If this dispatch from Paradise should ramble a little bit, please forgive me—I’m pretty stoned. After only 24 hours on the ground in Amsterdam, I’ve already seen and smoked a lot in my role as intrepid HIGH TIMES reporter, including all the three coffeeshop strains selected by this year’s panel of expert judges, the lion’s share of the 22 other coffeeshop competitors, and then—first thing this morning—a somewhat random sampling of a few of the thirteen imported hash samples currently on display in the celebrity judges’ lounge. All the entries have been strictly coded to ensure blind tasting, so the most I can tell you about the coffeeshop strains to emerge as early favorites are their animal-spirit names, written on the jars: Spider, Lynx and Mountain Lion.

Native American activist John Trudell, this year’s inductee into the Counterculture Hall of Fame, leads a panel of celebrity judges that includes his friends and fellow Native American activists Milo and Quiltman, Jeff Wood (who created all the artwork for this year’s Cup) and Amsterdam’s own Mila, inventor of the Pollinator. As for myself, I’m not here to judge (lest I be judged), but only to smoke and observe, which means I’m free to sit back and smoke in peace without the pressure of trying to make such an important decision. In fact, the most important decision I’m facing at the moment involves what to eat for lunch. And believe me when I tell you, I’ve worked up quite an appetite. Now where did I put that hash pipe?

Check hightimes.com daily for more updates from the 18th Annual Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, from now until the closing ceremonies on November 25th.

CLICK HERE TO READ CANNABIS CUP UPDATE #1

CLICK HERE TO READ CANNABIS CUP UPDATE #2

CLICK HERE TO READ CANNABIS CUP UPDATE #3

CLICK HERE TO READ CANNABIS CUP UPDATE #4

CLICK HERE TO READ CANNABIS CUP UPDATE #5

CLICK HERE TO READ CANNABIS CUP UPDATE #6