American Drug War 2: Cannabis Destiny

American Drug War 2: Cannabis Destiny

Full disclosure and all that: I have a “Special Thanks” credit on this film. But it’s not like I had a hand in making it. I didn’t. I just gave them some money, like a lot of other people did. It’s not like I have some insider connection to the makers of the film, or anything like that. I’ve never met Kevin Booth or any of the other producers, crew, or cast. Like I said, I just gave them some money via their Kickstarter campaign because I wanted to see a film like this get made.

And I guess, too, I had a secret—well, not really a secret now—motivation as to why I supported the making of this film. Sacred Cow Productions is the company that Kevin Booth and Bill Hicks started way back in the day when Bill was still alive, before cancer tragically ended his life too early. So, I think I saw this as an opportunity to attach my name to something associated with Bill and Bill’s legacy. (I do think that SCP is carrying on Bill’s legacy to a certain extent, even if Kevin Booth and his team aren’t directly motivated by that.) As some readers may already know, Bill Hicks is something akin to a hero to me and to millions of fans worldwide. Here’s one piece of evidence as to why that is:

So, cancer took that genius away from us. Cancer, it seems, is everywhere today—on the news, on pink-cleated football fields, in our families. This year it hit my own family when my brother was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Even though I know about the “Rick Simpson Cure,” I couldn’t send him the cure (which is illegal), so I sent him some hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil. Well, it won’t cure cancer, but at least it’s healthy, right? So, what will cure cancer? This is one of the topics explored in “American Drug War 2: Cannabis Destiny.” Here’s the trailer:

This film is much more emotionally powerful than I thought it would be. Booth, who serves as producer, writer, director, and voiceover artist, takes the viewer on twin journeys—one with the Hyde family and one with his own. Cash Hyde is a small child battling brain cancer. His case made headline news when his family took him off the hospital cocktail of government-approved drugs and secretly started injecting him with cannabis oil instead. He started healing almost immediately, and his cancer went into remission. The doctors called it a miracle before being told what the Hydes had done, and still called it a miracle after being told what the Hydes had done. All of the doctors’ medical training and education had led them to believe that healing by plants was not possible, and so to them it HAD to be a miracle. Their textbooks (and the pharmaceutical company salespeople) told them so. But because the treatment is not widely available, the Hydes struggle to maintain a supply of the natural healer for their son.

As someone who already believes in the idea of decriminalizing drugs, I didn’t need to be convinced about this topic. However, I still found both families’ journeys to be powerful indictments of our current system, of how we think about and treat disease, illness, and behavioral issues in children. It also shows just how hard it is to accomplish change when an entire society has been conditioned to believe something—no matter how obvious it becomes over time that that something is dangerously WRONG.

One thing the film does not show is the success that Portugal has had over the past decade in treating drug abuse as it should be treated—as a disease, not a crime. Here are two quick videos explaining what’s going on:

I believe this is a realistic policy that America could implement, which would be a major step forward. (I’d prefer complete legalization based on the fact that telling an adult what they can or can’t put into her/his body is a violation of that person’s natural-born human rights, but I prefer to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.) As Bill Hicks once said, “People who are drug addicts are sick, not criminals. They need treatment and compassion, not condemnation and imprisonment.” We now have the data to prove that Bill was not only a genius, but a prophet. This will happen at some point, the only question now is… when? How many people are we going to lock up, take away from their families, and treat as outlaws, simply because they use or abuse a drug? It’s simply insane.

Here are some links for the film:

Official Website

IMDb – 8.0 out of 10


You may have noticed, above, that I kind of brushed past my brother’s cancer diagnosis rather quickly. What am I ? Some kind of hard-hearted monster? What kind of brother am I, anyway? Shouldn’t I start a tax-free foundation, wear a pink armband, beg strangers on the street to get their colons examined, SOMETHING??? Maybe. Maybe I’m just a no-good son-of-a-bitch.

Maybe I’m, really, just too scared to allow myself to feel what I am supposed to feel. Maybe I can’t take the pain. Maybe I can’t go to those places because I’m afraid I’ll never come back, that they’re too deep down a rabbit hole that will swallow me up for good. Pain, we’re told by the Tony Robbins crowd, is a good thing. It’ll lead you to somewhere nice, somewhere better, somewhere useful. It’s redemptive, or something. Maybe so. Tony Robbins is a smarter man than me, so I’m sure he’s right. But I just can’t take that chance.

I can’t take that chance because if I go to that place, that netherworld of ever-increasing pain and peril, and never come back, then I won’t be able to write. I won’t be able to reach down into the tippy-top of such a place to bring back just the right amount of pain or pleasure or joy or despair I need for a character, for a scene, for a story to work. For you. I can’t get gummed up in that netherworld because then I would become stuck in time, black-tarred to a distemporal reality that would render all creative impulses impotent.

And we couldn’t have that, now could we?

Posted by Frank Marcopolos

Frank Marcopolos founded "The Whirligig" literary magazine in 1999, which has been called "a landmark, demonstrating the power of the literary underground." It has been said that "you get this true lion-roaring sense that Editor Frank Marcopolos knows what he likes, and how to read, and how to publish, and he has guts, and eats insects on Wheaties with bleach." His long-form fiction has been reviewed with such praise as "thorough-goingly entertaining" and "highly readable...recalls the style of Michael Chabon or John Irving. A literary gem that should not be missed." A broadcasting-school graduate, his unique literary-audio work has been featured in movie trailers, scholastic environments, and on YouTube, with one of his audiobooks achieving over 100,000 "views" there.

One Comment

  1. SherryThompson 2 September 2013 at 20:44

    I’m sorry to hear about your brother. If he’s looking for an all natural supplement that’s been show to aid people with cancer, then have him research ” glyconutrients” and and cancer and hell find great reports. Manna tech sells it… and if he wants to talk to someone about it, I can put him in touch with someone well connected in the company who can help tell the right regiments for his condition. Many terminal people got on mannatech and made full recoveries…one I know personally. At any rate sorry to hear about this and will pray for him and your family.

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