WASHINGTON — The patchwork of states that have legalized medical marijuana — now 29 and Washington D.C. — still leaves patients facing difficult decisions, like legal action or the threat arrest.
That’s why medical marijuana advocates believe that federal action is ultimately necessary, given the gaps in legality and the need to cross state lines.
This was one of the issues at a Brookings Institute and Variety-sponsored screening of “The Life She Deserves: Medical Marijuana in the United States,” followed by a panel. The project is Brookings’ first foray into documentary filmmaking, this time by personalizing an issue that otherwise would have been explained via a study or white paper.
The movie, directed by George Burroughs and John Hudak, looks at the case of Jennifer Collins, a Virginia teenager whose family struggled to find some kind of treatment for her epileptic seizures. Pharmaceuticals proved to have debilitating side effects and be of limited effectiveness, until Collins’ family found significant progress with the use of a liquid form of marijuana.
“This story is so similar to so many different people,” Collins said at the event. “I feel like I need to share it for the others [as much as] I can.”
For a time, she and her mother, Beth Collins, moved to Colorado, where such use was permitted, to get access to the