Over 150 UCSB students and out-of-towners flocked to Anisq’ Oyo’ Park this Saturday to let the good times — and the joints — roll at the sixth annual Joint Rolling Competition.
The day-long festival featured performances by local bands and information booths on marijuana, pieces, legalization facts and health education. The main event, however, saw participants compete in 10 different marijuanaless joint and blunt rolling competitions, with categories ranging from the fastest joint rolling to the fattest joint. Other categories included primo, freestyle, one-handed and the medical primo joint. The festival was hosted by the local National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws chapter.
Lauren Vazquez, a UCSB alumna who re-started the local NORML chapter in January 2004, said she brought the organization back to Isla Vista in hopes of establishing events such as the Joint Rolling Competition.
“I restarted the chapter in Isla Vista because I wanted there to be a revival of the joint rolling culture,” Vazquez said. “I wanted to rebuild the 1970s history of Isla Vista. I came out here today from San Jose to promote the NORML chapter, their cause and have fun in Isla Vista.”
With an average of six participants in each round, contestants competed for pieces and grinders donated by local head shops, including downtown’s Fuzion and Isla Vista’s Sweet Jane.
A third-year actuarial statistics major, won the “fattest joint” competition with a joint weighing in at 55 grams. A third-year business economics major won the “fastest joint rolling” category by rolling 18 joints in three minutes.
Fourth-year philosophy and political science double major Daniel Voldman said he was excited to be at the event to support his joint-rolling friends and educate others about legalization reform.
“It’s a revolutionary idea for the state to tax marijuana, and it can start a new way of thinking,” Voldman said. “Hemp could replace cotton, and it could change the industry. We’re so dependent on cotton textiles, and it’s so much more expensive than hemp. I’ve been anticipating this moment for a while, and it will surely pass.”
Stanley Cui, a fourth-year political science and Latin American and Iberian studies major who helped organize this year’s competition, said NORML is comprised of activists demanding legalization on the state and nation wide level.
“Every year we donate hundreds of dollars to various policy drug reform groups,” Cui said. “We’re also trying to start chapters on other campuses right now.”
The Grass Roots Collective, a group that provides free medical marijuana to terminally ill patients, was present at Saturday’s event. Freddy Capp, one of the founders of the collective, said students play an important role in the collective’s success.
“We’re grassroots research and education,” Capp said. “We get a lot of volunteers from both colleges to help us achieve our goals of low prices and safe, affordable access to marijuana.”