When a hemp plant unexpectedly grows in her garden, Ute Woltron lets her go. Only when the doctor recommends that she fight her migraine with cannabis does she begin to take a closer look at the plant that divides humanity: into despisers who criminalize its use and admirers who praise its many and varied effects. In her blunt plant portrait, Ute Woltron opens doors to secret gardens, to greenhouses in cellars or closets and abducts us into the subculture of a secret science. She finds cannabis in old Chinese herbal books, the writings of Walter Benjamin and the music of Louis Armstrong, follows its scent into the living room of her Japanese neighbor and traces its path from remedy to criminalized drug. Woltron portrays people who, for various reasons, do not want to live without hemp, and pleads for a rethinking of the way we deal with the plant and its products, which range from resistant ropes and textiles to the most durable paper ever produced.
Ute Woltron, born 1966 in Neunkirchen, studied architecture in Vienna and works as a journalist on the topics of business, architecture and travel.