Medical marijuana documentary opens in Scottsdale

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. --  There's a lot of talk about a new documentary that premiered in Scottsdale Thursday night. The filmmaker claims marijuana kills cancer and the sold-out premier showed the controversial claim has earned its fair share of attention.

The filmmakers call it "Chronic Future - Killing Cancer." The documentary opens by recounting Arizona's history with medical marijuana, but then turns to testimonials -- dozens of patients with various illnesses who say pot successfully treated their diseases.

"I took some of this essential oil and I put on a few bandages and I put it on the other two areas of cancer that I had. Within four days, the cancers were cured," said Rick Simpson, who went on to create the product Hemp Oil.

Wayne Bowers credits medical marijuana with helping him get off prescription painkillers.

"I've had three back surgeries, nine orthopedic surgeries, and I've been in pain most of my life," Bowers said. "Getting off opium was a miracle, because I got my life back."

He went to the premiere in hope the movie changes the minds of doctors and people who doubt pot's ability to heal.

We spoke with Dr. Sam Benjamin, a family physician in Scottsdale, who cautions that while everyone wants a cure, more work must be done.

"Testimonials have validity. It's important to recognize them, but in the long run you still have to have what is called evidence-based medicine," Benjamin said. "You still have to compare the effectiveness of the product over a long period of time to understand its long-term side affects."

The filmmakers agree, saying that testing and federal approval could lead to diseases cured and lives saved.

"Don't think of us as hippies from the '70s," Bowers said. "There's just so many things that it can help."

You can catch "Chronic Future - Killing Cancer" at Harkins Shea 14 near Shea Boulevard and Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale through the month of April.