Approximately 400 people gathered on the grass in Anisq’Oyo’ Park on Saturday afternoon to celebrate the skills of Isla Vista’s best blunt and joint rollers at the 2nd Annual Joint Rolling Contest, nearly tripling the event’s attendance from last year.
Hosted by the UCSB Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) the event ran from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and was supposed to feature guest judges the Kottonmouth Kings, but the pro-drug law reform band was unable to attend. The contest, which was co-sponsored by High Times magazine and included live music by local band Tripadelic, featured competitions in four rolling categories – fastest, fattest, freestyle and primo – with separate events in each category for blunts and joints.
Senior dance major Jacob Roland, co-chair of NORML, said many of the contestants signed up for the competition using only their first names or nicknames. First place in the primo, or best overall, joint event was taken by contestant who entered under the name “Daniel,” and the primo blunt competition was won by an entrant who went by “Brian.”
Danny Urbino, a senior business economics major and last year’s “fattest blunt” champion, won the event again this year with a blunt weighing in at 25 grams – 10 grams heavier than the blunt he won with in 2005. “Mark” rolled the fattest joint rolled during the competition, measuring 14.5 grams
Roland said the fastest joint was rolled in 12 seconds by a contestant who went by the name “Pops,” and the fastest blunt was rolled in 17 seconds by “Maurice.”
Sophomore religious studies major Adam Anapolsky, who competed in all four of the blunt categories, said he was not sure what type of freestyle blunt to roll prior to the start of the event.
“I think I’m going to roll a three-blunt wishbone – it’s basically two blunts that funnel into one, we’ll see how it goes,” said Anapolsky. “It’s not like you can smoke something like this, so I don’t roll these types of things.”
Anapolsky’s impressive creation was enough to snag him first place in the freestyle blunt category, although he failed to place in any of the other events.
Second-year biology major Terry Husayn, who attended the contest but did not participate, said he came to cheer on his friends and support marijuana legalization.
“I’m here to root on some buddies in the contest [and] support a good cause,” Husayn said.
Roland said money raised through entry fees for the event and raffle ticket sales went to fund the event itself, NORML’s general club fund, and to Central Santa Barbara, a group that actively supports legislation to reform drug laws.
Approximately 35 NORML members coordinated the event, Roland said, and most of the supplies were donated.
“The event was only possible because of the people in NORML here at UCSB, [and] people like International Oddities and Hempwise, who all helped us out,” Roland said.
Roland said he is recruiting more sponsors like High Times and International Oddities to make the event larger and help NORML’s message reach more people.
“This year was definitely epic, but eventually I’d love to have it in Harder Stadium, with Cypress Hill or Snoop Dogg playing,” Roland said.
Anapolsky, who also competed in last year’s competition, said he thinks the contest has grown since its creation in 2005.
“It’s definitely bigger and better this year,” Anapolsky said.
Roland said he thinks the contest is a good place for NORML to distribute information about marijuana legalization and decriminalization.
“Events like this are a good opportunity to not only get a little instruction on how to roll a blunt or joint, but to get all the information that’s out there on what we’re fighting for,” Roland said. “We want to stop smoking in closets – we want to be able to get out onto the streets and do it freely.”