VANCOUVER – The medicinal use of marijuana and the ongoing war on drugs will be the subject of “Stirring The Pot”, a night of three short films running Wednesday, February 26 at Pacific Cinematheque. Director Jennifer Pickford will be on hand to present the 47-minute documentary Crimes of Compassion, which tells the story of Victoria’s Vancouver Island Compassion Society. Established to provide affordable, medical-grade cannabis to local patients, the Society was raided by the police and had its inventory confiscated.
“We have people dying of degenerative illnesses with symptoms that could be alleviated by marijuana use,” says Pickford. “Yet even those with exemptions from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act still have no way to legally procure the drug, and don’t want to be forced to buy pot on the streets. The bureaucracy continues, and at the expense of the sick and the needy.”
Crimes of Compassion will screen with British documentary Coca Mama: The War on Drugs and Stoned: Hemp Nation on Trial Canada. Nominated for Best Political Documentary at Toronto’s HotDocs in 1999, Stoned is a fast-paced documentary about the arrest and trial of 27-year-old Chris Clay, owner of the Hemp Nation store in London, Ontario. Facing the possibility of a life sentence for criminal charges that including trafficking in narcotics, Clay and his lawyers launched a constitutional challenge to Canada’s cannabis laws. Stoned was CBC Newsworld’s most popular program of the year in 1998, receiving more supportive emails and phone calls than any other show.
Wednesday, February 26 ? 7:30 pm
Pacific Cinematheque, 1131 Howe Street, Vancouver
Info: 604 688 FILM or www.cinematheque.bc.ca/stirringthepot.html