Rolling Papers the documentary film by Mitch Dickman follows the team of The Cannabist, for a year. In 2014, state of Colorado in the U.S legalized Marijuana, The Denver Post created a new beat for Marijuana. Ricardo Bacca is appointed the new editor, who goes on to create the website The Cannabist.
Ricardo then hires two pot critics, it is interesting how one of the critics is a mom with a two year old kid. The film explores her insecurity of how despite the legalization of Marijuana, the attitude of law enforcement agencies has not changed. It is interesting to see how a society will accept an alcoholic mother, but not a woman who smokes pot.
Ricardo also focuses on the need for better labeling of THC levels in products. It focus on other aspect of Marijuana, its use as a medicinal product. The documentary does not take any sides but presents the views from both sides- those who think it it can cure diseases and those who think it can’t.
Another interesting character is Ry Richard, a Marijuana photographer and critic. It focuses on his struggle and how he is apprehensive by being unsure of the Government’s stand on legalization and the constant insecurity of the job.
Interestingly the documentary shows Uruguay where the government has forced the legal sale of Marijuana to counter the black market as claimed by the law maker’s.
Rolling Papers focuses on two aspects, one-what good journalism is all about. How journalists find news, how they need to present it without bias and not sermonize but inform the readers. The second aspect which is very important is who decides what is legal or illegal. Does the government have the right to regulate what we should sell or buy? What should we consume or how much and when?
The documentary does not take any stand, this is what makes it unique. It is content in showing different points and at the same time cautious in taking any stand as it is fully aware that not enough empirical evidence is available right now to judge the Colorado or Uruguay model.
For those who might be interested,here is the trailer of Rolling Papers-