On 420, a global holiday celebrated by cannabis consumers and supporters, Barbadian filmmakers, Hermina Elcock, Mikul Elcock and Jamal Weekes released the first of a three-part short docuseries titled, CannabisCulture on Facebook. Little did the filmmakers know that their project would incite much conversation around their modestly-populated island of 250,000 then island jump in the region.
While marijuana is big business and cool vibes in other places, unbeknownst to most outsiders, public conversations and the use of cannabis are quite taboo in most parts of the Caribbean. Although cannabis global popularity points back to its literal and cultural sprouting in the Caribbean, the region’s lawmakers have been rigid and reluctant to decriminalize the use of an herbal plant. Ironically, cannabis grows in abundance in the area’s tropical climate without million dollar strains or complicated horticulture.
Now, the newly released documentary, CannabisCulture explores cannabis’ complicated history, its multiple uses and the gradual ban implemented in the Caribbean. One of the few extensive documentaries made by Caribbean people on cannabis, the Elcocks and their creative partner, Weekes, push the agenda to openly engage in discussion so that the region is not left behind in global conversations and markets around cannabis. If legislation promotes its use and growth, the Caribbean are in position to command an economic stronghold in a multi-billion dollar industry by simply being able to produce high quality plants that even the most sophisticated labs could not grow.
On one hand, lifting prohibition laws would finally provide some type of justice for the Rastafarian community—a formidable group of people throughout the Caribbean who have been fighting to legalize cannabis since the 1960s, as a way to protect their usage of it as a sacrament.
In an interview with Ark Republic, the trio talks about their project and the current laws and ideas around cannabis. The second part of their series releases on Facebook on Wednesday, April 24 with the number three streaming on Saturday, April 27.
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