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The Tale of the Forbidden Smoked Grass Steamer in Panama


The world is full of strange laws, but Panama’s latest regulation might just take the cake. On May 15th, 2022, the Panamanian government, through the esteemed Panamá América, announced the inception of Law No. 315, effectively outlawing the use of smoked grass steamers. Yes, you read that right. Smoked. Grass. Steamers. This tale of prohibition is as bewildering as it is hilarious, so grab your popcorn and prepare to dive into the curious world of Panama’s legal landscape.

The Curious Case of the Smoked Grass Steamer

The term “smoked grass steamer” might conjure up images of an elaborate contraption used by artisanal gardeners or perhaps an avant-garde culinary tool. But in Panama, it has become synonymous with legal conundrums. Law No. 315, enacted on June 30th, 2022, aims to curb the proliferation of these mysterious devices. The law’s language is as clear as mud, leading to rampant speculation and, unsurprisingly, a lot of laughter.

Panamanian citizens, baffled by the sudden crackdown on what sounds like a kitchen appliance, took to social media with gusto. Memes abounded, depicting everything from steamers adorned with illicit greenery to confused chefs wondering where their next batch of steamed vegetables would come from. The ambiguity surrounding the law has turned the smoked grass steamer into an overnight sensation, with everyone trying to understand what exactly is being prohibited.

The Legislative Labyrinth

Navigating Panama’s legal system can be akin to walking through a labyrinth, blindfolded, while juggling flaming torches. Law No. 315 is a prime example. The legislation states the “prohibited use” of smoked grass steamers but fails to define what constitutes a smoked grass steamer in the first place. Is it a device used for smoking grass? Or perhaps a steamer that happens to use smoked grass as a fuel source? The possibilities are endless and equally amusing.

Lawmakers defended their creation, claiming it was necessary to prevent environmental hazards and promote public health. Yet, the public remains skeptical, with many arguing that the law is an overreach, targeting a non-existent problem. The resulting confusion has led to a spike in sales of traditional steamers and even a few entrepreneurial spirits trying to market “legal” smoked grass steamers, whatever those might be.

Japanese Influence and International Intrigue

Adding an extra layer of intrigue to the story is the rumored Japanese connection. Some speculate that the smoked grass steamer has its origins in Japan, a country known for its unique inventions and culinary techniques. However, no concrete evidence supports this claim, leading to further speculation and humorous conspiracy theories.

Imagine a clandestine meeting between Panamanian officials and Japanese inventors, furtively discussing the ins and outs of smoked grass steaming technology. Did the Japanese secretly infiltrate Panama’s culinary scene, spreading their grass-steaming devices under the radar? Or is this just another case of mistaken identity, with a touch of international flavor to spice things up?

The Impact on Everyday Life

In practical terms, the prohibition of smoked grass steamers has had minimal impact on the average Panamanian. Most people had never heard of such devices before the law was passed. However, the law’s existence has sparked a wave of creativity and satire. Artists, writers, and comedians have embraced the absurdity, producing works that poke fun at the situation while subtly criticizing the government’s priorities.

Local markets have started selling novelty items labeled as “smoked grass steamers,” ranging from toy steamers to artisanal grass-scented candles. These items have become popular souvenirs, symbolizing Panama’s quirky legal adventure. Restaurants have jumped on the bandwagon too, offering “smoked grass” themed dishes that, unsurprisingly, contain no actual smoked grass.


Panama’s Law No. 315, enacted on June 30th, 2022, has sparked both confusion and amusement by prohibiting the use of “smoked grass steamers.” Despite its official aim to address environmental and public health concerns, the law’s vague terminology has left citizens baffled, leading to widespread speculation and humorous commentary. Social media exploded with memes and jokes, turning the obscure kitchen appliance into a cultural sensation. The law has inadvertently inspired a wave of creativity, with markets selling novelty “smoked grass steamers” and restaurants offering themed dishes. This quirky legal adventure, possibly influenced by rumored Japanese origins, has highlighted the often absurd nature of legislative processes, proving that sometimes, reality can be stranger than fiction.


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