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Documentary--Meanies Efforts To Repeal Medical Marijuana In Mt


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excerpts below



It’s all about protecting the young people, of course. “We stand to lose a whole generation of kids,” Cherrie Brady, a community advocate, says in “Code of the West.”

This film from Rebecca Richman Cohen is a mostly dutiful documentary that drifts dangerously close to earnestness. It tells a sad, rage-provoking story about the 2010 campaign to repeal Montana’s legalization of medical marijuana. (And the “Godfather” juxtaposition between a legislative vote and federal grow-house raid is creative.)

Opponents contended that the drug’s presence led to increased use among teenagers and that the patients with prescriptions were healthy “old hippies.” Too bad the title’s import is largely lost. The “Code of the West” was another bill the Montana Legislature considered in 2010, a symbolic list of noble 19th-century cowboy guidelines to live by. But that point — that those values are a far cry from what the anti-marijuana forces are demonstrating — barely registers.

Tom Daubert, who was indicted as a partner in Montana Cannabis, tries to say something kind about his political opponents and achieves memorable passive-aggression: “I think they’re afraid of the complexity of life.”

But the whole thing comes down to Lori Burnam, navigating her modest home while attached to various tubes. Marijuana, she says, is the only medication that relieves her pain from cancer and emphysema without incapacitating side effects. Near the end of the film she has to switch to morphine. Burnam died in January.

A version of this review appeared in print on March 29, 2013, on page C6 of the New York edition w


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