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Serving 80 Years for Something 80 Percent of Americans Think Shouldn't Be Criminal

We want to tell a compelling story that would shed light on a criminal justice system that is betting its success on the lives of citizens.

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When I first met Chris Williams, a medial marijuana grower in Montana, I was intrigued by his openness and candor. Chris was the young, charismatic co-owner of Montana Cannabis, a medical marijuana growhouse serving hundreds of state-legal patients across Montana. When I first interviewed him in August, 2010 for a documentary film I directed about the impact of Montana’s changing medical marijuana laws, I didn’t know where his story would lead. But as I continued to follow Chris as he offered tours of his growhouse to state law enforcement and community leaders, I had a feeling his story would be important. His efforts to create a model for a responsible, transparent medical marijuana business struck me as uncommon and inspiring in a business clouded by fear, misinformation and suspicion.

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Philly Saves Millions of Dollars by Going Easy on Potheads Philadelphia Saves Millions by Decriminalizing Marijuana

Many of us know that criminalizing pot smokers is a waste of money. Now Philadelphia has the numbers to prove it.

Guess all those Town Hall twitterers asking Obama about legalizing marijuana were onto something. About a year ago, Philadelphia pretty much decriminalized possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana by giving offenders the option to enroll in a three-hour class that would expunge the offense from their records. The incident goes down as a summary offense, rather than a misdemeanor. Now, District Attorney Seth Williams estimates the city has saved $2 million over the past year.

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