Do changing laws have you considering smoking the pot?

It’s occurred to me that as cannabis legalization follows gay marriage across our increasingly cool nation that there are going to be a lot of people being introduced to marijuana for the first time, and they probably have some questions.

My stoney college years have come in handy!  Here’s some tips for those considering toking it up for the first time, or reintroducing it to their lives:

1. Enjoy the introduction!  The first times you smoke are the funniest times, you will get used it after a while and it’s just not as hilarious.  Still fun, but more in a relaxing way, it’s just outta control silly at first.

2. Like with alcohol, different quantities will produce different results.  I am now a “one-hit wonder”.  A quick toke leaves me feeling relaxed, creative, and just really good.  A few tokes can leave me feeling a little paranoid, and sometimes self-critical – but not always.  Sometimes this amount leaves me super-duper entertained and silly.  I think which way it goes depends on life’s exterior circumstances as well as the mindset going into it.  If I were to smoke a whole bowl I’d become one with the couch, and probably fall asleep.  Smoking very frequently will result in a higher tolerance and it will take more herb to get high.

3. Be careful with edibles!  It’s hard to know how much you’re consuming and they take awhile to kick in.  The last time I had an edible was seven years ago at a concert, well out of my high tolerance days, and about an hour after munching it down was all like, “I just…I just need to sit down for a minute…”, or for three hours!  A couple of friends of mine had some “devil cake” as they now call it and were high for a whole day.  Whoofta.  There’s also the no smoke factor, and the yummy and fun factor if done right.

4. Bongs, knife hits, masks, and other silliness are used for getting super-duper stoned.  Like chugging beer bongs and taking shots; these shenanigans have a downside to the hilarity factor (which is totally there).  The next day you will feel spacey, your throat may be sore, and you might have tummy issues from the munchies.  If you smoke a lot frequently (become a stoner) you probably won’t get much done.  Lots of thinking up brilliant ideas, and not a whole lot of follow through.  A productive stoner is rare, but it happens!  Everybody’s different, figure out what works for you.

5. Smoking pot changes thought patterns, usually making people think “deeper”.  If ontological mysteries scare you, you might not enjoy being stoned.  (But you might be pleasantly surprised!)  You will have an increased ability to look at things from a different perspective, and you may find yourself re-considering old views.  Although you may just find yourself cracking up over cartoons whilst eating Funyuns…

6. A very low quality marijuana is called schwag and will probably leave you feeling like a dumby with a headache.  No fun.  Good pot glimmers with crystals and has little yellowish orange hairs. Fresher pot is easier on the throat.

7. It can cure what ails you!  In addition to all of the issues that medical marijuana is prescribed for, it also helps with common ailments like flu symptoms, headaches, and cramps.

8. Food is YUMMY when you’re high.  So.  Good.  It’s a good idea to keep healthy munchies around when smoking.  I like veggies topped with a little ranch and garlic powder followed by some OJ…  I also recommend getting something sweet and something salty to snack on.  (Chocolate covered pretzels are a revelation!)

9. An apple, an aluminum can, and many other common items can be MacGyvered into a pipe in a pinch!

10. A bit on circle culture.  Here are some common customs for smoking in a group:
-Don’t smoke your own green, load the bowl and pass it to the person next to you (either side, but next to you).  The first puff is the tastiest one.
-The pipe is not a microphone.  People have a tendency to talk a lot when they are holding the pipe, because everyone is paying them attention, since they have the pipe.  They are waiting for their turn, not for whatever you have to say next!
-If you cough, be careful not to cough into the pipe, the pot will fly out (plus, gross)!
-If you nearly finish the bowl on your turn give the next person a heads up, as the last toke needs to be taken slower to prevent getting ash in your mouth.

11. The hole on the side of the bowl in a pipe (or the stem going into the hole in a bong) is called a carb.  It’s used to clear the smoke left in the pipe after you take a hit so the next one doesn’t taste stale.  When you’re almost done inhaling, open the carb and keep breathing in until the smoke is gone.

For more tips I recommend the movies Half Baked, Dazed and Confused, Smiley Face, and (of course) Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke.  I’m very excited about this progress! (And highly amused that I’ve lived in 4 out of 5 of the legalized states…)

I’m excited for common sense (it’s an herb), I’m excited to keep non-violent folks out of jail, I’m excited for the tax dollars and entrepreneurial opportunities, and I’m excited for the fact that a whole lotta people are going to puff up a much needed chill pill.  Hooray Amuricaaaa!

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