TaglineHow New Zealand Got Rolled Up In The U.S. Drug War
Druglawed series 1 prologue and episode 1
Druglawed is a 2015 documentary film directed by Arik Reiss concerning cannabis in New Zealand, the ongoing struggle for cannabis law reform in that country and how the United States led War on Drugs has impacted small nations like New Zealand. The film had its 'underworld' premiere on January 24, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand and its 'grand world premiere' was on April 20, 2015 in Dunedin. The film features drug policy experts including Professor David Nutt and Ethan Nadelmann as well as New Zealand politicians John Key, Nándor Tánczos and Metiria Turei.
Druglawed series 1 ep7 forbidden medicine with special intro
The film looks at the history of how 184 countries signed up to fight Richard Nixon's War On Drugs. It shows how New Zealand adopted these drug policies and for decades has maintained some of the highest arrest rates for cannabis in the world. It examines how currently some US states have decided to abandon prohibition of marijuana, but New Zealand continues to enforce it. It relays the statistic that someone is arrested in New Zealand for cannabis every thirty minutes and the fact that no one has ever died from using it. Through interviews with cannabis users and growers, police officers, economists, doctors, politicians and scientists, it examines the cause and effect nature of the underground cannabis business. It also looks at how other jurisdictions have solved the problems created by the black market through legalisation.
Premieres and release
The DVD of Druglawed was sold in limited release from February 2015. It was sold for the first time at the 'underworld premiere' in Auckland. It was released world wide on VHX in April 2015 in conjunction with its first screening in Dunedin on 20 April 2015. The official New Zealand premiere took place on 24 May 2015 at Q Theatre in Auckland under the auspices of the Documentary Edge Festival, where the film received a nomination for Best New Zealand Feature Documentary.
Film festival selection
Druglawed won the award for Best Feature at the 2016 CannaBus Culture Film Festival (New York City), and was officially selected for the Documentary Edge Festival 2015 (New Zealand), the ReFrame Film Festival 2016 (Canada), the Maine Cannabis Film Festival 2016 and the Cannabis Film Festival 2016 (California). Druglawed was selected for a special screening at MardiGrass 2016, Australia's largest cannabis law reform rally which takes place annually in Nimbin, New South Wales.
Sequel in production
Production of Druglawed 2 began in March 2015 in New Zealand, after which filming continued in Israel, Australia, Argentina and Uruguay. Druglawed 2 stars Israeli chemist Professor Raphael Mechoulam and former President of Uruguay José Mujica. Druglawed 2 is a 5-part film being released episodically, Episode 1: Scientist and Episode 2: Specialist were released in the first half of 2017. Scientist premiered at MardiGrass 2017.
A small portion of the budget for Druglawed and Druglawed 2 was raised using the PledgeMe and Kickstarter crowdfunding platforms.