Updated: Apr 12
Please give us a brief introduction of your brand and team. What is your main business? Media? Production of products? Others?
從金屬樂隊時代走到嘻哈與地下電子派對，海肯是從 2014 年正式成立至今的自媒體選物店兼煙具唱片行。我們會不定期舉辦活動，一直致力於推廣大麻平權、迷幻文化與好音樂。
海肯 is a self-media concept store and smoking accessory record shop that has been promoting cannabis rights, psychedelic culture, and good music since its establishment in 2014, evolving from the metal band era to the hip-hop and underground electronic party scene.
When did you start doing this and what was the opportunity? What was your original intention? How did you think about it at the time?
最開始是因為玩樂隊，同時一直有在寫文字，推廣一些 underground 文化與外國樂團介紹，這方面從國中就開始了，初心就是想把喜歡的音樂分享給更多也會喜歡的朋友聽到。
It started with playing in a band and writing about underground culture and foreign bands, which began in middle school. The original intention was to share music that we like with more friends who would also appreciate it.
The band did not last long, so we started thinking about ways to make money and put aside our lofty ambitions to live a more down-to-earth life.
接著算是兩手空空從路邊與音樂祭擺攤、網路生意慢慢做起。最重要的是，很感謝我的好 homie 帶我認識 420 文化，讓我打開了心、看到更多視野。跟大家一樣，在那之後就開始接觸了更多不同音樂與文化，來者不拒了。
We started with street vending and online business at music festivals, and most importantly, I am grateful for my homie who introduced me to 420 culture, opened my mind, and gave me a broader perspective. Like everyone else, I started to explore different music and cultures after that.
What obstacles did you encounter in the process? How did you start financially? Did you have any conflicts with the police? Did your family support you?
I faced many obstacles, such as financial difficulties and personal challenges, but I believe the universe challenges us for a reason and everything is a necessary learning experience. In the end, I am grateful and fortunate.
Financially, my family has always been in debt since I grew up, so I was unsure about my future at the beginning. I started my business with a credit card loan of NT$20,000 from my girlfriend at the time, and I am really grateful to her for that.
在台灣其實不太特別需要一直跟 Popo 過招，只要遵守那些規則與地點，開車要小心，但多少還是面對過聲音跟檢舉什麼的，很fucked up。
In Taiwan, there is not much need to confront the police constantly as long as you follow the rules and regulations and drive carefully, but I have still faced the challenges of being reported or criticized, which can be frustrating.
My family is open-minded and did not oppose my involvement in the marijuana culture and 420. They know that it is a positive and empowering movement, and they have even done their own research and watched documentaries from Europe and America to reject government and media brainwashing. However, they still worry about the risks involved in pushing the government and laws to face the truth.
The 420 culture in the local underground scene?
近幾年台灣從草東沒有派對的獨立樂團浪潮爆發後，音樂場景快速進化，就非常活躍了。而 420 文化本身跟音樂場景息息相關，隨著人數越來越多，大家也越來越敢組織推動與發聲了。我們相信只要從音樂與藝術開始，大家就會發現這些精神價值。
In recent years, the music scene in Taiwan has rapidly evolved after the independent band wave from the Eastern District. The 420 culture is closely related to the music scene, and as the number of people involved increases, more people are willing to organize and speak up. We believe that starting from music and art can help people discover these spiritual values.
Except for last year's event cancellations due to the pandemic, the underground scene in Taiwan has been full of vitality in recent years. There are more and more underground venues, from music festivals, hip-hop events to underground clubs, and outdoor parties in the natural mountains. Just when I left the country, activities resumed after a few months of lockdown, and I saw everyone having even more fun.
How did you gather your partners to do this, and what stage are you at now?
剛好也是推廣 420 文化後，有越來越多夥伴加入，一開始是從身邊朋友開始，再慢慢磨合挑選，也到網上徵人等等。原本都沒什麼工作組團經歷，所以是一個緩慢隨性的過程。
As I promoted the 420 culture, more and more partners joined us. It started with my friends, and we slowly selected and trained them. We also recruited people online. We had little experience in organizing and operating as a group, so it was a slow and casual process.’
A few years ago, I was running a small online business by myself, but slowly, I formed a team, opened a small store, and now we are about to move to a larger venue where we can hold events.
Have you ever encountered public questioning? How did you respond?
Wow, there are always challenges such as resistance and questioning. When facing disrespectful and unreasonable voices, we don't pay much attention to them, express our stance, and continue to strive for progress. Over time, everything will be proven.
Of course, we are very grateful for those constructive criticisms and suggestions, which are one of our driving forces. Later on, we realized that it is a necessary process, and we have to take every step that needs improvement with courage, uphold our original intention, and insist on progress. We like to respond with action and change.
What motivates you to continue doing this?
最主要就是成長過程，我在家裡有遭到很長期的創傷經歷，有時能樂觀看待，有時會很難過、抑鬱。之後透過音樂興趣認識了有著類似故事、能理解彼此的朋友。隨著長大，又認識了 420 文化，這些能徹底幫心靈過濾雜質的東西，再加上陪伴，最終慢慢療癒了我，這很美，也很熱血
The main motivation is the growth process. I had a long period of traumatic experience at home, sometimes I could look at it optimistically, and sometimes I would feel sad and depressed. Later, through my music interest, I met friends who had similar stories and could understand each other. As I grew up, I also learned about the 420 culture, which helped filter out impurities in my soul completely, and with companionship, I gradually healed. This is beautiful and passionate.
We no longer have to be defined or entangled by bad memories, and we have the ability to pursue a happier and healthier life.
As long as I think about the fact that there are many lives in the world that have similar experiences to us, it is very distressing. Because I understand the pain that you understand and the loneliness that many people cannot understand.
So I want to share this information with more people, which is to increase opportunities to help those in need. These are indeed better than capitalist Western medicine, psychiatric drugs, and real drugs. As long as you use it in the right way and with the right people, talking to your heart in nature can help people make fewer unnecessary mistakes and live more happily.
So very early on, I thought that this was my destiny and a very passionate mission. Gradually, I discovered that we have the ability and resources to do this better, so in my lifetime, I just want to do this well. The revolution has not yet succeeded, and the comrades still need to work hard!
What is the joy of persisting in this matter? Have you ever experienced self-doubt or pain?
Happiness comes from a sense of participation, a sense of accomplishment, and the positive energy of really helping others and being helped by others, as mentioned in the previous question. A friend told me very early on, and I haven't forgotten it, that is to have a grateful heart, which is the best cure for everything.
During different stages, I also had self-doubt and was confused because of pressure or money. But in the end, there was always a voice in my heart that made me persevere when I was at my lowest point, which is belief.
What are your short-term and long-term goals? What are your ideals and wishes?
Our short-term goal is to get our new storefront, bar, and underground venue up and running, and start hosting regular events such as movie nights, trauma support groups, and psychedelic education talks. As for our long-term plans, we take it step by step and don't think too far ahead, letting things naturally unfold and allowing more people to see the interesting and passionate side of this culture.
Can the current operation cover the economic needs of the team? What is everyone's current state of material needs?
Currently, we are in a stable state without much progress or setbacks, and we still need to work hard when we return home. However, everyone's idea of material needs is similar, with happiness being the top priority, and having enough money to live is good enough, which is great.
What kind of mindset transformation has occurred during your participation in the 420 industry?
Many unnecessary arrogance has been tamed, and we have become more respectful of many things. Additionally, we have gradually adjusted to a more comfortable pace, although it's easier said than done and takes time. Every year, we want everyone to be in a better state, not just for business.
How do you hope most people view green plants and psychedelic drugs?
Although it is still difficult to persuade most Taiwanese people (they have been brainwashed by health textbooks from over a decade ago), of course, we hope everyone can view these things in a correct and healthy way. After all, their most valuable feature is their ability to help with psychological issues when used properly.
In the global 420 industry, which brands and media are worth learning from? Why?
目前關注最多的還是亞洲泰國這邊，像 Highland 等等，當然也還有 Wizman 的經營之道。大家現在都在泰國這邊，畢竟是近期從不合法變合法的國家，這部分有很多地方都值得台灣的品牌與媒體學習、借鏡，所以我們也會持續分享這邊的資訊給大家！
Currently, we are paying the most attention to Asia, Thailand in particular, such as Highland, and of course, Wizman's business philosophy. Everyone is currently in Thailand, as it is a country that has recently changed from being illegal to legal, and many aspects are worth Taiwanese brands and media learning from and referencing, so we will continue to share information from here with everyone!
Compared to European and American countries, Asia is relatively conservative, and the difficulty of communication between Asian youth groups is caused by language, culture, habits, and prejudices, among other things. The democratic process is only in the exploration stage in some countries, and public opinion and popularity will face certain obstacles. How do you view the situation in Asia, and what difficult problems will your region face when promoting the decriminalization of 420?
The main difficulty will be communicating with the majority of people, as well as with those who do not use the internet. Over the years, incorrect information has been indoctrinated, and many people choose not to look at the true information from overseas and are unwilling to believe that the information they received before was incorrect. This can be understood, but it is the most challenging part. Those who refuse to look or listen will be the most difficult part of our efforts to promote marijuana decriminalization.
Everything should be left to time. It's important to continue connecting with the public through various media, events, and protests to speak out and have dialogue. It's even more important for politicians to help push this issue forward, although it's difficult since they have to go against the majority of the votes. However, some Taiwanese legislators have already expressed their opinions on this issue, and young politicians are starting to advocate for discussions on this issue as well.
Just like our cannabis lawyer Li Jingqi, who almost became a legislator before and is now running for Taipei City Council as a member of the Green Party this year. She is a leading figure in Taiwan's push for cannabis decriminalization, and we should support her well!
Do you have hope for legalization? What do you think you can do? What do you want to do after legalization?
The law of attraction requires hope. We will continue to speak out through self-media and participate in joint actions with various organizations to speed up the process. After legalization, of course, we hope to be the first coffee shop in Taiwan. We believe we will get there someday.
How do you view the development of Asian brands and companies in the 420 industry?
因為亞洲發展較晚，目前會認為前途無量吧，不過身為拓荒者鐵定是充滿各種未知挑戰。大麻除罪化是全球趨勢，從靈藥變禁藥，再從禁藥反轉污名變成醫藥。我個人認為大麻合法是全人類歷史的必經過程，所以亞洲地區的 420 行業，可能會在未來隨著越來越多國家的開放、民眾的改觀，而獲得更好的發展。這時間會需要多久，就取決於我們能持續發多少聲了。
Because the development in Asia is relatively late, many people see great potential, but as pioneers, we are bound to face various unknown challenges. The decriminalization of marijuana is a global trend, from a sacred medicine to a banned drug, and then from a stigmatized drug to a medicine. I personally believe that the legalization of marijuana is an inevitable process in human history. Therefore, the 420 industry in Asia may gain better development in the future as more and more countries open up and public opinions change. How long this will take depends on how much we can continue to speak out.
Why do we need to unite? What are the problems with the current groups in Asia?
The connection between young people in China and Taiwan has been forcibly cut off, which is very bad. The Chinese-speaking regions are very strict on the issue of marijuana, and everyone can only try to connect with others in other places. The opening up of Thailand is a great opportunity for people to legally chill and freely speak out. Therefore, having the opportunity to do this together is very precious and meaningful.
There are also many underground organizations in Japan and South Korea, but currently, there are not many transnational united organizations. Looking at the language, politics, and the influence of the current environment in recent years, it is not expected to be able to connect smoothly and quickly. However, even though it is full of various challenges, Da Fei She has already come to Chiang Mai to pave the way for everyone. Let's work together and wait and see!