Interesting piece in Coconuts today
“So the next day, I tried weed instead. I remember that it was Strawberry Cough grown in Surin province. I smoked it on the police station’s rooftop … I felt so relaxed, focused, and could work smoothly until my shift ended.”
“Hi, welcome. How’re you doing?” the man greets customers with a smile as they push through the glass door. He wears gloves and a white shirt over a black tee. The buzz cut familiar at every police station, covered here with a dark beanie, explains why his regular customers refer to him as “Sgt. M.”
It’s been over six months since Thailand decriminalized cannabis. New Bangkok dispensaries are opening each day as more people get their hands in the business, and that hasn’t left out authority figures like Sutthiporn “M” Boonsa-ard, a cop now busting people over pot by day and selling it to them by night.
“On duty, I chase off people for smoking weed publicly. Off duty, I sell weed and have a good time,” M said, laughing.
The 32-year-old Bangkok man has been a police officer for nine years – seven spent guarding a royal residence and the past two assigned to the Buppharam Police Station just across the river from the old quarter in Thonburi.
Each day, when M gets off duty, he heads northwest down the road to open his weed shop in Taling Chan. It’s called Crazy Roll.
Cops like him were long known for stopping, searching, seizing, and arresting people over weed, but that changed after June. 9, when Thailand decriminalized cannabis with few rules imposed. Police can no longer bust people for possession, but they can still take action if someone causes a nuisance in public or sells weed with a fake license.
A weed user himself for years, M said he was “elated” when weed could be bought and sold legally. The moment that he heard Highland Cafe had opened its doors, M decided to start his own with some friends.
“If weed wasn’t decriminalized, I wouldn’t dare [talking about this out loud],” he said.
A few months later, M and his friends set up the small shop tucked above a craft beer bar. Unlike other dispensaries, Crazy Roll feels like chilling in a friend’s living room thanks to the bean bags and pillows laying around. His modest wooden bar countertop provides equipment like pipes and bongs – even a vaporizer – for customers to smoke on-site, which could be a no-no.
It took only a few weeks for M to grow a regular following, which he credited to his long-time connections in underground weed circles and word of mouth. Some of them are even cop colleagues from the station. On a Thursday night, two police officers walked in, greeted M, and asked for a bong hit.
“I even invited my supervisor to check out my shop,” M said.
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