‘Thai Stick’ or ‘Lao Stick’?

Export ganja fields, Bolikhamsai, Central Laos – crop eradication by the Lao PDR army, who burned about 100 hectares this week, a pointless symbolic gesture that achieved little more than perhaps to increase the wholesale price.
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Bolikhamsai is one of the main production centres for export ganja right across the Mekong from northern Isan (Northeast Thailand) – both sides of the river being ethnic Lao and speaking Lao anywhere outside the towns.
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In the ‘Thai stick’ era ‘Thai’ ganja came from north Isan and Central Laos, one of the most famous batches being Central Lao ‘Golden Voice’ – as branded by Western smugglers…
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Cultivation across north Isan was part of a very Lao tradition of growing and smoking ganja that expanded and commercialized with the major urban centre of the region, Vientiane.
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In Vientiane’s decadent 60s Cold War heyday, the villagers of northern Isan also supplied most of the young women who were trafficked or migrated to brothels, opium palaces, and go-go bars as the Lao economy boomed during America’s anti-Communist crusade in Indochina.
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Western money also poured into provincial Isan towns such as Udon, now once again eclipsed by Vientiane, but then profiting from a commodity that could literally fetch more than its weight in gold in the USA.
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The close careless planting in the photo is a sign of bulk production. But now that Thailand and Laos are eyeing full legalization, the crop is set to once again realize its potential and no doubt ultimately exceed the days when it was branded by Westerners as ‘Thai stick’.
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Current 2 for 1 deal on packs of ‘Thai’ strain Kasi still going – 33 USD for 24 seeds and 17 freebies….