This special feature was made possible thanks to the Gabo Foundation and the Fund for Research and New Narratives on Drugs. You can read the original in Spanish on El Planteo. Learn about more Successful Stoners here.

Luna Vargas is a teacher in Anthropology and Ethnomusicology, but she could very well be a French film actress: the rebellious protagonist of a film by Jean Luc Godard. Her retro look, and thick-rimmed, pointy glasses amplify the colorful dresses she usually wears, billowy fabrics adorned with figures and patterns from another era. The fact that our interview is taking place via video call from Paris helps us appreciate the nostalgic air that Luna gives off, reinforced by her words of wisdom. Thinking about it, she could also pass as a professor at the Sorbonne, one of those activists from the sixties, launching revolutions from an apartment in Montmartre or Bastille, set off by philosophical gatherings fueled by Moroccan hashish. 

Luna seems from another time, but her mind is very here, in the present; she is an essential part of the cannabis movement in Brazil, even if he lives in Canada and spends most of her time traveling the world, attending cannabis conferences in places like Malta (one of the most recent countries to legalize access to the plant). Although she moves across borders with great ease, she keeps one foot in her country of origin, remembering her childhood in Alto Paraíso, a small town in the state of Goiás. It was here, high on Brazil's Central Plateau, where the tropical savannah competes in density against dozens of bountiful waterfalls, that Luna had her first encounter with cannabis. 

It was inevitable. Alto Paraíso is one of those places where they say UFOs are frequently sighted, a region that brings together reiki healers, permaculture experts, biodynamic growers, yoga teachers, and alternative medicine practitioners. It’s a cradle of experimentation, of connection with Mother Earth, a region where consciousness is naturally taken to extremes. In Luna's inner circle, cannabis was becoming prevalent and it was only a matter of time before she had the opportunity to try the plant. But it …

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