The legend of 420, documenting the recent history of cannabis in the US

The legend of 420, documenting the recent history of cannabis in the US

By: Laura Rueda Activism

The legend of 420 is a film that is currently available on the entertainment channel Netflix. The first few minutes are presented as a fake documentary. According to the narrator, Hitler lost the second world war because shortly beforehand he had discovered hashish in Morocco. This led him to neglect his military strategies, leading to his defeat and the legend of 420. After this joke, begins the real story of the documentary, whose objective is to summarize the development of the cannabis industry and its evolution in society in general.  

The legend of 420, documenting the recent history of cannabis in the US

The war on drugs has been a war against the youth; against people with addiction issues; against people of race; people from the lowest socio-economic backgrounds”. “There have been many studies on the theme, which have disproved that marijuana is a gateway drug”. These are some of the phrases we hear in the first few minutes of the documentary The Legend of 420.

And then Bernie Sanders, democrat candidate in the US primaries of 2016, appears “The time has come for us to decriminalize marijuana”. followed by the Democrat candidate for the elections of the same year, Hillary Clinton “We have to stop imprisoning people that consume marijuana”. and to finish off, the declarations of the current head of the state, Donald Trump: “The subject of marijuana is very important. I think we should leave this to the states”

The legend of 420, documenting the recent history of cannabis in the US

This documentary takes us back just days before the legalisation of recreational cannabis became reality in California, and shows us the opinions of some of the voting public. The composer and singer Melissa Etheridge tells us how this plant was fundamental in overcoming cancer and how, since then, it has been the muse of her music. We hear  statements from the cannabis activist and olympic basketball player Kenneth Cole who, after becoming a coach in Australia and winning the championships, was fired for being caught smoking cannabis just a week before the end of the league. His team refused to play unless he was readmitted. Cole reports that he used the plant to treat his cancer.

In short, The legend of 420 offers us a lot of images of the current history of cannabis in the USA. It does it without apparent order, showing legal landmarks in the country and personal testimonies of politicians, artists, musicians, actors and also cannabis refugees. The mother of a teenager affected by epilepsy tells how her entire family moves from her state to Colorado in order to have access to cannabis treatment and how her son’s health has improved since then and, therefore, also the life of his family.

The legend of 420, documenting the recent history of cannabis in the US

60% of the population of the US support cannabis but just 5% of its congressmen support it publically. In The legend of 420 they show the difference between cannabis and other substances and remark that while there is a lethal dose for cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, there is none for cannabis. In fact, this plant is the route out of addiction to many of these substances.

Gastronomic cannabis projects such as Sweet Grass Kitchen. Alternative cannabis veterinary for our non-human family such as Vet CBD. Professional cannabis universities such as Oaksterdam University. Cannabis reality shows such as Cooking on High or Bong Appetit… All these stories about politics, medicine, music, entrepreneurship and many other aspects of the plant, are told first hand in the few minutes of this documentary directed by Peter Spirer. Available to watch now on Netflix.

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