Kings of Cannabis

Kings of Cannabis

2013, Drugs  -   140 Comments
Ratings: 8.52/10 from 73 users.

Since 1985, Arjan's been producing some of the most well-known strains of marijuana out of Amsterdam. VICE joined up with him and his crew in Colombia to look for three rare marijuana strains.

They're headed to Cali to check out the biggest weed operation in Colombia. First stop, the massive grow operation of local legend El Gato, Arjan's key Colombian contact. He'd be their guide throughout the trip.

Colombia produces the most cocaine in the world. But it's also one of the most fertile places on earth to grow cannabis. And while the country allows for recreational amounts of marijuana, growing weed on an industrial scale remains highly illegal.

These days, Arjan's often found in Amsterdam. And when he's not there, he's strain-hunting, scouring the entire world looking for rare, untouched marijuana strains that are known as landraces. With authentic seeds in hand, he brings them back to the lab in Amsterdam to develop new varieties of marijuana. His companies bring in millions of dollars a year. Arjan's business partner and head breeder is Franco Loja, a paratrooper in the Italian military turned grower.

On this particular expedition, the guys have come to Colombia to hunt for three legendary landraces - Limon Verde, Punta Roja, and Colombian Gold. Colombia's landrace genetics have been on Arjan's wish list for years. But up until now, it's been far too dangerous to venture deep into the jungle.

The last 50 years have seen a brutal internal conflict between a slew of armed factions allied with different political ideologies. It's all kind of confusing, but when it comes down to it, it's a war over who controls the drug trade. Santa Marta is a city literally built on weed. In the '60s and '70s, tons and tons of Colombian Gold were exported north through the Caribbean to the US. Hundreds of peasant farmers became drug lords overnight.

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Mitchell Lesowski
5 years ago

"that was good"- maggie L.

9 years ago

that seed collection might turn out to be pretty smart!

10 years ago

Dangerous exposure of local farmers, dude! It's not like FARC ain't watching VICE on YouTube.

10 years ago

The very worse effect of pot is that it gives you the munchies. For some it's a positive effect.

Diego Souza
10 years ago

This video show me that a group of europeans are stealing genetic resources (weed strains) from Colombia. In any case the European Union is signatary of the Convention on Biologial Diversity and so is Colombia. If one day the European Union recognize weed plantation/use/comsumpition as a legal economic activity I think Colombia will be in his right to reclaim benefit sharing of the economic exploitation of this genetic resourse by european's companys. And this vídeo can be used to prove that! Specially in the case of companies of amsterdã that already recognize weed plantation as a legal economic activit ........Colombia should be aware and reclaim this sharing benefits.

10 years ago

booze vs weed.long term effects the deciding being bitten by a black mamba or a fat tail scorpion.Moderation is the key to living longer.

Adam Young
10 years ago

for 10 years 3 friends and i use to get wasted regularly. two of us had endurance and could polish off a quarter over a couple of days without any real ill effects except a heavy dose of apathy. the other two would smoke 2-3 cones and be having personality disorders ( for that first half hour, some of you will know what i mean ). i was one of the later but i later found eating it via some cooking to be a more enjoyable experience without the killing off of brain cells that some newbies will tell their smoking buddies " no that's just the drug working ".

Point being. i'm for legalizing it but some kind of grade system might be helpful to those who find it doesn't agree with them. you know you need a strain more mellow when you get wasted at a party and spend the first hour pacing the host backyard, all because your afraid your going to swap bodies with some stranger at the party, simply because they have the same first name as you.

10 years ago

Such precious seeds and then he drops some.

10 years ago

Is this supposed to be real?

10 years ago

Why haven't Monsanto done their voodoo on weed yet? Better yet why haven't the authorities just said they did and watch everyone panic? I for one would not want to smoke that 541t. I'd have to switch meth or crack.

10 years ago

Most weed today is produced by Donald Rumsfeld in order to prevent people from asking the right questions and instead spend their time making and watching documentaries about weed.

10 years ago

Legalize weed for those of age and start running a non-stop campaign on how devastating alcohol abuse is... In just a few years I think you'd start seeing a lot of improvements. People have always needed some kind of way to escape, liven up, or relax, for a while, and better bongs than booze.

10 years ago

We can't let the lizard people get control of this stuff....

John Krisfalusci
10 years ago

Ugh, I thought I'd never say this but.. I suppose it's only a matter of time when this stuff becomes legal. I have been so against Marijuana my whole life, but now CNN is accepting it, doctors worldwide, and I don't know.. I just don't like it. =(