Rating: 2 out of 5.

The Marijuana Conspiracy, set in 1972, follows a group of young women who decide to participate in a 98-day human trial. The Addiction Research Foundation aims to understand the effects of marijuana on the female gender, and these women come from all different walks of life, anxious for a fresh start. Writer/director Craig Pryce does an admirable job of getting us into the headspace of the characters, but the experiment itself never gets interesting enough to warrant a lengthy runtime of just over two hours. Come True’s Julia Sarah Stone plays Mary, and is without doubt my favorite of the women we follow during the experiment. Sexy sideburns, period-accurate costuming, an engaging cast of mostly-female characters, and lots of stoners sitting around smoking weed abound—however, I expected a heavier 70s atmosphere.

There are several interesting topics this movie addresses in passing, including the concept that homosexuality is a curable mental disorder, and the possibility that marijuana itself could be causing anxiety and mental breakdowns. I don’t think the script is nuanced enough to approach the majority of what it presents through a sophisticated and topical lens. Though many of its messages feel vital, The Marijuana Conspiracy fumbles in its execution. Perhaps the most prescient moment is the ending itself, which promises a new future for both human trial group study and legalization of marijuana in Canada. The conclusion, while predictable, is a cute and topical way to close out the film on a high note. The Marijuana Conspiracy comes to digital and on demand April 20th, 2021, from Samuel Goldwyn Films.

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