July 1997


If you can't make the trip, three new documentaries bring a little Amsterdam into your living room. Though they cover a fair amount of the same soil so to speak. Parallax Productions' Grow Dutch focuses on the instructive nuts-and-bolts of Holland's advanced cultivation techniques. Green Mountain Post Films' Cannabis Rising explores the politics and sociology surrounding the country's unique brand of tolerance and Weed documents the 8th Annual Cannabis Cup.

Not entirely unlike the videos kids receive from prospective summer camps, each effort comes across to some extent as an enticing promotional tour from some imaginary marijuana tourist bureau. "Ideas that we had in the 6'0s and '70s have been really integrated into this society, " remarks Ed Rosenthal in Cannabis Rising. Illustrating that he has his hands in a lot more than just pots of maturing marijuana plants. HIGH TIMES guru of ganja co-wrote Grow Dutch and serves as both star and associate producer of Cannabis Rising.

The latter production introduces Rose, a toothsome young Amsterdammer with an impressive mane of blond hair and insouciant curiosity for the hash and grass Coffeeshops that have existed in her backyard since the late '70s. Aided by her perspective and smile Cannabis Rising gives viewers a greater glimpse of Amsterdam as a community, while addressing the future of "the Dutch experiment" and industrial hemp cultivation including coverage of a large hemp field subsidized by the European Economic Union.

"The United States used to produce the best marijuana," says Rosenthal. " but with all the repression most growers cannot exchange information, cannot get access to newer varieties and different seeds and the technology leadership has transferred to Holland."

This is why individuals featured in the documentary like Richard Lee travel to Amsterdam looking to purchase seeds for buyers' clubs back in the States. Wheelchair bound due to a spinal cord injury Lee smokes marijuana to keep his legs from twitching in spasms and strives to assist others turning to cannabis for relief from various ailments.

Cannabis Rising
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