In yet another unlikely business move, Kelly Slater has bought the film and television rights for the book Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the untold story of the Marijuana Trade, written by Michael Ritter and Peter Maguire, the latter of whom is a friend of Kelly’s. Following news of his collaboration with retail brand PBteen on a sustainable furniture line, and amidst noisy rumours of his imminent takeover of Firewire Surfboards, Slater announced via Instagram that work has begun on a documentary film based on the book, which chronicles the illegal smuggling and selling of cannabis from the late 60’s through to the early 80’s.
Not that Kelly himself enjoys puffin’ the herb. Slater, who ended the post with the hashtag #IDontSmoke, is well-known for his extremely healthy lifestyle and clean-cut image. Several years ago he spoke out about the recreational use of drugs in professional surfing, describing it as “rampant.”
This is the full text of the Instagram post:
“So…I recently optioned my old friend #PeterMaguire’s book, ‘Thai
Stick’ for film and tv rights. We have begun work on a documentary film and several parties are interested in making an episodic tv series about it. This is a history they certainly don’t teach you in school but an important and significant cultural phenomenon that occurred mostly undocumented. It took the professional historian and former smuggler 15 years to complete and it is based on thousands of hours of interviews. They document everything you didn’t know about pot smuggling from the late 60’s thru early 80’s, diving into every aspect of the game from personal to political. Even #TimothyLeary and #RichardNixon make cameos. As an innocent kid growing up in Florida, I knew nothing about this stuff but heard lots of stories about the surfing/smuggling connections related to people I knew. I was always intrigued hearing about the guys I considered to be #RealLifePirates. A lot of what I know now comes from the pages in this book and corroborates things I heard as a kid. With the current atmosphere around #MarijuanaLegalization and the connected topics, it seems timely to bring this thing to life. This in no way condones drug use or dealing of any sort. But it does bring into question inconsistencies around drug laws and philosophical questions about personal choice and outlawing nature. #ThaiStick#CrabClawRoachClip?! #IDontSmoke“