TV Review: PBS/NOVA's 'The Cannabis Question'

Cannabis documentaries on TV often look and sound alike. The latest, The Cannabis Question, on PBS, fits that mold.

But since it's a NOVA production, the focus on cannabis science is pretty deep and the photography and animation top-notch. Vets with PTSD and children with epilepsy are featured, once again proving the effiicacy of cannabis for many conditions.

However, any mainstream canna-doc can't help but try to be balanced for fear of looking too favorably on the natural drug that has been federally appoved for medical use by the FDA - GW Pharmaceuticals' Epidiolex. We're reminded 9% of users get addicted and withdrawal is a real concern for people looking to quit.

The hour-long program takes a welcome detour to show how criminal justice fits into the the picture, interviewing Drug Policy Foundation executive director Kassandra Frederique and telling the story of Sean Worsley, a vet and medical patient who was arrested along with his wife  Eboni, in Alabama with medicine he transported from Arizona. The arrest led to jail time and homelessness for the Worsleys. 

Indeed, the program notes, "Criminalization destroys lives at the same time the cannabis wellness industry is thriving." 

NOVA leaves the cannabis business to other documentaries like Green Mile on CNBC. This is closer to what Dr. Sanjay Gupta has done with his five-part Weed series on CNN, dating back to 2013.

Watch The Cannabis Question above.

Image via NOVA/PBS, posterized by CelebStoner


Featured in "The Cannabis Question"

Prof. Arpana Agrawal - Washington University in St. Louis, MO

Dr. Ziva Cooper - UCLA Cannabis Research Institute. Los Angeles, CA 

Dr. Chianazo Cunningham - Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY

Steve DeAngelo - cannabis activist

Kassandra Frederique - Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY

Dr. Staci Gruber - McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA

Dr. Yasmin Hurd - Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY

Eugene Monroe - former NFL player

Dr. Alysson Muotri - UC San Diego School of Medicine, CA

Leah Nelson - Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice, Birmingham, AL

Dr. Daniele Piomello - UC Irvine, CA

Dr. Nora Volkow - NIDA, Washington, DC


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.