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Monday, July 30, 2012

"The Union", everybody must get stoned!

The Union: The Business Behind Getting High

Quoting Bob Dylan, the title of this post could be the joking summary of "The Union: The Business Behind Getting High". I'm exaggerating... but only a bit.

As a documentary exposing the hypocrisy and brutal amount of lies from the different American governments, pressured by the big, gigantic, pharmaceutics industry and their greedy interests, the film must be overtly applauded and celebrated. It has a particularly good "didactic" quality. First, on demystifying marijuana as the EVIL, something decades of propaganda and partial use of the media resources has achieved in the USA. Second, and even more importantly, because it reveals how the penalisation of cannabis has created an enormous illegal industry (called "The Union"), and several legal structures that benefits immensely from that prohibition. "The War on Drugs", which targets marijuana as its prime villain is finely exposed on the film as a combination of paranoia (John Ashcroft, Ronald Reagan, George Bush I and II* have some amusing/pathetic moments) and perverse, shameful manipulation. And third, because it doesn't hide these policies are only a way to help the powerful and politically valuable lobby of pharmaceutics industry.

But as much as "The Union" is thought-provoking and revealing, it is not entirely satisfying. As a documentary itself, in terms of film quality, is quite mediocre. Filmmaker Adam Scorgie structures his film on a never-ending off-voice, giving data and more data, occasionally truncated by the opinions of growers, criminologists, economists, doctors, politicians, famous people (I suppose) and street interviews (probably the most revealing, as they show how ignorant is the population on this issue). The development of the film for the viewer is quite boring. It seriously lacks dynamism.

There's another big issue. "The Union" is heavily biased. Not referring to the part devoted to the "pot industry" or the politic interests, which I already say are brilliantly documented, being the main reason this movie is worth the watching. I'm talking about the nature of cannabis. Never been a pot consumer as I never felt the need/interest/curiosity to do so. I know that cigarettes and alcohol are spectacularly more dangerous than marijuana, that can be very beneficial (and much more healthier) for the treatment of several diseases and chronic pains (have cases in my own family). But this is a "stoner film" (that definition exists?), and hey, cannabis in Spain might be also illegal (the law here is quite ridiculous, you can have your daily dose for self-consumption, but you can be arrested by police if you are seen smoking on public spaces while trade and advertisement in determined places is accepted) but is commonly accepted, and everyone, I mean EVERYONE, knows from the personal experience, familiars/friends, etc, on how regular pot consumption affects people. "The Union" doesn't even try to collect a single opinion of the possible consequences of its consumption. Marijuana is portrayed like a wonder that nature has given to us, and we silly humans, are prohibiting. And that is not exactly the case.

SCORE: 6/10

* Dear Americans, as we should do too, please think when you vote. It has obvious consequences ;). What a monsters parade....

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