Interested in drugs? No, like, seriously interested in drugs, as a social and cultural phenomenon and, possibly, a path to higher (no pun intended) consciousness? (Not that kicks and satori are mutually exclusive, as any good beatnik will tell you.)
If so, girls and boys, the good folks at the estimable artso-hipso Harold's Coffee Lounge in West Palm's über-groovy Northwood Arts District have got a deal for you, on four nights this merry month of May, as those wild and crazy caffeinistas unveil four free flicks on the topic of psychoactives and psychedelics.
The latest chapters in Harold's ongoing "Documental" series, tonight's film concerns the business of weed; the three to follow concern the Inner Path. It's a regular Tuesday-night thing, with audience members encouraged to hang out afterward and discuss the films "with a warm rich cup of Harold's coffee to help you wake up, while you wake up."
Tonight's flick is 2007's The Union: The Business Behind Getting High, an award-winning Canadian exploration of the explosive growth of British Columbia's underground marijuana trade ("the Union") and how, as Harold's puts it:
the trade has become an international issue. [The film] demystifies the underground market and brings to light how an industry can function while remaining illegal. Through growers, police officers, criminologists, economists, doctors, politicians and pop culture icons, [it] examines the cause and effect nature of the business - an industry that may be profiting more by being illegal
The other three nights are on the spiritual and/or scientific tip, documentaries on (1) the life and work of scientist Alexander Shulgin, inventor of hundreds of psychoactives, (2) the hyperpotent psychedelic dimethyltryptamine (DMT), the "Spirit Molecule," and (3) the history and medicinal potential of LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and ayahuasca.
That last film brings us back to the social, cultural, and political dimensions of drug use, looking into, according to the film's description: "Why our society has created such a social and political bias against even allowing research to continue the exploration of any possible positive effects [psychedelics] can present in treating some of today's most challenging afflictions."
Serious matters; fun trip.
The Union: The Business Behind Getting High, 8 tonight, Tuesday, May 6, at Harold's Coffee Lounge, 509 Northwood Road, West Palm Beach, "Documental" film series details here.
Fire Ant -- an invasive species, tinged bright red, with an annoying, sometimes-fatal sting -- covers South Florida news and culture. Got feedback or a tip? Contact Fire.Ant@BrowardPalmBeach.com.