GANJA FOR MEDITATION
Some fifty-five years ago a friend of mine and I discovered the effects of Thai Stick ganja in my small air-conditioned study in Bangkok. I am not at liberty to disclose my source, but it was not that difficult to find, and purchase weed there. My friend, Bob, and I liked it and appreciated the enhancements it made to the music of Jimi Hendrix. In fact, ganja was readily attainable in certain out-of-the-way places in Bangkok.
On one occasion, we joined some Thai friends to go on a jungle wild boar hunting expedition hosted by the governor of the province. The governor brought motor bikes, guns, ladies to prepare our meals and plenty of ganja which he shared with us. After dinner, I asked if he would like me to stay back and guard the ladies while everyone went on the hunt. He looked at me like I was totally crazy as that was his duty. However, the next day, the crafty guy asked that I be the bodyguard for the ladies as they collected orchid plants to take back to Bangkok. As shown here, I did my job, protected the ladies, and left the ganja back at the base camp. By the way, I still have the hat. Several interesting adventure stories could be written about the double-barreled 12-gauge shotgun slung on my left shoulder. It saved my bacon on several occasions and was the weapon of choice in dense jungle.
Over the ensuing years, I had considerable exposure to illegal drugs as opium financed the Hmong Army in Laos where we had a direct involvement in fuel supplies to keep the supply lines open. Our preference was that the Corsican private airlines flew the dope, we would fly the guns and provide fuel in remote and often dodgy locations though in times of combat, those things get a bit confusing. Nonetheless, over that long period of time since I guarded orchid and opium collectors, ganja and opium dens have remained illegal. Therefore, you can understand my amazement when I read my recent edition of The Bangkok Post which headlined New Bill Outlines Limits on Ganja Use. Although we can expect the Thai politicians to debate the issues and limits well into the future, it does establish a future course upon which Thailand has embarked.
The proposed rules are that people would be allowed to grow no more than 15 cannabis plants for household use. However, the sale and advertising of cannabis for sale would be prohibited. I doubt that many advanced and committed stoners could walk through that much pot without inviting their relatives into their household. That many plants grown under the conditions shown would not only be potent but provide vast quantities of inventory. Nonetheless, those who export cannabis without permission would face a jail term of up to five years.
Another Bangkok Post headlined Pot-Smoking Tourists Not Welcome in Thailand: Health Minister Anutin. In fact, Anutin discouraged tourists from visiting the country only to smoke weed, just two months after new laws were proposed that would have largely decriminalized marijuana. To be clear, the Minister of Health told reporters, “We don’t want those kinds of tourists.”
Comparisons have been drawn to Amsterdam which has been open to marijuana usage for many years. Ganja freedom had nothing to do with our selection of a getaway R&R apartment from the Russian oil industry next to a hash bar in the Hague. Nonetheless, ganja smoking rooms are beginning to pop up in Bangkok.
Another Bangkok Post article was devoted to Siam Cannaverse to Open 20 New Cannabis Stores
which highlighted the Siam Cannaverse Co. plans to expand its cannabis stores to cash in on Thailand’s decriminalization of the drug and recovering tourism. Moreover, The Tourist Authority of Thailand is desperate to increase tourism back to the level of nearly 40 million in 2019 from a meager 428,000 last year. “High times” are coming to Thai tourists!
Siam Cannaverse is a joint venture between a Pethlanna Organic Farm and Raggan 420, a cannabis processing factory. The purist image of the RG 420 facilities and their commitment to organic production is striking in comparison to the traditional visions of the “Purple Haze” folks of the past. Perhaps they could include organically grown orchids as part of their portfolio of products. One can only ponder whether decriminalization of pot will lessen the intrigue and excitement of enjoying a good bong hit. Nonetheless, move over Siam Cement as the largest company in Thailand, here comes Siam Cannaverse.