Ok, this is actually old news. I went to the Miss High Times 2008 contest on Negril Beach about two weeks back and I swore I posted the pictures the next day but after looking for them on the site it appears that blog post was lost somewhere in the deep dark internet. I can’t find it so I’m going to repost the pictures her with links to our Miss High Times photo gallery for you.
The contest was fun and it seems everyone enjoyed themselves. There were about a half dozen guys there with the High Times Staff on the official ganja tour of Negril that I met with and they all claimed to be having the times of their lives. Everyone was burning big fat spliffs and laughing it up at the bar for awhile after they crowned the 2008 winner and they all seemed to be having a great time. I did not hang out for much beyond meeting last years winner and conversing with her about how being the first winner was. They went to a ganja mountain and saw some small fields in production but it was a bit of a disappointment to some. I think some still have the idea that ganja grows in huge tall trees in large plantations here in Jamaica and many tourists do not even realize ganja is in fact illegal although tolerated to the point of it being decriminalized to a certain extent.
You can feel safe here in Negril with a small quantity in your pocket and know you wont be getting into any serious trouble if you get stopped with it. We have seen cops here in Jamaica ask tourists to put spliffs out who were caught blatantly smoking in public and I have also seen them stand with a group of rastas who were puffing like kings at a reggae show and never say a word to them. I was not even surprised that the event was held in the open at a bar on the beach and everyone was burning lovely with no cops or anyone around. You’re looking at a fine mos often and you might even be able to pay that directly to your arresting police officer and avoid a trip to the jail if don’t use the wrong words like bribe or payoff. Simply suggest you won’t be here long enough to deal with this thought he courts and if you could settle it beforehand you would be willing to do so. Let the officer take it from there and you may be asked for a small cash donation to the local police department. $20 or less will often do the trick but thats all based on how you handle yourself and you’re attitude towards the police who stop you. Do not be arrogant, do not act scared. Be sure and confident that you’re ok and you will be.
They did not advertise the Miss High Times event locally that I am aware of and I never saw any signs or notice anywhere. I found out about it online but much of the contest coincided with the Smile Jamaica concert so I missed most of the events including the talent show and swimsuit competition. I did get the chance to tell a buddy from the States about the show. My friend was here taking care of business for a few days and I told him High Times would be at For Real Beach for the Miss High Times contest. I told him the luck I have had here in Jamaica with people assuming I am a part of the event staff when I show up places with my camera and he went to the bar one night. He asked where so and so from High Times was and the bartender took him straight in. He hooked up with the crew and by the end of it all had himself a spot as a judge in the contests. He said it appeared to him that High Times was run by a handful of stoners who have been there for quite some time and its not as cool a job as it may seem. They do travel quite a lot and smoke the good buds but its still a job and they work pretty hard at it. Who wants to work hard even for High Times? Not me I prefer to work smart and for myself!