How it’s like to be a pothead in Brazil

Hi! I’m a Brazilian pothead and I would like to tell you a little more about my experience with the plant in this country.

First of all, this is the marijuana we have access to, we call it Prensado. Basically, drug lords from neighboring countries squeeze plants that have been carelessly grown in a hydraulic press, forming a large block of marijuana, which is cut into several pieces for transport. Over time, which can vary from 1 week to more than 1 month to reach the final consumer, the block will rot, taking on a brown appearance. When we, potheads, manage to get a green block it is a victory to be celebrated.

To reduce the damage of smoking something full of ammonia and dirt, I wash the Prensado in hot water, making the plant loosen and moisturize a little more. After cleaning it, I let it dry on absorbent paper for 3 or 4 days, and then we can store it in an airtight jar. However the vast majority cannot do this process, so they leave the marijuana wrapped in plastic, rotting further.

We have no way of knowing what we are smoking, most of the population has never seen real marijuana and thinks it is that rotten block that goes on television while the police apprehend the drug dealers or the presenter celebrates that they were brutally murdered.

To have access to the plant, we need to go to the slums (Favelas). My luck is that the one I buy is not so far from the bus stop, it’s only about 5 minutes into the favela, but every “store” is the same thing. A dark alley, tables full of drugs of all kinds, with 5 to 20 men armed with rifles, weapons of war, with radios communicating around the entire favela, people drugged around and you never know when the police or other criminals will try to invade. It is a huge risk of life, we know that when we buy we can die. There are reports of people who caused a fuss and got burnt alive in tires.

In addition, social inequality is huge. A dollar is about R$5,40. Our minimum wage is R$ 1080 (U$200), but basic, mandatory accounts easily exceed R$ 600 (U$110), not counting market purchases or house rentals. The money left over is little for those with little qualification. However, next to the favela there are luxury condominiums, people with lots of money. This inequality causes absurd violence, poor people decide to join the easy life that drug dealing offers, after all, if you work honestly and profit R$ 1080 and work in crime earning at least R$ 2000 (U$1200), dedicating hours to crime seems more logical.

The people in general do not have much sense of reality around themselves, they just live to work and survive because there is no money to really live. This causes a rupture in the culture where they think that the poor who are struggling with inequality must die while they vote and fight for corrupt politicians like Bolsonaro, who defends the idea of ​​exterminating the fragile population.

Marijuana is not expensive, but money is rare. What hurts the most is the way that society sees us. Those who plant at home can be arrested or killed, those caught with marijuana on the street can be arrested or killed. In prison he is put in the same cell as murderers, rapists. In a cell for 5 people, they put 30. That is, you can be imprisoned for years together with the most dangerous criminals just for smoking bad quality marijuana.

Still, the culture of marijuana here grows a lot. I really hope that the country will legalize in a few decades, but I wanted to get out of here as soon as possible. I’m trying to save money to move abroad, I don’t see a future here, and I decided to start selling products with marijuana arts on redbubble, you can see more of my work here. There are products for less than two dollars, I would be happy if someone was interested since I’m having lots of financial problems. I also have my own Instagram page where I will always post news for anyone who wants to follow.

Thanks to everyone who read this far!

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