Dra. Weed
Uruguay -
November 21, 2022

Dr. Weed’s kitchen

Why demonize the cannabis plant when we can use it to make textiles, paper, fertilizers, and food? The problem with reducing it to its recreational -or even medicinal- use is that this prevents us from knowing all its facets. Something that is aggravated when censorship, especially in social networks, is still very intense.

In the fourth episode of Jardines y Laberintos, we talked to Ana Bucci, better known as Dr. Weed, a patient and expert in the home cultivation of cannabis for self-consumption. Bucci is also a cook and has made the plant one of her favorite ingredients. Her growing fame is due to her intense activity on social networks, where she shares her cultivation diaries and teaches how to make extractions and use cannabis in the kitchen.

Bucci likes to say, “the therapy is the crop, and the flower is the medicine.” This Uruguayan woman based in Madrid rejects seeing the same plant as if it were something separate depending on its uses. For her, “we can’t target people for growing, there is already too much information out there [on the health benefits of cannabis], and we patients are the living scientific evidence.”

Bucci believes cannabis legalization will not drastically change the population’s consumption habits. “People will continue consuming the same, whether prohibited or not. That’s the part that perhaps many people don’t understand. By regulating the plant, people are not going to consume more, and they are just going to have other means of where to get it.”

A statement that is partially consistent with recent studies on the impact of marijuana legalization in 19 U.S. states. In 2019, The New York Times reported that “use among teens has declined sharply since medical marijuana sales spiked in 2009 and has held steady since full legalization.” The publication further notes that “minor marijuana-related crimes have declined considerably.”

However, it should be noted that, according to the same report, in the state of Colorado, “since recreational marijuana sales began in 2014, more people have ended up in emergency rooms due to problems linked to use; hospitals report higher rates of marijuana-related mental health cases.”

Dr. Weed’s efforts add to a growing wave of activism advocating an end to the so-called “war on drugs” and offering alternatives such as harm reduction policies. Her task is not simple, and Bucci is an exemplary case. Although she has had very successful profiles on social networks, in 2019, Instagram closed her account, in which she accumulated 70 thousand followers and 8 thousand publications. A couple of weeks ago, it happened to her again, and although she managed to recover her profile, the threat of censorship is always present.

‘Jardínes y Laberintos: Conversaciones Sobre Drogas, Políticas y Violencias’ is a program of interviews with activists, growers, artists, researchers, and writers to talk about concrete cases and experiences around substances. It is hosted by Marcela Vallejo, a Colombian anthropologist and part of the Vist team, and you will find it posted every Thursday on our YouTube channel.