HAYDEN - For Mike Lehosit, owner of Hayden Discount Cinema, the decision whether to screen the film "Kid Cannabis" at his theater was a tough one.
But Thursday, Lehosit told The Press that a conversation with Nate Norman was the tipping point.
"We spoke on the phone and he told me that people are going to watch the movie anyways and he would rather see the money made from it in the community," Lehosit said.
"Kid Cannabis" is about Norman's rise about 14 years ago, from Coeur d'Alene pizza delivery boy to leader of a multi-million-dollar marijuana smuggling ring. Norman's North Idaho drug trafficking operation was exposed to police in 2002 when a 20-year-old rival smuggler, Brendan Butler from Hayden Lake, was murdered. Norman was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Lehosit, who gave the unrated movie a "hard R" and called it the "marijuana version" of "Wolf of Wall Street," said he didn't want to make any money from screening the film.
"I'd feel guilty showing this movie and profiting from it," Lehosit said. "A kid got killed and another kid spent time in prison because of it."
So Lehosit got in touch with Idaho Drug Free Youth, a Coeur d'Alene organization focused on changing the behavior of teens so they refrain from using drugs and alcohol, and discussed the idea of donating all of the theater's earnings from showing the film.
"They got on board and will be providing us with fliers to distribute and hopefully a brief message we can show before the movie," Lehosit said.
Hayden Discount Cinemas will begin showing the movie tonight at 9:30. Lehosit said he only plans to screen the film "late at night," with additional weekend showings at 10:30 p.m. and midnight.
Ticket prices for "Kid Cannabis," at $6 per person, will be more expensive than the discount cinema's usual $3 movie price.
Lehosit said he will not be showing the film at his theater in Boise.
"I'm just hoping that we can raise some awareness that this stuff is happening in the community with our youths," Lehosit said. "This might be a Hollywood script but I think people might be a little naive about what's going on."