By Mikal Jakubal
“You’re definitely a boy. Nice try dude!”
Said one of my film subjects after identifying and ripping out another one of half a dozen six-foot-tall male marijuana plants from her garden. It took pulling with all her might to uproot the them from the beds where they had been so carefully tended since I first filmed there in April. At that time, she took a risk and put unsexed plants in the ground rather than leave them in pots till they sexed. It paid off for the female plants—they’re now huge—but that leaves half a dozen large empty spaces that will produce no bud this year. She mentioned having a source for some replacements, but they would be small and, given the late season, would not have time to produce much useable product by October harvest.
If the male plants have developed flower buds by the time they are pulled, they can still bloom, spread pollen and fertilize the female flowers (creating seedy bud that no one wants) if left lying around the garden. Some people bury them, others burn them. My subject dragged them by the roots down the dusty dirt driveway and tossed them into the forest a hundred yards from the garden saying, “That should be far enough.” And then throwing up her arms and pleading to the sky, “Goddess please don’t seed my plants!”
I felt bad for her, losing that much potential production, but I have to admit, it made for great footage! When was the last time you watched documentary where a slightly-built woman pulled giant pot plants out of the ground and dragged them down a dirt road? Sometimes documentary filming is like that. Like everyone in the film, she understands that ups and downs are part of the deal and wants to make this film as true-to-life as possible. One good year or one bad year, it’s all part of the story.