The widely anticipated results last month of an $8.7 million California study into the potential benefits of marijuana has given new life - and relevance - to a powerful documentary on the medical cannabis movement in California.
Jed Riffe's award-winning 2006 documentary, Waiting to Inhale, includes extensive footage of the first clinical study of medical marijuana users since the 1970s. It features Dr. Donald Abrams, the chief of oncology at San Francisco General Hospital and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
Abrams conducted state and federally funded research that showed marijuana to be beneficial for patients with HIV and for pain from nerve damage. His research was part of the state-funded studies by the Center for Medical Cannabis Research at UC San Diego that supported marijuana's effectiveness for chronic pain.
Though the documentary was produced before the explosion of medical marijuana dispensaries and cannabis physicians' clinics in California, Waiting to Inhale stands as an essential primer to understanding the social, political, legal and medical forces behind California's current marijuana debate. It will soon be getting an encore, with upcoming showings due on Dish Network and Free Speech TV.
With permission from Riffe, here is a trailer from the documentary: