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Documentary To Educate About Medical Marijuana

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
If there's one thing Jed Riffe can't stand, it's the media's handling of the subject of medicinal marijuana.

Riffe said the subject he takes very seriously is treated as tongue-in-cheek with many news outlets. Because he didn't see anyone else taking it seriously, Riffe made a documentary on the subject.

"Waiting to Inhale" will screen at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Student Center.

The film follows patients who use marijuana to help with their illness and parents who have lost their children to addiction. Riffe said it was important to show both sides of the argument because it makes a better film and richer learning experience.

"In terms of film storytelling, you need drama and conflict. And, out of drama and conflict, we can learn," Riffe said.

The film will be followed by a panel discussion with Riffe; Christopher Fichtner, former director of mental health with the Illinois Department of Human Services and associate professor of clinical psychiatry at University of Chicago; and Gretchen Steele, a registered nurse, multiple sclerosis patient and medical marijuana advocate from Coulterville.

"The film's a good way of getting a discussion going," said Dan Bernath, assistant director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project.

As a former member of an AIDS foundation, Riffe said he has seen how it can tone down the pain people with serious illness must deal with. He said the film looks at this seriously and the patients are not using the marijuana for recreation.

"A couple of the people don't like to get high, so it was an unpleasant side effect," Riffe said.

Bernath said people should see the film to get a better understanding of the issue.

"I'm not sure people understand how urgent this is," Bernath said. "There are real people suffering right now and we can alleviate that suffering by legalizing medical marijuana."

Source: Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale, IL)
Copyright: 2007 Southern Illinoisan
Contact: letters@TheSouthern.com
Website: :: TheSouthern.com - The Southern Illinoisan ::
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