Alexandre Blin is a 9-2 amateur fighter living and competing in Thailand. The Thai-French athlete spent his childhood as kids do; participating in sports, practicing pro-wrestling moves on his cousins, and playing PlayStation. Then one day, he suffered a freak accident and his hand went through a window.
He knew the injury couldn’t have come at a worse time. Blin was active in rugby and judo, and had spent years building up his athleticism. But what he didn’t know at the time was that this moment would set forth the actions that would play a role in legalized medical marijuana in Thailand.
“I couldn’t move four of my fingers. So, I was basically immobile and in a cast for months. When I was free from the cast, I couldn’t extend my hand.”
Blin’s injury left his hand nearly useless. The rehabilitation for the injury was hard until Blin was introduced to cannabis by a friend. The plant gave him more confidence and helped with the aches from stretching his clasped fingers. While the loss of his dominant hand meant day-to-day life was difficult, the euphoria from the cannabis kept him in a positive state of mind.
At university, Blin, took an international business class. He was given an assignment to write a paper about a business that was taking off abroad that would do well in Thailand. This was when marijuana was first becoming legal in California. Blin felt the plant would be the perfect candidate for an agricultural nation like Thailand. He began researching the subject and learning that there were already a few, quietly pioneering the movement.
He came across an American named Don Land of the Thai Cannabis Corporation. Land has a similar vision for the county. He communicated with Land, who introduced him to others in the movement. This led to Blin traveling and meeting folks like American advocate and author Rob Cox and many others who shared his cause.
“One of the biggest names I met and befriended was a guy called Alan Dronkers. If you know the Dronkers family, they were behind Sensi Seeds and a huge company called Hemp Flax. They’re huge, they’re very big. But this guy has a Thai wife and two kids here in Thailand.”
Dronkers, known for his work with cannabis strains, was very passionate about getting legal cannabis into Thailand. Being able to speak both Thai and English, Blin became the go-to guy in different meetings. Eventually, Blin would find himself working with a Thai group called Highland. Highland was an activist group run by a guy, called, “Guide.”
Guide was born in Thailand but went to school in the states. There, he was introduced to cannabis. He saw the way the plant was used to medicate those suffering from cancer and other terminal illnesses. He saw his parents wither away from painful bouts with the disease while people, in some parts of the world, could find relief and even some bit of joy in their dire straits.
“And that inspired him to make a Facebook page,” Blin explained.
“We would translate stuff that we would see on Facebook, like memes, into Thai to educate people. We all gathered around this idea of pushing for Thailand to accept cannabis, and they’re now advising the government on cannabis and have projects going on here and there.”
His work with Highland led to a documentary on the subject of cannabis in Thailand. The documentary, titled Highland: Thailand’s Marijuana Awakening, features Blin.
Blin is more focused on fighting than advocacy these days, but he still helps with the cause here and there.
“I still have the entrepreneurial spirit in the back of my mind that lurks and pokes me every now and then, but my focus is on fighting. If I can do something in the future, sure, why not? But I’m not going to chase it. There’s a lot of skilled, passionate and obsessed people with the means to do it who are doing it now. So let them do it, I’ll stick to what I’m good at now—choking people out.”