Agus plunges a wooden paddle into his coffee and marijuana-filled wok, taking care to roast just the right mix of ingredients — and stay one step ahead of police in Indonesia’s Aceh province.
His contraband brew is a hit with locals and buyers in other parts of the Southeast Asian archipelago, who pay 1.0 million rupiah ($75) for a kilo of it.
But this is risky business in Aceh, where even drinking alcohol or kissing in public can earn you a painful whipping under its strict Islamic law.
Agus, not his real name, is part of a clandestine economy in the region at the tip of Sumatra which, despite its no-nonsense reputation, is Indonesia’s top weed-producer with fields covering an area nearly seven times the size of Singapore, according to official estimates.
Pot was once so common in Aceh that locals grew it in their backyards and marijuana was sold to the public.