CAN CANNABIS KILL CANCER IN KIDS?

TV personality and executive producer Ricki Lake delivers an eye opening documentary on parents fighting for their children’s survival while fighting against mainstream medicine. We have a preview.

For more information, click here. 

Aired on November 14, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

GOOD EVENING, WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

THANKS FOR JOINING US, I'M JACK FORD.

CANNABIS, POT, DOPE, REEFER, WHATEVER YOU CALL IT MARIJUANA HAS BEEN OFF LIMITS TO DOCTORS AND RESEARCHERS IN THE UNITED STATES FOR THE PAST 80 YEARS, BUT NOW WE'RE SEEING A MAJOR PUSH NATIONALLY BOTH FOR ITS RECREATIONAL AND ALSO FOR ITS MEDICINAL PURPOSES.

IT WASN'T UNTIL RECENTLY THAT SCIENTISTS HAVE DISCOVERED ITS POTENTIAL ANTI-CANCER PROPERTIES.

NOW DESPERATE PARENTS AS YOU MIGHT IMAGINE ARE TURNING TO CANNABIS OIL FROM UNDERGROUND SOURCES IF NOT AVAILABLE OFFICIALLY MEDICINALLY AS A POTENTIAL LIFELINE TO SAVE THEIR CHILDREN FROM CHILDHOOD CANCERS.

THE NEW DOCUMENTARY TITLED 'WE THE PEOPLE' FOLLOWS THESE FAMILIES THROUGH UNCHARTERED WATERS AS THEY TAKE THEIR CHILDREN'S SURVIVAL INTO THEIR OWN HANDS.

TAKE A QUICK LOOK.

I JUST FIND IT STAGGERING TO ACCEPT THAT WITH THE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS SPENT ON CANCER RADIO HE SEARCH THAT THE MEDICINE THAT WE WERE RELYING ON IS MADE IN SOMEBODY'S KITCHEN.

THE WHOLE DRUG POLICY REFORM ISSUE IS A HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE AT ITS CORE.

WHY AS A SOCIETY ARE WE DENYING PEOPLE THE USE OF SOMETHING THAT I HAVE SEEN OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN BE HELPFUL?

AND JOINING ME NOW EMMY AWARD WINNING TELEVISION HOST RICKI LAKE WHO AMONG HER OTHER MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS ALSO THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF 'WE THE PEOPLE' AND THE DOCUMENTARY FILM'S DIRECTOR ABBY EPSTEIN.

GREAT TO TALK TO YOU.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.

LET ME START, RICKI, BUT, IF I MIGHT.

WITH ALL THE THINGS OUT THERE THAT YOU COULD BE DOING AND FOCUSING ON AS A FILMMAKER -- AND ABBY, I'M GOING TO ASK YOU THE SAME QUESTION -- WHAT WAS IT THAT DREW YOU TO THIS PROJECT?

I WISH I COULD SAY IT WAS ME, BUT IT WAS NOT, IT'S MY NOW DECEASED BELOVED HUSBAND CHRISTIAN EVANS.

THIS WAS HIS MEDICINE, HIS JOURNEY OF RECERTAINLYING THIS MEDICINE FOR HIS AILMENTS AND OTHER PEOPLE.

WE STUMBLED UPON THIS LITTLE GIRL AND WENT ON THIS JOURNEY.

THESE MOVIES THAT ABBY AND I MAKE TEND TO COME FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

IT WAS MY HUSBAND'S PASSION WITH THIS MEDICINE.

GOOD FILM MAKING IS ABOUT GOOD STORY TELLING.

ABSOLUTELY.

IT USUALLY FOCUSES ON PEOPLE.

YES.

ABBY, THAT TAKES ME TO YOU.

IN TERMS OF A LOT OF FOLKS GAVE YOU INCREDIBLE ACCESS TO MOMENTS THAT WERE INTIMATE AND PROVOKING AND VERY DIFFICULT FOR THEM.

SO GOING INTO THIS AS A FILMMAKER, WHAT WERE YOUR CONCERNS ABOUT FOLLOWING THESE PEOPLE IN THESE MOST DIFFICULT MOMENTS THAT YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE IN SOMEONE'S LIFE?

WELL, TERRIFYING.

IT WAS ACTUALLY REALLY TERRIFYING.

YOU KNOW, BECAUSE HERE WE ARE TAKING ON THESE CHARACTERS, YOU KNOW, CHARACTERS, TAKING ON THESE CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES, AND REALLY HAVING NO IDEA, YOU KNOW, WHO WILL SURVIVE, WHO WILL DO WELL, WHO MIGHT GET REALLY SICK.

I MEAN, IT WAS ACTUALLY REALLY TERRIFYING.

AND I FELT LIKE WE WERE ON THIS JOURNEY WITH THE FAMILIES.

I DON'T FEEL LIKE WE WERE DOCUMENTING THEM, LIKE FROM AFAR.

I FELT LIKE WE WERE LIKE LIVING THIS WITH THEM AND IT WAS QUITE A ROLLER COASTER FOR FIVE YEARS.

I THINK THAT'S A SIGN OF GREAT FILM MAKING, THAT YOU'RE TAKING EVERYBODY, INCLUDING YOURSELVES, ON A JOURNEY HERE.

SO GIVE ME A LITTLE DESCRIPTION OF THE HURDLES THAT THESE FAMILIES ARE ENCOUNTERING HERE IN TERMS OF -- OR MAYBE A BETTER QUESTION TO ASK IS HOW WERE THEY LEARNING ABOUT THE POTENTIAL IMPACT THAT THE CANNABIS OIL COULD HAVE FOR THEM AND THEIR CHILDREN?

I MEAN, I THINK IT'S -- I MEAN, I DON'T KNOW HOW THEY FIRST HAD ACCESS.

IT'S LIKE IT'S LIKE PUTTING THE PIECES OF PUZZLE TOGETHER.

FIRST OF ALL, THEY HAVE TO LIVE IN A LEGAL STATE, MOST OF THE FAMILIES LIVED IN CALIFORNIA WHICH THEY WERE LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE ACCESS TO THE MEDICINE TO BE ABLE TO GET A LEGAL RECOMMENDATION.

THEY READ THINGS ONLINE, TOO.

YOU WOULD GOOGLE.

IF YOU GOOGLE CANNABIS AND CANCER YOU GET A WHOLE TON OF STUDIES.

I MENTIONED THE TWO OF YOU WHEN WE WERE TALKING BEFORE, MY DAUGHTER IS A CANCER SURGEON AND SHE AND I TALKED ABOUT THIS AND, YOU KNOW, YOU WILL SEE ABOUT PAIN, HELPING TO DEAL WITH PAIN, ABOUT USING THIS AS OPPOSED TO OTHER OPIOIDS AS MEDICINE.

NAUSEA.

FOR NAUSEA, BUT I THINK WHAT'S FASCINATING AMONG OTHER THINGS ABOUT THE FILM IS YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT THE NOTION OF THIS DERIVATIVE OF MARIJUANA ACTUALLY FIGHTING CANCER CELLS.

RIGHT.

NOT JUST A MASK OVER YOUR PAIN OR YOUR NAUSEA, BUT ACTUALLY FIGHTING CANCER CELLS.

KILLING THE CANCER CELLS AND NOT THE HEALTHY CELLS.

LIKE THAT'S --

I DON'T WANT TO GIVE AWAY THE WHOLE FILM, I WANT PEOPLE TO WATCH IT.

JUST TELL A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT THIS RESEARCH IS SUGGESTING.

WE WENT TO ISRAEL AND IN ISRAEL THEY'RE LEADING IN THE SCIENCE.

WHAT ARE THEY FINDING?

YEAH, WE WENT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM AND WE REALLY TALKED TO THE TOP, TOP CANNABIS SCIENTISTS AND THEY SHOWED US THAT, YOU KNOW, WHAT THEY'RE REALLY INTERESTED IN IS THIS MECHANISM CALLED APAPTOSIS WHICH IS PROGRAMMABLE CELL DEATH.

ESSENTIALLY WHEN THE BODY HAS CANCER IT'S BECAUSE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM CAN'T DETECT THE CANCER CELLS AND CAN'T SEND THE SIGNAL TO THOSE CELLS TO SELF-DESTRUCT.

SOMEHOW AND THEY DON'T KNOW HOW, BUT THE CANNABIS AT LEAST IN THE TEST TUBE AND IN SOME ANIMAL MODELS SEEMS TO TRIGGER THIS PROGRAMMABLE CELL DEATH.

SO THE CANCER CELLS COMMIT SUICIDE, BUT THE HEALTHY CELLS ARE INTACT.

AND THEY ARE ABLE TO PINPOINT THE DIFFERENT STRAINS FOR THE SPECIFIC CANCERS.

SO THIS STRAIN OF CANNABIS WORKS FOR PROSTATE CANCER, BUT DOESN'T WORK FOR BREAST CANCER.

THEY ARE NOW FIGURING OUT WHAT WORKS BEST FOR WHICH CANCER.

SO THERE ARE PEOPLE NOT FAMILIAR WITH IT, JUST GIVE A QUICK SENSE OF WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT CANNABIS OIL AS OPPOSED TO SORT OF THE PSYCHO ACTIVE SMOKING THING THAT EVERYBODY IS TO SOME EXTENT FAMILIAR WITH.

WE ARE TALKING ABOUT WHOLE PLANTS.

IT'S NOT JUST CBD.

THEY TALK A LOT ABOUT EPILEPSY, BUT WITH CANCER, TUMOR SHRINKAGE YOU NEED THE WHOLE PLANT.

IT'S IN A CANNABIS OIL EXTRACT.

A LOT OF PEOPLE I THINK WHEN THEY HEAR ABOUT THE MOVIE THEY ARE LIKE, OH, THESE LITTLE KIDS ARE SMOKING POT.

THERE IS NO SMOKING POT.

REEFER --

THAT'S WHAT I THINK WE HAVE TO CHANGE IN OUR MINDS AND IN THE CULTURE IS THAT WHEN YOU HEAR CANNABIS, YOU KNOW, YOU DON'T IMMEDIATELY GO TO LIKE A ROLLED SMOKING JOINT BECAUSE THIS MEDICINE IS BEING INGESTED, IT'S BEING TAKEN IN PILLS, IN EXTRACTS AND SUPPOSITORIES, YEAH, I MEAN, THIS IS -- IT IS STILL SMOKED, YOU KNOW, AND SMOKING IS HELPFUL FOR CERTAIN CONDITIONS, ESPECIALLY PEOPLE WHO NEED A VERY IMMEDIATE ONSET OF PAIN RELIEF, BUT, NO, FOR THE MOST PART, I MEAN, THESE ARE LIKE -- IT'S LIKE A BOTANICAL.

IT'S NO DIFFERENT THAN ANY BOTANICAL, YOU KNOW, DRUG OR MEDICINE.

SO WHAT DID YOU FIND, THEN, IN FOLLOWING THESE FOLKS ON THEIR JOURNEY?

BECAUSE I THINK PEOPLE LISTENING TO US WOULD SAY, WELL, WOW, WE SHOULD BE ALL OVER THIS IN TERMS OF RESEARCH AND PUTTING RESEARCH MONEY INTO THIS AND EFFORTS AND RESOURCES BECAUSE THIS SOUNDS LIKE I DON'T WANT TO SAY A SILVER BULLET, BUT PRETTY CLOSE.

WHAT DID YOU FIND WERE THE OBST OBSTACLES.

IT'S A SCHEDULE 1 DRUG SO THE GOVERNMENT SAYS THAT IT'S -- THERE IS NO MEDICINAL VALUE, YOU KNOW, THEY STOP ALL THE FUNDING.

IT'S REALLY, REALLY DIFFICULT.

AND YET THEY HOLD A PATENT FOR THIS.

SO HOW CAN IT BE BOTH, YOU KNOW?

THE GOVERNMENT IS THE SCHEDULING IS DEFINITELY A BIG OBSTACLE.

THE STIGMA IS A HUGE OBSTACLE.

I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES AND EVEN DOCTORS ARE NOT REALLY COMFORTABLE.

YOU KNOW, GOD MADE ALL THE PLANTS AND THIS IS A PLANT, THIS WAS PUT ON THIS PLANET, WE CO-EVOLVED WITH THIS PLANT, WE HAVE AN ENDO CANNABINOID SYSTEM.

THAT WAS FASCINATING.

TO LEARN ALL THAT.

YES.

IT MAKES TOTAL SENSE, YES.

WELL, YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S THE POWER OF KNOWLEDGE.

WHEN WE LEARN WE ARE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND.

AGAIN, IT'S A MARVELOUS FILM, 'WE THE PEOPLE,' IN CASE PEOPLE DIDN'T GET IT, A PLAY ON WORDS, THE FIRST THREE WORDS TO THE PREAMBLE TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION.

SOME PEOPLE DON'T LIKE IT BECAUSE THEY THINK IT'S MISLEADING.

I THINK IT'S GREAT.

I THINK FOR US THE TITLE MEANT ABOUT THIS IS OUR RIGHT.

THIS IS A HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE.

IT MAKES PEOPLE TALK SO FOR WHAT YOU'RE DOING, MAKING PEOPLE TALK, IS OF VALUE.

IT'S JUST A VERY COMPELLING ON SO MANY LEVELS FILM AND A VERY PROVOCATIVE AND THOUGHTFUL FILM.

IT TOOK A LOT OF YEARS, YOU CAN TELL YOU PUT A LOT OF EFFORT INTO IT, BUT IT'S GREAT WORK BY BOTH OF YOU.

IT BEATS THE TALK SHOW.

WE WANT YOU BACK AGAIN.

WE ARE GOING TO START A MOVEMENT.

SUCH A PLEASURE TALKING WITH YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THANK YOU.

GREAT WORK.

AND A REMINDER FOR YOU FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE DOCUMENTARY 'WE THE PEOPLE' VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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