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Saturday, 12 July 2014 14:05

'Evergreen: The Road to Legalization' comprehensively surveys the issue + Video

'Evergreen: The Road to Legalization' comprehensively surveys the issue
Written by Diane Carson
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"Evergreen: The Road to Legalization" fulfills the promise of its title. In an information-packed 86 minutes, this documentary charts Washington State's thorny path to what we now know was a successful campaign to legalize marijuana use. Of course, the legalization issue has figured in the news often, but producer/director Riley Morton analytically lays out its multifaceted complexity.

Washington's initiative 502 provides the catalyst for this energetic debate leading up to the election December 6th, 2012. In fact, Washington became the first state to legalize recreational use of cannabis, so the outcome is clear. Nevertheless, there's a dynamic, fair and professional interrogation of the legalization issue, perhaps even more relevant now with the potential for more states joining Washington and Colorado.

Throughout the documentary, "Evergreen" features excerpts from the arguments both for and against support, some of the advocates pro and con passionately partisan, even hostile and occasionally crude. Through it all, the film moves quickly, interweaving comments from: prosecuting and defense attorneys, legislators, judges, police officers, medical marijuana patients, recreational users, and more; in essence, a cross section of the population. Individuals are young, middle-aged, and older, correcting the misimpression that there's a solid age divide.

Participants also address issues of class and race, especially as it impacts prosecution for drug use. In addition, "Evergreen" considers the wide-ranging economic impact and, tangentially, offers an interesting shift in voting procedures--all voting occurred through mail in ballots.

"Evergreen" is well shot, briskly edited by Darren Lund and Jason Reid, and, most important, intelligent. The St. Louis premiere of "Evergreen: The Road to Legalization" is at Webster University's Winifred Moore auditorium from Friday, July 25th through Sunday, July 27th at 7:30 each evening. For more information, you may call 314-968-7487 or visit the web site.

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