Cannabis States of America (Florida)

welcome to the cannabis States of America bringing you news and commentary about marijuana law reform straight from the heart of dixie welcome to episode 94 week of August 30th in year 2010 and it’s a lot of different shortage might be able to tell my the intro that’s right i usually have my lovely buyer with me Lori she’s not here she’s on vacation and cozumel this week so we’ll just be the two of us as you if you’re a longtime listener as you know we usually take a tour around the southern United States and pick up those news stories that are of interest to us in the last week this week it’ll be a little bit different because I I can do what I want she’s not the boss of me so what I decided to do was I just have two topics I want to speak about one is oddly enough Mexico the second is tips for discussing marijuana and right in the middle that we’re fortunate enough to have an interview with Casey Cassidy that I conducted this week he is the producer from the movie The Green Rush I’m sure you remember me discussing it last week some but we go into greater detail about all the movie had a number of things so you definitely not going to want to miss that if you want to get in touch us here at Kappa States of America you can use our email address which is csa cast @ gmail.com or you can go to our website csa casscom and leave a note for us on the comments section last week I spoke about a great little independent film about marijuana growers called the Green Rush I recommended that you watch it in anticipation of our interview this week off Casey Cassidy he’s the producer of that movie if you have not yet seen the Green Rush you will enjoy this interview don’t worry about it however I promise you this if you press pause right now and go to ww green rush movie com to check it out we will be here when you get back your choice myself I’d take the time Casey Cassidy the producer of the Green Rush thank you for taking time to be with us today oh thanks thanks for having me now I last week I spoke a great deal about movie and recommended everybody watch it but in case I did can you give us a brief synopsis of what it’s about yes we started this project back in 06 to show that people do live in the mountains in grow pot out here and they are not necessarily protected so what we did is through a series of auditions and casting up in northern cal fornia we found three separate farms that were willing to let us follow them through the course of an outdoor grow season which starts roughly april may and then harvest the course around Halloween and we found these three farms one of which was a couple of fellas like me in their early 30s that just bought 200 acres of their own property and we’re going to live in a trailer and live off a generator we found a family wife husband and two sons who all have been growing up therefore since Vietnam basically since mr. yellow got back from Vietnam mr. yellow and mrs. Pig right yeah yes yes and their two sons one of which didn’t want to be on camera but their youngest son who was just 16 gave us a couple of interviews throughout that grow season and that our final guy is a bachelor mr. blue also Vietnam vet who hires migrant farm workers to do is tending of his crops we had three very separate ways of going about it and that’s what we thought was the most compelling part how did you you say auditions and casting one of my questions I want to ask was how’d you convince these people to let you kind of into their private world but it sounds like you had more people want to do it then you were going to take everybody up there grows I’ve said this in a couple of blogs this week too there’s a lot of stuff that is not in the film of you know 70 year old grandmother’s that we interviewed who’s 12 and 13 year old sons come over after school and do chores in the basement on her 12 plants you know I remember having to are we my grandparents garden as a kid but it was only beans they were only growing beans so uh it really is a cultural mindset it looks like it’s the pulse in the heart of many of those northern california counties the Emerald triangle up there

which is Sonoma hum both in Mendocino counties if you take a drive off off the beaten path at all you’ll see the fluorescent green poking out everybody’s garage up there it’s funny you say that because I’m colorblind so look at these pictures of marijuana and I’m just like how do these pilots spotted from the air is it really that that the parent when you’re flying over the difference between you know normal vegetation of marijuana well yeah you know used to grow naturally in this part of the world and it’s it’s cool harvest when you go out there and see that the marijuana it’s our kind of turning purple and yellow just like that’s correct exactly like the grapes in Northern California but yeah it’s easy to spot from the air i mean it’s it’s very different looking than any other plane and the leaves kind of have a more I effect to like you see on television sometimes when somebody wears a plaid shirt right so yeah it’s easy to spot from the air or from the car I don’t understand exactly what a movie producer does I mean that sounds really cool but it what inspired you to make this move your how did you get into this particular topic good question i’m a director of photography by trade camera guy if you will and i was working on a documentary with the director jason s edwards where we were following bikers all over the country in 2005 the blood sweat and gears tour and while in sturgis they really liked the lifestyle we were showing of the bike community and a couple of people who had contacts in northern california contacted the director about coming up there and and meeting a couple of growers and jason who brought the footage back to me and me and my producing partner Jeff bunch decided to cut a trailer to see if we couldn’t find funding for the documentary select you’re saying you’re saying the community is the one that instigated this citizen of that community our executive executive producer Jake Allen is who made the initial contacts for us so I to answer your question what a producer does at this point is I used my small production company and we funded you know our hotels and rental cars to go up there every month for eight months for those folks that haven’t watched and I just want to say again the quality of the filmmaking both in terms of the way the story’s laid out the way it’s edited the visual quality the audio quality is I mean this is not a homemade film I don’t want people to think this is a bunch of guys running around with camcorders it really does rival anything you would see on PBS or Discovery Channel or TLC or any of that it’s it’s am i overly impressed with it maybe about the subject matter but it is quality filmmaking thank you very much you know I’ve been a pro shooter for ten years and we take this stuff very seriously quality is the top priority in anything that we try to do said you went up there every month were you ever nervous for your own safety either from the the police or from these thieves I guess I was kind of surprised to learn that aspect of it as well the people who were preying on the growers yeah we we stayed up and slept in tents more than once toward the end of september-october just to see you know what it was like in the fields with them and yeah every time you hear a stick break or some owl or anything up there in the woods it’s a quiet place and you know when you’re talking about a hundred thousand dollars with a marijuana on the line you don’t know who’s going to show up now were you scared of the thieves or was it like a Blair Witch Project bob-dad corner well I think our biggest fear came in where we had to regain our growers trust every time we came back up because the the risk was increasing for them every month as the crop matures so every time we came up they wanted to know to make sure that we weren’t cops or anything like not they didn’t trust us but we often had to sit down when we first got there and have dinner or you know bro out with him more or less to make sure yeah I get that completely and it’s what we watching this movie I kept looking for the bad guy you know where’s where’s the criminal if you didn’t know marijuana was illegal everyone you selected was we’re just good down-to-earth folks you know that their biggest issue was the fact that the substance the plant is illegal but they were hard-working putting a lot of their heart and soul into what they were doing mr. blue says it best in a couple of deleted scenes I released this month on YouTube that you don’t just throw it seeing the ground score some water on it happens you have to know how to make this plant produce and it’s a daily you don’t get a break from it you don’t you know get to leave town during your during your groceries right it’s like having kids you know you got to watch them all the time you want him to grow up with healthy and strong I guess right what for these folks was growing their full-time

effort there full-time jobs are or were they working regular gigs and then doing this on weekends and evenings they do have some side jobs but I can tell you one of our growers runs a water company up there and so he brings water to people that don’t have wells and most of his customers are also marijuana growers so there’s a way for him to subsidize his company’s money and still produce marijuana well you know what’s proposition 19 being the ball to talk now in California there to legalize marijuana I’m surprised at some of the opponents of this proposition some of the dispensary owners what was the the overall take and maybe this was too far back but what was your sense of what their take would be on legalizing marijuana it has the potential of destroying their lifestyle right fortunately I think that they are for it just to take the pressure off because like I was just saying about how difficult that there’s not just everybody could start this up by the way and they’re talking decades of experience into what they do they even have their own strains per individual which is where most of their customers come to them for you know the Salmon Creek black purple urkel or the certain strains that they’ve kind of invented themselves yeah big tobacco gets in it and it’s going to wipe out these smaller farms but I don’t think legalization is going to hurt those that are established as much as it would you know small-timers doing six or eight plants in the in their closet right well when you look at mr. y LOL i believe it was the care he took to use only organics and was very concerned about the the soil and what the plants were getting very environmentally conscious yes you can buy your drugs let’s say from walmart who knows how they’re treated or processed as opposed to maybe pain a little bit extra but getting a good quality organic product I think there is definitely a market for that in the marijuana you know the culture community yeah actually all three of our growers are organic growers and that may not come across that well in the film because they give it different names you know when mr. red refers to food that’s his mixture of bat guano and other natural substances that they put in the plant but all three farmers are one hundred percent organic there’s no chemicals used in the Green Rush yeah I absolutely think their life would become easier if they didn’t have to deal with things like security or obtaining you know water under the radar and things like that it would certainly make their life easier I’m glad to hear their for legalization yeah we were in a film festival out east a little ways from you guys we’re in Raleigh North Carolina last November in the ava gardner film festival and i was able to actually sit down and talk to some tobacco farmers out there about how legalization would affect you know their mind set on marijuana and they were all concerned well how do you keep people out of it well I don’t know I mean how do you keep people out of your 108 years ago I you know people are going to pull over and pick an orange or a peach if if it’s on a desolate Road anywhere so I don’t think they’re going to come in and clean you out yeah I think most people I think most people are good most people are law-abiding and that’s what’s funny about the marijuana community is they want to be law-abiding citizens they’re the only group in America that saying legalizes tax the heck out of us make us get licenses I mean they’re clamoring for more restrictions or more requirements just to get that stress of incarceration out of the way no one else is saying hey can you please tax us more yeah it’s a step in the right direction proposition 19 to me is a bigger states rights issue than it is a drug issue and our state out here in California I mean we had a thousand dispensaries at one time here in Los Angeles and there’s got to be a way for both the state and federal governments to make a little money off of that well we you know us folks here in the deep south we are certainly hoping that it gets passed in California because if it doesn’t you know then the attitude becomes well even California didn’t want to legalize it you know Florida is never going to get off the dime so all change comes from the west we see that with a multitude of issues so your film certainly does a good job of educating the population generally about look here’s what’s from on the ground and these people shouldn’t have to live in fear I mean they were living in fear and they I don’t want to give too much away about the film but some of the they were victims of some pretty atrocious things I thought pretty sad I told my wife she was going to cry which you watched it and she did so my hats off to you as a filmmaker that way we’re very fortunate to get a great ending on the film and thanks for not giving it away but it is worth 55-minute watch if you’re into movies that make you cry this will do it yeah and you know we talked a little bit I thought the film set it up very good that it was neutral in that it was kind of like we’re going to show you what’s going on

and you make whatever decisions whatever moral judgments you’re going to make but for you or for the the filmmakers are y’all generally pro-marijuana or pro-legalization or pro medical marijuana what’s the general feeling there I can answer for myself personally yes I’m very pro-marijuana it was very important to the director and Jeff and myself to to maintain that unbiased stance on this you know I have a journalist background have a news degree from the edward r murrow school at Washington State and I should be protected just as much as dan Rather while walking around in a pot filled up there you know I took more we pulled off a good unbiased report and that meant we had to drop a lot of our patient interviews and stuff out of it because we didn’t really want it to be skewed wanted to just focus on the growers themselves so there’s a lot of footage with other lawyers and patients and things like that that we took out of the film just to maintain that simple focus you know this was such a good film is there a way for people to get a physical copy of it I mean I could see it going great at a normal meeting or it’s just getting some friends together at your house and saying look you know let’s watch this let me enlighten you a little bit about the reality of it can we get it a physical DVD yes I just had a meeting in Seattle last week with our distributor indie flicks that’s I ndie FL IX indie flicks com we’re on there you can stream it or buy the DVD i believe it’s 995 it we’ll be coming to most major cable video on demand September first oh that is that’s great news there but 995 I’ve paid that much to see some horrendous crap at the movie theater you know so this is a bargain definitely we’re going to get a copy and that’s indie flicks calm we’ll go ahead and put a link on our website in case folks want to get on over there but i would highly recommend just having this on the shelf for who knows i’d like to watch this with my you know with my parents you get their take on it it’s it’s a great way to start the conversation I think I’ve shown many rough cuts to my family over the years and they didn’t all go that well you know my grandma walked out of the room and there’s a little harsh language in it but it’s a pg-13 film so yeah I think it’s viewable by anybody that’s interested in the topic we are we’re fighting against you know 75 years of well really more not of propaganda though so I think some of the some of the generations are kind of lost to us and are just not open to hearing it but starting the conversation is the important part and this is a great tool to do that oh I one last thing I’m sure on tribution to it will be on verizon fios on sep tember 11th and that’ll be available on verizon fios for about a year I believe nice well that that’s a great segue look at me using film terms there that’s a great segue into my my final question for you please tell me you have another project in this vein going on do you have something else going on um there is a part of me that really just wants to camp out in Sacramento for the whole month october like i said i just got back the Pacific Northwest also Oregon didn’t get an initiative in this year because of lack of petition signatures but Washington State has a huge opportunity along the lines of proposition 19 in Washington it’s I 1068 this year and that’s going to change Washington State and Seattle upside down to what I found the most interesting group of people who would be willing to wear bandanas and do what we refer to as the seed cool yeah great but yeah would be the distrib in the Portland area because they receive harvests from both British Columbia and Northern California and they’re kind of the hub for distribution along with having the best patients rights laws in the country I think registered patient Oregon gets 18 plants and there’s something going on in Oregon which is why I think maybe they’re sitting it out to see how California and Washington do and then you know revise their tax cannabis law for 2011 yeah that was the octa was that with the lobby octa law up an organ and they didn’t get their signatures and x or enough signatures that would happen to her yeah they were about 40,000 short just because I think it came up a little late in the year but there’s definitely something in Oregon worth shooting as well i would i would like to adventure a little further north and show now oregon and washington state who were always right behind california and all these marijuana laws well Casey we really do not only do I appreciate the film from the perspective of you know being entertained but I so appreciate people putting their talents towards getting this issue out in a way they can be consumed by the mainstream I don’t think you have to be a hardcore advocate or

activist to watch this and quit very quickly get engaged in it like I said on a podcast last week if you watch the first 90 seconds you’re locked in for the whole movie I mean it was it really is that compelling of a story and that interesting of a lifestyle that you’ve shown so I want to thank you for that personally and I will be getting a copy of this because I want to show some friends and family and see what their take is on it excellent it’s so good to hear you know we just started this viral campaign and outreach because we think it’s important to get this film out to people before november so that like you said they can make up their own minds about it but they’ll have all the facts well we put a link already ought to i believe it as WWE green rush movie com what we have a link on our website already for that but i’ll go ahead and throw on this indie flicks one as well because the more copies we get out there the more people are talking about it the better off we will be and unfortunately in the south we really do rely on a lot of the west coast to drive this conversation so thank you and I do appreciate your time thank you Tony take it easy man