New film reveals dark side to Canada’s cannabis research history

For three months, 20 women were held in isolation in a downtown Toronto hospital in 1972. Ten of them had to smoke weed the whole time

The Marijuana Conspiracy screens at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on January 18 and 19, 2020. Photo: Pot Luck Films

n 1972, 20 women were placed in two groups in isolation in a downtown hospital. Ten of the participants were instructed to smoke cannabis every night over the course of 98 days, with increasing THC potency over time. The other 10 study participants remained sober. All were given tasks to focus on during the day — like making braided macrame belts and wall hangings —while researchers observed their behaviour. The goal of the Ontario government-funded study, dubbed Project Venus, was to find out if cannabis affected productivity.

The findings of the study were never revealed, but the story lives on in The Marijuana Conspiracy, a Canadian indie film screening on January 18 and 19 (at 4:20 p.m. PST) at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in California. Based on research about the experiment, of which there is little known, the characters in the film are a fictionalized composite of the women who took part in the study.

by By Elianna Lev The Growth Op

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