana which is ironically illegal , while the drugs that are legalized such as tobacco and alcohol have caused hundreds of thousands deaths.
Analysis and conclusion
Basically the message that can be construed from the documentary is that cannabis is not actually harmful in any way like the pharmaceutical drugs, alcohol, coffee, or even tobacco, and unlike these legalized and harmful drugs, cannabis is harmless with both commercial and medical benefits. Ironically, the two attributes of marijuana are surprisingly the reason behind its prohibition which is quite irrational.
This goes to confirm that most companies manufacturing drugs may not approve of a plant which grow naturally with so many benefits since such a plant would naturally put such companies out of business of manufacturing other drugs (Pua 1). The documentary shows that due to the understanding of the benefits associated with marijuana, the plant was legal and actually, some government used to encourage its growth before the twentieth century.
The prohibition of marijuana particularly in the United States is also related to the fact that the government used the plant as a justification of effecting arrests for political, profiteering and war. The documentary makes an attempt to explain the reason as to why prohibition of marijuana never works. In an effort to explain the situation, the documentary use statistics and research about past prohibition of alcohol which brought about more consumption of alcohol and more organized crimes to bring it to the market.
It therefore goes without saying that there is no substantial and rational reason that has been advanced to suggest why cannabis is prohibited and treated with a lot of stigma in the western society. Surprisingly the plant is treated with more seriousness then even hard drugs for instance heroin and cocaine or even the other legalized drugs which are harmful to human health.
The documentary is indeed one of a kind as the information presented therein is confirmed and approved by real scholars, doctors, former politicians, former law enforcement agencies, and biochemists, not to mention the various scientific studies. From all the interviews and study conducted are in agreement with the fact that cannabis does not pose any kind of harm except the stigma created by its prohibition.
In the documentary, Harvey tries to focus on the Canadian flaws in their policy on drugs. Nonetheless, the highlighted shortcomings of drug policy are not only observable in the Canadian legal system, but also to the drug policy of the United States that is very flawed. The documentary espouses a number of reasons that are advanced even by experts in support of legalization of marijuana.
The main argument in support of legalizing cannabis being that the government would be able to collect a very huge sum of money which flow in industry. Some other arguments advanced by the documentary include the fact that legalizing marijuana would enable the government to control the sale of such drugs to minors and also collection of tax revenue.
Pua, Adrian. A Review of The Union: The Business Behind Getting High. 2007. Web. <http://headlessreviews.blogspot.com/2007/10/union-business-behind-getting-high.html>
YouTube. The Union: The Business Behind Getting High — 2007 (The Drug War/Marijuana Legalization) Directed by Lucy Walker. 2007. Web.