“The Life She Deserves,” a new documentary short film from Brookings, is an intimate portrait of Jennifer Collins and her family’s struggle to find a treatment to control her debilitating epilepsy. Because her legal pharmaceutical treatments cause severe side effects, Jennifer and her mother moved across the country to Colorado to access medical marijuana. The therapy provides Jennifer and her family with the relief they once feared was unobtainable, but they are now faced with the stigma and legal uncertainty that surround the use of medical cannabis.
The Collins family’s struggle to treat Jennifer’s illness sheds light on the dysfunctional relationship between federal and state laws that results in confusion and unimaginable obstacles and uncertainty for patients and families who need help.
On April 18, Variety and the Brookings Institution hosted a screening of “The Life She Deserves,” followed by a discussion on the role of film to affect policy and the current picture of state-level marijuana legalization and federal restrictions on the use of and clinical research into medical marijuana.
Epilepsy and Medical Marijuana Patient
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