Contrary to their habits, cannabis smokers on Saturday in Bangkok had only one goal: to roll joints as fast as possible to win Thailand’s first cannabis championship.
Since June, the conservative kingdom has removed hashish from the list of banned substances, allowing users to smoke it without risking prosecution in Thailand.
“They all have shaky hands”
In a small cafe for cannabis consumers, smokers gathered to try to win one of three prizes in the first cannabis championship: the fastest joint, the most creative joint and the best Thai cannabis strain.
It’s super fun “says Matita Promjai, dubbed “Mameaw”, on the occasion of this event. Hundreds of people would participate in the competition, and on D-day there were only ten of them, explains this 31-year-old woman. “
They are very nervous, they all have shaking hands. »
Each contestant rolls a small joint and a large joint as fast as they can, under an illuminated but increasingly relaxed audience as time goes on.
“The competition is tough”
I just try to do my best ”, emphasizes one of the participants, Klaus, who gave only his first name, as he quietly walked up to a table behind which a stopwatch was installed. When kick-off was set in motion, the 23-year-old rolled two links as quickly as possible before stopping the clock in 1 minute and 44 seconds. “
It’s a very good experience, it’s a lot of fun “, he congratulates himself while admitting that “
the competition is tough “.
In the back, Nicky West, 52, looks on with a quiet smile. “
Very good, well done “, he acknowledges, making a gesture with his tattooed hand to pay tribute to the competitor’s performance. “
I take my hat off to them ” says this connoisseur.
Grab a slice of the lucrative market
As the afternoon draws to a close, the award recipients find themselves lost in an increasingly dense cloud of smoke. But the event also takes on a more serious aspect, emphasizes Mameaw.
The conservative, Buddhist-majority kingdom has long employed a very strict legislative arsenal against the drug, contributing to further filling the country’s overcrowded prisons.
Authorities seeking to grab a piece of the lucrative cannabis-based food and medicine market have gradually eased regulations in recent years.
After legalizing its therapeutic use in 2018, the government removed the plant from its list of narcotics on June 9.
The government’s sudden lifting of cannabis restrictions has left many people wondering. Some marvel at its benefits, others at the rules, while others are reluctant to change.
That’s why I’m trying to create a community to educate people “, emphasizes the organizer.
Mameaw does not hide that, in addition to this important aspect, it organized this event for a very simple reason: ” I’m a smoker, that’s why. »