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Pattaya Daily News

28 July 2008 :: 13:07:59 pm 20562

The Baraku smoking phenomenon

Today, July 28, 2008, we reported an account of the Nang Len Cocktail Bar which was raided by police, suspecting illegal drug use and under-age drinking. One of the attractions of the cocktail bar was the use of hookahs, or water pipes being used by the clientele.
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Water pipes have been used since time immemorial in Arab and Indian cultures for smoking various mixtures. One mixture in particular is a brand of Arab tobacco called baraku, which is legal. However, traditionally, water pipes are used for smoking hashish or even marijuana. It is this fact which is causing some concern among various citizens of Pattaya, who fear that the apparently innocent phenomenon of smoking an innocuous form of tobacco, masks teen-&-twenties trends to actually consume cannabis, most likely in its most common Thai form as ganja or marijuana. However, this gives off a pungent smell when smoked and the combination of this and evident intoxicating effect will hardly fool any watching police officer or their spies. Hence, the practice may well be discouraged in the near future.

However, such measures may appear draconian as there are many proprietary smoking mixtures, which are relatively harmless, such as a herbal mixture called “shisha”, a mix of molasses, glycerin and fragrant oils or essences, which is far less harmful than smoking tobacco per se. Merely smoking a water pipe doesn’t mean smokers will automatically add illegal substances to it. The Arab cafes in Pattaya have long favoured the smoking of water pipes, where the substance smoked is either tobacco, or a substitute, without feeling impelled to lace it with drugs.

There is even a new popular trend using water pipes to smoke an oxygenated substance, described as the synergy of Oxygen and essential oils, which induces a psychological state of wellbeing. This is a new trend started in locations called Oxybars. Perhaps it will even catch on here.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Legal

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