S.O.S Liquor will be short on Colt 45s and Zig-Zag blunt wraps this weekend, as Afroman will be in town to help NORML kick off its joint rolling contest.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is holding its Third Annual Joint Rolling Contest this Saturday in Anisq’Oyo Park from noon to 4:19 p.m. Daniel Kumins, a fourth-year psychology major and co-chair of the UCSB NORML chapter, said this year’s contest will be bigger and better than in the past.
Kumins said the contest will feature live musical performances including one from Afroman – famous for his song “Because I Got High.” A new medicinal marijuana category is set up for the competition, and a special area in the park to promote the education of cannabis has been organized.
“We are focusing on education, by trying to teach both marijuana smokers and non-smokers that all of society will benefit from legalizing cannabis,” Kumins said.
In addition, local M.D. Dr. David Bearman will speak on the history, benefits and safeness of marijuana.
“This is a plant that has been kept in the dark,” Kumins said. “It is the most beneficial plant known to mankind.”
NORML expects over 1,000 people to attend the contest, and added the new medicinal category to increase the number of participants. The medicinal category allows licensed medical marijuana smokers to bring their own supplies to the event.
The joint rolling contest has eight categories in all including fastest, fattest, primo and freestyle. For these categories, tobacco supplies will be provided. Prizes include bubblers, T-shirts, and nug jars.
Fourth-year business economics major and NORML member Robert Rees offered some advice to potential joint-rolling competitors.
“Remember not to smoke before you roll because then you might smoke your joint before it’s judged,” he said.
Afroman’s performance will begin at 1 p.m., and Kumins said he will “kick it” for about an hour afterwards. Local bands Seven Leaves and Boombox Orchestra will also perform.
This year, in an attempt to attract non-smokers and smokers alike, NORML has obtained an alcohol permit that allows anyone 21 years and over to legally drink alcohol in the park.
Rees, who works with the publicity and promotion of NORML, said the organization is attempting to explain some of the myths and “conspiracies” about marijuana while entertaining the crowd. He said many of the negative connotations about cannabis are not true.
Kumins, for instance, said there are several economic, environmental and health benefits legalization of cannabis could bring.
“Industrial hemp is almost necessary to save our environment because it can be used as a biofuel that produces virtually zero net carbon in our atmosphere” Kumins said.
He said that if legalized, taxes on marijuana could supply the government with billions of dollars to give to education, law enforcement and treatment programs. In addition, he said that research studies prove the plant is not the dangerous drug it’s made out to be.
“UCLA’s Dr. Donald Tashkin has tried for years to show how harmful marijuana has been,” Kumins said. “He has come to the conclusion that marijuana does not cause cancer and may actually prevent cancer.”
Aside from explaining the beneficial aspects of cannabis, Kumins said NORML also wants people to understand the role it has played throughout history.
“The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson on hemp paper,” Kumins said. “In order for human civilization to be as advanced as it is today our ancestors required cannabis as a food, fiber, fuel and medicine.”