Spike Jonze’s Artful Short Film for MedMen Spotlights the ‘Unjust Criminalization’ of Cannabis

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MedMen chronicles the history of cannabis—from George Washington’s hemp farm to stop-and-frisk to today’s growing marijuana market—in a new two-minute short film directed by Spike Jonze.

The company is aiming to “change the dialogue” and spur the “normalization for cannabis” with the film, which it views as a “statement” rather than an advertisement, explained MedMen CMO David Dancer.

“We had a desire to create a commercial with a profound message,” said Dancer. “Our core value is around ensuring that people can lead safe, happy, healthy lives with cannabis being a part of it. … Here we wanted to not only destigmatize and normalize but really, as you’ll see in the spot, highlight what has been unjust about the treatment of cannabis whether it is stop-and-frisk and unjust criminalization, whether it is this propaganda in Referer Madness, quite frankly leading to the Schedule One classification of cannabis as a federally illegal substance sitting next to heroin.”

Jesse Williams, who co-wrote the film with Jonze, stars in the spot, which the company’s in-house creative team produced in conjunction with Mekanism. Dancer said it’s been in the works for roughly four months, adding that the company worked to make sure everyone involved with the spot had a tie to cannabis.

“The highly selective criminalization of one plant, with flagrantly harsher punishments for one community, must be acknowledged and left behind for

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