Welcome to our new site. I’ll try to keep current with this blog. I am new at this.
We began filming in the summer of 2007 and it was very much about staying off the radar. We filmed with a cover title of “Homages” (more on that later). It has been all about not being public and now we are finally putting this film and these stories out there.
There are a lot of stories to be told and issues that came up. We have hundreds of hours of footage and it looks like there will also be a series. We are also still filming and keeping current. So, we welcome your ideas and input.
I consciously set out not to make an advocacy film or a tedious didactic talking heads polemic. My interest has been to humanize these issues through the characters and their stories. I have tried to let truth and beauty be my guides; let the characters speak their truth and take the viewer on a beautiful experiential road trip.
I was taken by just how quintessentially American these people, their stories, and issues are. The issue of “states’ rights” was prominent at the outset of filming as Prop. 215 (California’s Medical Cannabis Law) does not protect anyone from prosecution under Federal law.
There are issues of immigration as California has produced its own crop alleviating much of the need for imported Mexican cannabis. There are drug cartels operating on public lands without regard to environmental impact, and violence has become of issue.
As Americans wrestle with issues of healthcare, Proposition 215 also posed the broader question of what is medicine exactly and who decides this: pharmaceutical corporations, insurance corporations, or individuals with their caregivers.
President Obama used one word repeatedly in his first Meet The Press interview: sustainability.
Sustainability has been central to areas in Northern California that have been exploited and ravaged by logging, fishing, government contracted chromium plating plants, and water use issues.
The Emerald Triangle is the heart of the back to the land movement.
Mendocino is the first county in the U.S. to ban GMO’s and has the nation’s first organic winery and organic brew pub.
The recent financial debacle posed the issue of whether AIG, Bernie Madoff, sub-prime mortgage lending, and Wall Street practices such as the unregulated sale of derivatives are less damaging and more ethical forms of entrepreneurial capitalism than that practiced now by generations of California cannabis growers.
Recently, the election of an African- American President who admittedly smoked marijuana and continues to smoke cigarettes, who excelled after a life and background markedly different from mainstream Americans, offers an inclusiveness to many who have felt alienated and disenfranchised.
In many ways, the “culture formerly known as the counter-culture” has come of age and has become an essential voice in not merely our sustainability but in our very survival.
We now have a lot of historical perspective.
The current efforts for legalization and decriminalization must be viewed with an understanding of the story of U.S. cannabis prohibition since 1937 and the plant’s use by humans going back 8,000 years.
Greed is a dominant theme in Cash Crop and is especially resonant as we deal with reforming our financial industry, our healthcare industry, and our largest environmental catastrophe.
As we venture down these paths it seems essential that we focus on our culture of abuse versus merely demonizing the victims. Many in law enforcement question the allocation of our resources and efforts. Social and health issues have been objectified and criminalized. It is not the child but it is the child abuse. It is not the spouse. It is the spousal abuse. It is not the food, or credit, or sex, or drugs but the culture of abuse of all of these that has become so entrenched in our consumer culture that objectifies everything and results in a vast depressive emptiness and spiritual vacuum.
As we move from sustainability to survival, we know we must evolve. We are not going to grow claws or tails. It seems the only real area where we can evolve rapidly is in our awareness and consciousness. As we attempt to gain much needed perspective for these changes, it seems timely that we look at how we live and to what we are drawn.
There are estimates as high as 20 million regular cannabis users with 100 million who have tried it in this country. Many find cannabis helps them achieve communion with nature, inner directed contemplation and inventiveness that has driven our society and where we have sought direction and solutions.
The final frontier of our continent has been reached. A kind of “reverse manifest destiny” might now help us draw on efforts behind the Emerald Curtain and throughout the State of California. We must now seek to curtail and remedy exploitation and abuse of ourselves and of our environment and create more tenable structures for a just, fair, and thriving society.
My hope is that, in some small way, Cash Crop resonates with people to take this road trip together.