Published Oct 08, 2020Like many Canadians over the past few years, Ojibwe shoegazer Zoon (a.k.a. Daniel Monkman) has been exploring the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. He began using it about three years ago and soon discovered that he personally preferred cannabis to pharmaceutical antidepressants. This year, he decided to take his cannabis affinity to the next level by growing his own plant (seen in the photo above).
For Monkman, growing his own pot is an extension of legalization — another way to liberate himself from the government's interference in cannabis consumption. "I feel like outlawing cannabis was a direct attack on Black and brown folks," he says. "Reefer madness was propaganda used against the public to show cannabis as this evil plant and the people using it as animals. The government used the banning of cannabis as another way to incriminate Black and brown folks for their prison labour camps."
We caught up with the moccasin-gaze artist about the rewarding process of growing low-THC pot in his backyard, the personal psychological benefits of cannabis, and that time some kids tried to hijack his plant.
What inspired you to grow your own cannabis?
I finally had moved into a house that had a backyard. Before that, I always had apartments and could never grow inside. Once the "government" "legalized" cannabis, I quickly ordered seeds online with my housemate, Andrew McLeod. The year before, I saw Andrew grow, and that really inspired me to do it — plus I was tired of the weird cannabis the Canadian government grew.
What was the process of growing?
Honestly, going into it, I didn't want to mess with the plant. Putting the plant into the ground and seeing what happened naturally was my first instinct. Of course, I watered it and gave some nutrients to the soil, but the ground was already pretty fertile.
Have you sampled your own batch yet? How was it?
A few weeks ago, some younger kids tried to steal my plant from the backyard. I needed to act quickly because it wouldn't have lasted another week, so I harvested a bit early. This week, I was able to try it for the first time, and it was amazing. Low potency, but that's because the strain is designed that way, so it's just perfect for daily life. I can't stand how strong some of the strains are, so it was important for me to find a low-THC strain.
What's your advice to other people thinking of growing cannabis?
Try to grow inside if you live in the city. I've heard from all across Turtle Island that people are always stealing plants from backyards. But growing outside, your plant can be with other plant life and, most importantly, be connected with the Earth.
What benefits do you get from cannabis?
For many years, I was on antidepressants and they literally ruined my life and stopped my growth as someone who was trying to rediscover life. Cannabis allows me to take days off to reevaluate where I am at, whereas with antidepressants, you can never take any days off to make breakthroughs on your own — you're always a slave to it and it's very dangerous to take days off.