“K ings of Cannabis”, is a documentary film produced by VICE about Arjan Roskam, a cannabis connoisse u r and his team traveling to Columbia to look for three of the rarest types of marijuana strains. They are hunting for this because of how genetically pure they have been for years. The film takes us along Arjan and his team’s expedition, trudging up mountains, and even going to the countries most violent areas. The purpose of this documentary is to show who the “King” is. The intended audience for this documentary is for people who are interested in cannabis. This is because the film is solely about people traveling the world, looking for it. This video was documented in 2013 during the guerrilla warfare drug trade. After deeply studying the documentary I was able to analyze the different persuasion techniques used throughout the film.
VICE uses ethos by telling us Arjan’s achievements in the cannabis industry. They make it clear in the beginning that Arjan is someone important. “He’s won 38 Cannabis Cups and has dubbed himself the King of Cannabis”. This is important because it shows the audience that he is credible. In one of the scenes, Arjan is seen showing the gardeners his award-winning marijuana plants to persuade the gardeners to exchange seeds. This appeals to ethos because telling the gardeners that they are world winning implies the quality of it too, it establishes their credibility. Another rhetorical strategy that was used was pathos. As Arjan and his team were about to head off to hunt for one of the rare plants, their truck got stuck in a dangerous area of Columbia. The narrator explains how dangerous it can get at night “this June, an American was stabbed to death by bandits on the road, we knew we had to get the hell out of there.” VICE also showed short clips of violent Guerrilla Warfare that took place where Arjan and his team got stuck. This appeals to pathos because it tugs at the audience’s emotion. To add on, someone in the team also states “I don’t think this trucks going to move today” which makes the audience feel even more worried for the team. After acquiring the 3 rare seeds, VICE films Arjan and the team having fun and partying on a yacht. This also appeals to pathos because it plays on emotion through visual impression. In the article “What are Multimodal Projects?” it states “…[authors] bombard us with visual information to attract our attention”. It makes the audience feel jealous of Arjan’s lifestyle and his wealth.
Before watching the documentary I was already interested in the industry but I never heard of Arjan Roskam. After watching the documentary my view towards Arjan took a turn from curiosity to envious. I too want to travel the world looking for rare plants. My views on the industry haven't changed but it has given me a thought on if I should also pursue in this booming industry. This is because I am inspired by Arjan, he says “ If we can live our dream, if you can live your hobby… if you can make from your hobby, your work.. . it’s the best satisfaction you can have in life “.
Arjan: It would be too easy now if everything goes like that.
Arjan: Well, yeah, the discussion about land race in science is a little bit diverse, but basically it’s a species that grows for a certain time, They would say, this is the argue, like minimum 30-40 years in a certain area or preferable hundreds of years that is known to this local area.
Arjan: Yes, between 15 and 25%, depending on the country.
Arjan: That’s one place to log in. We have GreenHouseSeeds.nl, and these are two main websites where everybody can find us and everybody comes together there. Another nice thing is to watch us grow, HD.TV where there is a lot of people putting their little things on. And, of course, Instagram is really, really important, strain on Instagram where they can follow our trips and see a lot of nice pictures. And, yeah, that’s basically the way to follow us.
Arjan: You probably have more questions.
Arjan: That’s a joke. Now listen, what I hope and what I hope will come to Spain one time. Yesterday we had Allison the woman who wrote the thing for Washington.
Arjan: And basically we were the only people going in and out there without being kidnapped. So and it’s a really, really good country for growing, and unfortunately a lot of cocaine took over there. And now we see marijuana coming back. One of the things we showed in that movie, “Colombia” where you see all the lights that it used to be all cocaine plantations, and now people are growing grass again, like in the ’70s.
FInally, many claim that his Strain Hunters series was intended, at least in theory, to discover indigenous marijuana strains and exotic plants. Apparently he has achieved several ones he was looking for, but curiously he has never released any to the market.
Back in the 1980s, Amsterdam’s cannabis scene was revolutionizing. A North American had arrived in the city, a certain Neville Schoenmakers, with seeds of the new continent, and had gradually added to his collection others of different features and latitudes. With this material he founded the Super Sativa Club, the first bank of marijuana seeds.
Arjan Roskam began using Green House’s name for its strains and tried to supply one of Amsterdam’s coffee shops. However, his sativas were not welcome so he decided to open his own first coffee shop on Tolstraat Street in ’92. It was called The Green House.
On the crest of the wave
The Green House coffee shop was already so famous that celebrities from different parts of the world went by to taste a joint of the Arjan crop. Roskam took advantage of these contacts to spread its main goal: normalize marijuana use and, at the same time, promote (self) crops. He asked several of them, like Woody Harrelson, to speak in their respective countries against the criminalization of marijuana. Arjan himself also became the spokesman for this normalization by representing the union of coffee shops in Amsterdam on several occasions.
In the midst of Amsterdam’s marijuana boom, Arjan Roskan was a 20-year-old boy who had been on adventures in Thailand. There he had met a mysterious old man who said that thanks to marijuana he could heal heroin addicts. Despite his initial disbelief, Arjan stayed with the little man for a while and learned all he could about Cannabis. As he said goodbye, the old man gave him a handful of marijuana seeds, which he now interprets as his own magic beans.
According to Arjam Roskam, thi strain arose thanks to the work of Ingemar, a former Green House worker. But according to Shantibaba, this variety was fruit of his work and personal effort, and when he left Greehouse he took with him the mother plants of the first stable generation he got. To this day he continues to claim that Arjan deserves no recognition in the creation of White Widow.
Continually Green House makes important investments on research and development to be more flexible and adapt to both the ever changing legal framework of Cannabis and the tastes and needs of the market. Besides that, they can always be one step ahead to take advantage of the business opportunities that are opening up within the legality, such as legislative changes in some US states or Uruguay.