Breaking down the strict separation between the therapeutic and recreational use of marijuana is one of the intentions of the new book by Brazilian neuroscientist Sidarta Ribeiro, "The Flowers of Good." "Because what is recreational is already therapeutic, especially if it's benign," he says. The work traces the history of Cannabis from when its functions as medical therapy were discovered.
According to Ribeiro, several countries have made more progress in this discussion than Brazil—citing examples such as the United States, Canada, Israel, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and various European countries—but progress is "a matter of time." In the book, Ribeiro explains why "marijuana doesn't kill neurons, it makes them flourish." The idea that the substance harms the brain and makes people lazy is not correct, according to him: in fact, Cannabis can induce the formation of new neurons and synapses. "The old story that teenagers shouldn't smoke marijuana because it kills neurons is a lie. The truth is that they shouldn't smoke marijuana unless they have a medical indication because it produces new neurons, and teenagers already have many."