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Film focuses on marijuana

A Bermudian film-maker hopes her documentary will spark a thorough discussion on marijuana.

Juanee Scott said: “It's definitely, I believe, a conversation that needs to be had.”

She added: “My hope is that this is the first of many in a series.”

Ms Scott, 30, was speaking as she prepared for a screening of Marijuana: It's Complicated. Our Problem, Our Solution.

The documentary, to be shown tomorrow night at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, examines Bermuda's relationship with the drug.

A panel discussion including doctors, lawyers and policymakers will take place after the screening.

Ms Scott said that part of Bermuda's complicated relationship with marijuana was because of public perception.

The Devonshire resident explained: “I pretty much went into the documentary thinking, ‘yeah, it's fine, I don't see what the problem is, legalise it', and not understanding all the complexities of it.”

But she added: “I've learnt how detrimental it can be for the adolescent brain.”

She said Bermuda's stance on medicinal marijuana and the difference between decriminalisation and legalisation had also caused confusion for many community members.

Samantha Smith, programme supervisor at Pride, an anti-drug abuse charity for the young, said that part of the island's problem with the drug was because of a lack of information.

Ms Smith added that the drug's illegality meant that there had not been enough “good research” carried out.

She said Pride had wanted to back a film that would “deliver the full picture”.

She explained: “You have a lot of arguments that are just anti-marijuana and you have a lot of arguments that are just pro-marijuana.

“Our aim is to say ‘here are all the facts'.”

Ms Smith said: “We're not trying to convince adults, one way or another, whether they should or should not be using — we're not here to make a judgment on that.”

But she said that the film was aimed at adults so they could use the information to influence young people.

She added: “Youth will benefit from the information, but the film is targeting the caretakers.

“We really want to make sure that people understand the impact that marijuana has on the developing brain.

“Our focus, as preventionists, is always how do we protect our children — our young people.”

Ms Smith said that it had taken Pride a long time to start the conversation with the public about marijuana.

She added: “It's time. It's overdue that we make a public presence.”

Jacin Lowe, the director of photography and associate producer of the documentary, said that a lot of facts were packed into the film.

He added: “There's so much good information in there and there's so many different perspectives.”

The Hamilton Parish resident said that one of his responsibilities was to make sure the movie struck a balance between education and entertainment.

Mr Lowe, 27, added that the film was “just the beginning”.

He explained: “There were just mountains of information that we weren't able to actually put in this one.

“There are so many different avenues.”

Mr Lowe said the public “would want to stay tuned for what comes next”.

The film will be screened at 6pm. Tickets cost $10 at bdatix.bm. For more information, call 295-9970.

Left to right: Juanee Scott, Jacin Lowe and Samantha Smith (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published January 15, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated January 15, 2019 at 7:24 am)

Film focuses on marijuana

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