Abby Epstein & Ricki Lake

We’re Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein and together we produce award winning documentaries on a variety of important subjects – all of which we both care deeply about.

Some of you may know me from my talk show or from John Water’s “Hairspray” whilst Abby is known as an award winning film-maker who’s credits include “Until the Violence Stops”. You might know us both from our first documentary The Business of Being Born.

We’re currently working on films including Weed the People which explores the use of cannabis on children with cancer, as well as a film about hormonal birth control, called Sweetening the Pill.

We’re proud to call each other friends as well as producing partners. We made The Business of Being Born together, we made the follow up series together, and we also wrote a book together, called Your Best Birth. Together we make films which we feel passionately about and we hope they open up people’s minds about various social issues.

More on Weed the People:

In July 2013 new parents Tracy and Josh Ryan received the devastating news that their 7-month-old baby Sophie had an inoperable brain tumor. The doctors prescribed chemotherapy as the only course of treatment, but could not guarantee it would work. Tracy Ryan felt intuitively that western medicine alone would not be enough to save her daughter. After intensive research, the Ryans began Sophie on a regimen of medicinal cannabis oils, hoping for a miracle.

The most fascinating area of cannabis research revolves around an element of the marijuana plant called Cannabidiol, (CBD) a powerful antioxidant that does not produce the psychotropic effects of THC. CBD shows a unique ability to kill cancer cells in early laboratory tests. In 2003, the United States government filed a patent on CBD as an antioxidant and neuroprotectant useful in the treatment of disease. Yet this same government continues to classify marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug with “no currently accepted medical use,” preventing doctors from studying it. The government’s hypocritical position on CBD leaves patients like Sophie in unchartered waters, as they experimentally use an unregulated medicine that may be saving their lives.


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