Pete Evans is not one to shy away from the spotlight, with his social media antics ending up in the national tabloids almost monthly at this point. But there’s one side not many people hear about, and that’s his take on cannabis.
Over the past week, the 2020 Australian Cannabis Summit was held. Due to Covid-19, it was streamed online – featuring a range of expert speakers, including doctors, professors, directors of some of Australia’s largest medical cannabis companies, and the celebrity chef, Pete Evans.
Evans was interviewed based on the recent documentary he put together, called The Magic Plant – which deep dives into everything cannabis. If you’re curious as to what the most infamous celebrity chef in Australia thinks about cannabis, keep reading.
Evans’ first lengthy experience with cannabis was when he was working in the hospitality industry at around 17 to 19 years old. Every night, the owners of the Melbourne restaurant he worked at would roll up a joint, and pass it around between the dozen or so staff. He mentioned that the “passing of the joint seemed to be the conduit, and the connecter, for everyone to drop their guard, laugh, [and] take the piss out of each other for what happened in the night.”
Surprisingly, despite his joyful experience at the restaurant, he gave up drinking and smoking, became a vegan, and switched from “cannabis into making kombucha” for the next four years. That four years led to another 26 years being disconnected with cannabis.
Cannabis re-entered his life after a psychedelic experience with DMT. Which became the “most profound experience of [his] life”, and guided him on his next adventure – to create a documentary on psychedelics.
The idea to create a cannabis documentary came about during his research into creating the psychedelic documentary.
But when I kept hearing that cannabis can be used as a medicine, cannabis can be used as a food. Cannabis can be used as fibre; cannabis can be used as fuel. It really was like, oh, okay. How am I going to create a film in 90 minutes that showcases all of the different aspects of cannabis without being too biased about it as well.
He then went on to explain what he believes the current perceptions of cannabis are in our Western society:
In this culture that we live in, in Western society, we’re always looking externally, for the next thing, we’re looking for the flash, you know, the monkey mind being attracted to the shiny object, the new iPhone, the new show on Netflix, the new car, the new whatever it is, you know, we were programmed for that, where cannabis seems to give us an opportunity to really go inwards. And I do honestly believe that is, our journey here, as human beings, is to spend more time going inwards.
Following on with:
Because the perception that we have of cannabis in the Western culture is light a joint, get stoned, have a laugh, go to a music concert or watch something funny on television, or eat some cookies. So, to speak, you know, gives you the munchies. You know, it’s a very limited view of what cannabis is – a very limited view. And there’s nothing wrong with that view. Because that can be a medicine for a lot of people.
Evan’s mentioned he debated for months whether he would consume cannabis in the documentary or not. In the end, he decided it was beneficial for the film, and ended up consuming it with Dan McQueen, who takes people on ‘ceremonial journeys’.
But what I really wanted to show with this film, and my journey with it is the intentional use of cannabis and the respect of it. If you choose to, it can be a very powerful form of self-evaluation. And it can make you very uncomfortable. And that there is the journey of the growth. Why am I uncomfortable when I smoke this? What are my thoughts, my repetitive thoughts, my insecurities, my fears, my awkwardness, my wanting to run away from a situation and being around people? What is that telling me?
He then went on to explain his current stance of the cannabis prohibition climate in Australia, mentioning that one of the most beautiful things about this “plant is the way that it smells” and that “just touching it and then smelling it that brings a smile to my face, brings joy to me.”
I honestly believe we should have the human right to be able to grow this plant for our own food and/or medicine, or recreational or spiritual use. It’s up to the person how they do that. That needs to happen. I don’t think it’s even debatable anymore.
Here at Pondering Pot, we fully support ending cannabis prohibition in Australia. And based on the latest survey, the majority of Australians want the same thing.
But we’re unsure if having one of Australia’s most publicised conspiracy theorists onboard is beneficial for the cause. Only time will tell.