Sponsored Project

The Emerald Triangle

Mark Kitchell
Mark Kitchell, Jody Weiner, Louise Rosen
Marijuana leaf in front of an emerald triangle with sketched pine trees surrounding.

The Emerald Triangle is the first social history of the world’s favorite illegal drug, how it became legal, and its impact on our culture. Focusing on the legendary heartland of cannabis, Humboldt, Trinity and Mendocino counties in northern California, the film follows:
• the rise of the original underground growers
• government attacks on their outlaw nation
• how they survived everything … except legalization.
“We won. But we lost, because they legalized it,” says Al “Owl” Ceraulo, an OG interviewed for the film.

Cannabis was a crossroads where conflicting values met. For the ‘60s generation, seeing through myths about the “devil’s weed” led to questioning authority. Parents worried about their spaced-out kids. Paul McCartney claimed he was “thinking for the first time, really thinking!” President Reagan, certain that marijuana damaged the brain, poured money into research that proved the opposite. Drug prohibition became the New Jim Crow that locked up a generation of black men. From AIDS to epilepsy, patients rallied around cannabis as medicine. It opened minds and led to the greening of America.

The Emerald Triangle will be a documentary feature film in five acts:
• Act 1, Brave New Weed takes us from the roots of prohibition through the Sixties explosion, hippies heading back to the land to create a new society and becoming an outlaw nation.
• Act 2, The Flowering of Marijuana explores how homegrown was transformed into the best herb in the world, and the Emerald Triangle emerged as the heartland of cannabis.
• Act 3, Reversal of Fortune introduces us to the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, a military invasion that pitted guerrilla growers against the armed state, drove growers indoors, and led to a powerful new plant: clones.
• Act 4, Medical Marijuana covers the change from prohibited plant to authorized medicine, from the first laws and a semi-legal world of promise and peril, to the rise of science and industry.
• Act 5, Breakthrough investigates current complexities of cannabis: prisoners of the drug wars, demands for social equity, the legalization process, and crisis in the Emerald Triangle. Now everyone is just trying to survive the shakeout.

The film follows six principal characters across the arc of cannabis, interwoven with additional interviewees, a wealth of archival material, animation, music and more.
Watch the trailer (link: https://vimeo.com/640845580 p/w: emerald) and contact us to see more.

A new film-in-the-works from the Academy Award-nominated maker of Berkeley in the Sixties and A Fierce Green Fire, Mark Kitchell, along with producers Jody Weiner and Louise Rosen.
Contact: markakitchell@gmail.com (415) 515-0785 and jodycweiner@gmail.com

It’s a remarkable story really, the fact that people have rallied around a plant and literally overthrown a paradigm, a social structure, a legal system. And the plant has led the way.
Martin Lee, author of Smoke Signals, founder of Project CBD and advisor to the project