An older man named Larry walks to the front door of his apartment, where he meets a fellow Parkinson’s patient and invites him inside. He struggles to walk back to the couch, his hands trembling because of his severe condition.
His friend asks, “How you feeling?”
He struggles to speak, and finally replies, “It’s been a tough week.” But just a few moments after Tom takes his medication, his hands begin to steady. His legs stop shaking and he regains control of his motor functions. He speaks clearly and calmly. His magic tool? A very small dose of medical marijuana.
The documentary “Ride With Larry” is an in-depth look at the journey of a man with Parkinson’s disease. He has tried every medication, every surgery, and every remedy, but was never able to find relief for his symptoms until he discovered medical marijuana. Unfortunately, Larry’s condition affects over 1 million Americans – yet, these patients can only use his remedy if they happen to live in one of the 28 U.S. states that have legalized medicinal marijuana.
In November 2016, the Arkansas electorate voted on two ballot measures to legalize the product, one of which was thrown out before all the ballots had been cast. The politics of weed and the industries, both legal and illegal, that it affects have made the fight for its medical use difficult.
With the introduction of the “War on Drugs” by Presidents Nixon and Reagan, marijuana suddenly became a scapegoat for politicians to use for fear-mongering – and the public took hold of the fallacious trepidation that the substance would become a “gateway” into other, more harmful drug use.
The rhetoric used by politicians to talk about marijuana led to deprecatory policy on its use, which is probably why it’s still illegal in a vast number of states, even though the scientific evidence suggests that it has healing properties for a plethora of mental and physical ails.
Arkansas voted to legalize its medicinal use. Yet, a Senate committee in the Arkansas Legislature filed SB238, a bill that will further delay the newly legalized medicine’s accessibility unless the United States Federal Government decriminalizes it – which could takes years, if it is to happen at all.