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By Ren Anderson
This is a new era for cannabis legalization, and the rules that once applied to black market smoke sessions have evolved and changed along with increasing social acceptance of marijuana. This is a good thing; as cannabis replaces much more dangerous alcohol in social events, we are finding a much more peaceful culture as a result.
If you are in a legal or medically legal state: Make sure you have your proper certifications. Considering both anxiety and chronic pain are listed in most medically legal states, and many states have full recreational, there is no reason to rely on the black market in states with legal dispensaries. It is considerate to your friends to be as legal as possible and encourage them to do likewise. It is safer and gives everyone peace of mind knowing that you have taken the time to get your cannabis legally and from a safe dispensary or grow-op.
Be Generous: Going above and beyond to accommodate your friends will be rewarded in any group of decent human beings. If you are hosting, organize drinks and snacks. If you rotate bringing weed, bring as much as you would like to see someone else bring to the party. Basically, the Golden rule of life is the Golden rule of weed: “Do for others as you would like others to do for you”Being generous will always gain you friends, your reputation will never be hurt by being more giving.
Choose your company well: If your smoke circle isn’t kind or you get taken advantage of for your generosity, finding other smoke buddies is easier than ever at your local dispensary or coffee shop. There are now cannabis clubs that meet recreationally, in public: there is literally zero need to tolerate bad company more than twice. There is zero need to hang out with shady people or anyone who consistently brings you down. Being around positive people with good habits will bring you up as well.
Don’t pressure anyone: Whether it be the non-smoking friend who never tried it or the designated driver, it is never cool to pressure anyone to partake of a cannabis session. If you are open and welcoming to everyone in the room, the people who want to participate will do so with enthusiasm. Also, there is no point to wasting good grass on someone who does not want to partake just yet.
Be Responsible: Cover your share of weed, food, or hosting in the group. If you are invited someplace and cannot cover your share, say so- instead of showing up empty handed, maybe the host will allow you to help in some non-financial way by helping with either set up or clean up, or maybe by cleaning out the glassware or other ways that benefit everyone. If you do not own a place where you can host- then pick a spot where you can all meet up and organize it. Some of the best smoke sessions can be outdoors in nature or at a local cannabis friendly meet-up place like a cannabis coffee shop (in recreational states)
Related article: Recreational Marijuana and Its Effect on Health
Bring ample snacks and drinks to share: Few things are ruder in a communal smoke session than the person who brings something that smells amazing but brought nothing to share. If you are going to any cannabis related social gathering if you are hungry, realize that your friends are likely hungry too. If you really want take-out, ask your friends if they want to place an order as well after you get there.
Ask Questions: If you do not know how to do something, Ask. We are no longer in a situation of gatekeeping who can and cannot smoke with us by a series of arcane rituals to make sure you aren’t a narc. It is better to ask how to do something than to do it wrong. Everyone was new once.
Different places have different rules and getting it all straight between everyone verbally in the beginning helps head off great deal of misunderstandings later.
Say Exactly What You Brought: Honesty is also essential if you or a friend prefer mixing their bud with tobacco, hashish, chamomile or anything else. It is safest just to ask the group first if they are okay with what you want to add to the bowl.
Related article: 7 Marijuana strains that are Good for Meditation
Treat Other’s Belongings Better Than Your Own: That’s right: better. After you suffer your first broken glass at the hands of a careless friend, you appreciate people who handle everything with care and caution over the idiots who wildly gesticulate with their hands full of fire.
If you break it, replace it. If you can’t afford to replace something you break with your carelessness, offer to compensate the bereaved owner with something you can do. Everyone is useful for something, even if it’s something like helping someone move, repainting their kitchen, or pet-sitting (however, if you break someone’s glass- they may not trust you with their pets!)
Pass around the packaging: This reassures everyone that your weed is both legitimately obtained and safe. Furthermore, with so many people newly legal, it really helps relax new smokers, especially those who were against cannabis in their pasts. instead of a beat up Ziplock baggie of the past we now have hundreds of different legitimate companies competing for our legal dollars. The packaging is both reassuring as well as way to reward good companies to get more business through people remembering good product by the packaging.
Learn how to roll a joint (Here is how I learned: The Dollar Bill Method) By rolling your own joints, especially if you gain skill at it, you will secure your place of honor among your peers. If you are a perpetual fumble fingers, invest in an auto-roller (insert product here) or resign yourself to buying pre-rolls from the local dispensary
Learn how to properly prepare your green: Make sure to remove the stems and seeds prior to putting it in your grinder or shredding it by hand. Stems taste awful in a communal bowl but are fantastic to save to grind up into canna-butter for edibles later down the line.
Learn how to make edibles: (Here is how) Although stems taste awful when smoked, if you grind them up a few rounds in your (Insert promoted grinder here: I use a sharpstone) you will then have a good pulp to infuse your butter. From there, the easiest cookie recipe I have enjoyed over the years is for Peanut Butter Cookies But some people prefer getting brownie mix from the store and substituting Cannabutter for conventional butter.
Take Care of Your Belongings: No one wants to smoke out of a bong with three-month-old water in it, or share a pipe covered in lipstick. Make sure your equipment is clean and all water is freshly changed. Make sure to pick up some (insert glass cleaner) to clean out your borosilicate pieces regularly. If you have a lot of time on your hands, here is the Wikihow on how to clean a bong with common household materials.
Learn How to Properly Pack and Smoke a Shared Bowl with Cornering (here is how) make sure to only light the smallest amount of weed possible during your turn- this not only conserves weed and is incredibly considerate, but also, you really do not need more than this to fill any chamber. Puff puff pass, and don’t hold the bowl if you are telling a story- pass it on. It will come back to you, and if it’s empty, refill it.
Related article: How to Corner Your Bowl of Cannabis
Learn your tolerance levels: If you accidentally take more than you can handle- remember to stay calm and remember that it will pass.
Arrange your transportation or arrangements in advance: don’t drive intoxicated! Whether you call an uber, have a designated driver, or the host allows you to chill on the couch a while, always be as safe as possible and ask in advance.
Be a Gracious Guest: Learn how to besthelp the host, read the room, and bring positive vibes to every gathering you are in. Learn how to keep the conversation away from divisive topics and defuse drama the best you can. Chip in more than your share when you can in grass, cash, or gas to get to your location. Clean up after yourself and express your gratitude to the host and other participants
Related article: 7 Best Ways to Smoke Weed - Pros, Cons, and More
Be a Gracious Host: Having a clean, interesting space in which to host your friends is sublime- make sure you have plenty of beverages and snacks for your guests, as well as plenty of toilet paper in the bathroom
Have fun! No, seriously… as we age, our lives should not remain a perpetual dramafest. Enjoy these opportunities to interact with others in a lighthearted in friendly way: there is a time and a place for serious, heart-rending conversations. The middle of a smoke session with your friends is not that time. By focusing on the moment and not on your worries you will make the occasion more pleasant for you and others in the circle
With the rolling ending of cannabis prohibition, we are enjoying a new world of opportunity and transparency in enjoying everything the plant has to offer.
Instead of being stuck with a shady weed hookup with questionable product, we now have almost infinite brands and several methods to imbibe our THC. Now, smoke sessions between friends (or friendly acquaintances) is a good way to reward the producers who create good product as well as warn others about strains and products that were not so great.
Any method of enjoying cannabis with friends is an opportunity to strengthen our community and add to the positive aspects of cannabis culture.