A grower’s life goes to pot.
It’s been a big week for weed. Last week, Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana, while Massachusetts voters approved medical cannabis. The passage of these ballot initiatives marks the latest in a string of victories for drug-policy reform on the state level.
However, despite major shifts in both public opinion and state law, the federal government continues to prosecute marijuana growers as felons. As the gap between federal and state drug laws widens, pot growers are increasingly vulnerable. In the case of a Montana grower named Chris Williams, that legal contradiction could put him in prison for the rest of his life.
Code of the West is a documentary about Williams, a single father and marijuana farmer whose facility conformed to Montana state law. After a federal raid shut down his operation, Williams now finds himself facing 80 years in prison.
Filmmaker and journalist Rebecca Richman Cohen just updated her Kickstarter backers with an Op-Doc video from the New York Times, detailing the story behind her film and introducing viewers to Williams. Since posting the video last week, her work has been retweeted by politicians, rockers, and a porn star — drawing some valuable attention to her Kickstarter project. There are still 22 days left to help fund Cohen’s work and spread the story of a Montana farmer and his ultimate fate.