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April 19, 2018

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What if you had to choose between suffering from a debilitating illness and breaking the law?

A new documentary short film from Brookings sheds light on the challenges American patients and their families face when navigating the outdated laws and lack of research around medical marijuana.

Watch the Documentary

Watch: The Life She Deserves

When Jennifer Collins was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy, the drugs prescribed to stop her seizures made her angry, suicidal, and interrupted her ability to live a normal life. Desperate to help their daughter, Jennifer’s parents sought out alternative treatments, and learned about the success of cannabis oil in treating epilepsy. There was just one problem: marijuana wasn’t legal where they lived, even for medical purposes.

More on Marijuana Policy

The human side of medical marijuana. In a new blog post, read about the making of the documentary and the policy issues at the federal, state, and local level that continue to affect patients like Jennifer. 

A prescription for a broken policy. John Hudak first chronicled the Collins family's journey with America's problematic marijuana laws and called for comprehensive reform in his 2016 Brookings Essay "The Medical Marijuana Mess."

The social and cultural history of marijuana. Millions of Americans have used marijuana at some point in their lives, yet the substance remains shrouded by myth, misinformation, and mystery. In the book "Marijuana: A Short History," Hudak provides a timely overview of U.S. policies toward the plant and explores what might come next.

For the latest research and commentary on marijuana policy be sure to bookmark our topic page.

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