Bizarre Festivals

Published on November 19th, 2012 | by Christopher Moriarty


A Guide to Being an Awesome Pot Smoking Judge


Amsterdam’s 25th annual Cannabis Cup sparks into life this weekend as 10,000 pot-toking tourists descend on the Dutch capital for four days of music, conferences, educational seminars, trade shows and … getting caned off their faces. Legally. And the beauty of it is, anyone can try their hand at being a pot smoking judge – provided you’re willing to part with a bit of extra cash. If you’re splashing out on your judge’s pass to make your mark on the world of weed, here are some tips to ensure you’re the most smokin’ hot pot-smoking judge out there:


Don’t pull a whitey

Overdoing it on day one like an excitable child given keys to the tuck shop could well leave you in a world of pain, curled up, white as a sheet and too sick to continue your crucial role. Not only will it lose you a whole heap of cool points among your more battle-hardened peers, especially if it happens at Sunday night’s mega opening party, but most importantly you won’t be able to give a fair appraisal of all the products on show. And that’s what it’s all about, right? The judging?

stoned dog

Do the weed justice

If you’re going to be sampling the finest herbs that Amsterdam has to offer then you don’t want to be making a hash (pun intended – and there are plenty more where that came from) of it. There will be numerous ways to sample the goods, from bongs and pipes to vapour bags and cookies, but if smoking is your method of choice then make sure you can skin up with the big dogs. If your rolling technique is more akin to a teenage virgin fumbling with a bra strap in the dark, then get some paraphernalia to help you. There are plenty of shops stocking mats, machines and other handy equipment to deliver perfect joints every time.


Milk it

Wearing a lanyard around your neck screams self-importance, whether you’re on the Tube back from work or being bussed around the coffee shops of the weed-smoking capital of the world. You’re going to have to put up with a few sneering looks from the smug locals who have year-round access to legalised drugs and may snigger at the fact that you’ve had to fly over and pay a hefty chunk of cash for the privilege of judging weed – which you then still have to pay for – but YOU’RE A JUDGE SO SCREW THOSE GUYS! It might not be quite as important as picking the Nobel Peace Prize winner or as well known as choosing wannabe pop stars, but for one hazy weekend you are judging some of the finest examples of the planet’s most popular recreational drug, so milk it for everything it’s worth. Pretty dope, yeah?

You don’t have to wear a Bob Marley t-shirt

Yeah, yeah, we get it, you’re in the ‘Dam smoking the reefer, we already know you’re a free thinker, you don’t need to labour the point. He may be the most iconic toker of all time, but leave the Bob Marley t-shirt at home if you don’t want to look like you’re trying just that little bit too hard. Bring your musical tastes a little more up to date instead and show some love for Ghostface Killah, DOOM or Kursa, who are all performing at this year’s Cannabis Cup. Fake Jamaican accents are a no-no too. Unless you are actually Jamaican of course, in which case it wouldn’t be a fake accent anyway.


Don’t forget to vote

We know Amsterdam can be a distracting place, you’ll have a lot on your mind, and after four days you might be feeling, shall we say, a little forgetful? But if you’ve signed up as a pot smoking judge that means you need to do some judging. You’re setting the standards for the world to follow. Now nobody’s going to come round and rip off your judges pass and confiscate your judge’s t-shirt if you don’t tot up the scores, but it kind of defeats the point if you spend so much time sampling that you forget to do any judging.

The Cannabis Cup runs from November 18 to 22 in Amsterdam. Visit for more information, or you can visit the legendary magazine

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About the Author

Christopher Moriarty

Chris Moriarty is a journalist and editor of Birmingham lifestyle monthly Brum Notes Magazine. He enjoys sneering at other people's poor tastes in music, pretending to snowboard and the ritual disappointment that comes with supporting Aston Villa.

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