MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A movie premiering Saturday at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival is taking on marijuana.
Michael Hope's film, "Pot (the movie)," tells the plight of a Minnesota woman who gave her son medical marijuana.
Hope supports the use of recreational and medicinal marijuana, and has made a film to show the reasons why.
"It efforts to educate the public about probably one of the most misunderstood topics in history in terms of … substances," Hope said.
He says his film takes on the stereotypes around the drug.
"Marijuana has unfairly been compared to and confused with other substances," Hope said. "I'm not somebody that believes necessarily that we were misled intentionally by our educators or by our parents and so on. They were taught what their parents had taught them. And so this film really tries to dispel some of that."
Hope explores the use of cannabis for everything from pain relief to claims of combating cancer. And he's become a crusader on behalf of people like Angela Brown of Madison, Minnesota.
"Angela Brown and her family's situation is every reason that a film like this needs to be made," he said.
Her son suffered a traumatic brain injury while playing baseball with friends. After years of unsuccessful treatment for high fevers and severe pain, Brown turned to medicinal cannabis oil from Colorado and saw improvement in her son's condition.
"They considered it a miracle. It seemed to have really taken care of it," Hope said.
Shortly after, investigators charged Angela Brown with child endangerment and causing a child to need protection. She now faces jail time.
"'Liberty and justice for all' isn't just an expression to me," he said. "To me, for all the people who have fought to give us these freedoms, we owe it to ourselves to defend our democracy and to make sure that we stand up for injustice. And this is the very essence of injustice."
Hope says his film shows that cannabis is not the dangerous drug he believes people have been told it is.
"I think of the film a lot as a love letter to future generations, specifically to my children," Hope said. "I always am saying to them, 'Make good choices.' You know, life is about the choices that you make."
Minnesota has joined the ranks of more than 20 other states where marijuana is a legal medicine with a law that is one of the nation's most restrictive.
Opponents of medical marijuana fear legalization increases potential illegal marijuana, and increased use among young people.
"Pot (the movie)" will premiere Saturday at St. Anthony Main Theater. The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival festival continues through April 25.
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