Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, June 13: EVERGREEN: THE ROAD TO LEGALIZATION
Riley Morton’s look at Washington State’s battle over marijuana legalization debuted at the Seattle International Film Festival last year. Other fest screenings have included Spokane and Bermuda Docs.
Morton’s film focuses on Washington’s controversial ballot initiative I-502, a measure to license, regulate, and decriminalize marijuana in the state, which was passed in the November 2012 election. Given that this result understandably made national and international news, Riley can’t depend on campaign doc conventions to ramp up suspense as it counts down to election night, which makes it unfortunate that the film is still structured in a fairly predictable manner, with a surfeit of talking heads and nitty gritty local campaign politics that may be lost on non-Washington viewers. To that point, it’s telling – and a smart move – that the doc’s subtitle has been slightly revised since its fest premiere to excise a specific mention of Washington State. At the same time, the overall subject matter is absolutely of national interest, and the general arguments put forth by Morton’s interview subjects certainly inform the national debate over legalization, so there’s clearly an audience that should be interested in the film and the case study provided by Washington State as cannabis legalization activism continues to spread.