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67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Tracking the behind-the-scenes efforts of both the pro- and anti-initiative groups, the film serves as a case study for other states in determining how to reform their own drug policies, and examines the civic, economic and human impact of marijuana legalization. Against the backdrop of the 40-year-old War on Drugs, the state of Washington becomes a key battleground in the fight for cannabis prohibition reform. A growing medical pot industry paves the way for cultural change, while an unprecedented team of political superstars and local celebrities put forth a plan, known as Initiative 502, that they hope will balance the delicate politics of the region and stand a chance to pass in the November elections. But many in the local cannabis community are vehemently opposed to I-502, saying it imposes harsh and scientifically arbitrary DUI laws, new taxes, additional restrictions and penalties that negatively impact youth, medical marijuana patients and providers. These unexpected opposing forces create a scintillating inside look at a political clash, showing just how advanced the perspective of many Americans has become on drug policy. [First Run Features] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Jun 19, 2014
    80
    This dual focus on the need to end the ineffective, destructive “war on drugs” and broader questions of political compromise gives director Riley Morton’s film particular resonance.
  2. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Apr 7, 2014
    75
    The absence of suspense results in something closer to a one-sided pat on the back for everyone involved, though it effectively puts forth a whole new set of challenges.
  3. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Apr 7, 2014
    70
    The personalities and rhetoric are colorful and the film's presentation is lively, though some viewers will wish for a little more rigor.
  4. Reviewed by: Diana Clarke
    Jun 10, 2014
    60
    Because the battle for legalization is still being fought in most other states, the lack of an up-to-date perspective is frustrating.
  5. Reviewed by: Andy Webster
    Jun 12, 2014
    60
    This record of Washington State’s battle over Initiative 502, which legalized possession of small amounts of recreational marijuana in 2012, is predictably loaded with rancor. The battle isn’t over whether pot should be legalized, but to what extent.