A NORML Life: Cannabis Documentary Is Top Notch


Photo: Cinema Libre Studios

​Director Rod Pitman’s just-released cannabis documentary, A NORML Life, goes beyond the recitation of facts and figures to capture the beating heart of the legalization movement, in all its passion, its commitment and its excitement.

It’s an extraordinary job by Pitman, producer Doug Ross and a rich cast of cannabis characters including Seattle Hempfest founder Vivian McPeak (who, near the beginning of the show, rightly says America’s marijuana laws are “fixing a problem that never existed,”), and it wastes no time in going for the emotional resonance which is the reason many of us are involved in this movement.
The documentary, which compellingly tells the proud story of advocates fighting for the legalization of marijuana, was released by Cinema Libre Studios on DVD last week. The film presents a strong case that the use of medical marijuana is effective, and that it is a safe alternative to pharmaceutical medicines.

Through first-hand interviews with physicians, patients suffering from chronic illnesses and the presentation of clinical evidence, the filmmakers show that there are, in fact, both physical and psychological benefits produced by cannabis, which can dramatically improve a patient’s condition.

Photo: Cinema Libre Studios
Jodie Emery continues to fight for justice for her unjustly imprisoned husband, Marc Emery, the “Prince of Pot.”

A NORML Life gives us a chance to hear from Keith Stroup, founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), as well as NORML Executive Directeor Allen St. Pierre, both longtime cannabis warriors in the political arena.
We also get to know Jodie Emery, the wife of “Prince of Pot” Marc Emery, herself now a leading cannabis activist spearheading the “see Marc” campaign, which fights to appeal her husband’s conviction for selling marijuana seeds.
Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Gatewood Galbraith, always a source of great quotes and homespun wisdom, also gets a chance to shine, with his dogged determination to normalize our pot laws is inspiring.
One of the most energizing parts of the documentary is a video of activist/attorney Douglas Hiatt of Sensible Washington onstage at last year’s Seattle Hempfest. Hiatt, full of passion and indignation at the cruelty and insanity of the War on Marijuana, is one of the best communicators on the scene.

Photo: Stephanie Bishop
Toke of the Town editor Steve Elliott, HeartBrain Media’s Stephanie Bishop, and “A NORML Life” director Rod Pitman at Seattle Hempfest 2011 on Saturday

​”We’re all grown up now; we’re not in the closet anymore,” Hiatt says in the film. “We don’t give a fuck what you think, we smoke marijuana!”
Director Rod Pitman has produced television shows, music videos and the recently released film Hempsters: Plant The Seed, also distributed by Cinema Libre Studio. Doiug Ross, founder of Honoluluy Municipal Television, has worked on such projects aqs the Global View series on History Channel International and “China: Engineering An Empire” on the History Channel.
These two men, who have known each other for almost 50 years, collaborated on the project to carry out the repeated message from the personal stories of these cannabis activists: when Western medicine fails and the only solution to end pain and suffering is medical marijuana, then something needs to be done to end the War On Drugs.
As a DVD bonus feature, an interview with keyboardist Ray Manzarek of The Doors is included.
If you are interested in the film for “specialty” promotional partnerships, events, festivals and conferences, call (206) 697-2374 or email HeartBrain Media’s Stephanie Bishop.
For more information, including how to order ($19.95 plus shipping), visit anormllifethemovie.com.