The 2018 Midterm election ushered in marijuana legalization in three more states. Missouri and Utah joined the ranks of 31 other states which now allow the herb for medical use. Meanwhile, Michigan voters gave the green light for adult recreational use, making it the tenth state to legalize across the board.
The spread of legalization means millions of people who avoided marijuana due to the illegal status of the drug, may now find themselves curious about the hype and less apprehensive with legalization. In fact, an article from Michigan Live suggests legalization could mean as many as 4.5 million people will try the substance once available in Michigan alone.
With so many novices entering the brave new world, it only makes sense to answer this week's Quora question with a little friendly advice for all the new cannabis consumers planning to take advantage of the end of prohibition.
While "stoner etiquette" existed long before legalization, we've learned with the legal market; there is a right and wrong way to consume cannabis in all situations. Whether you're trying it for recreation or medication, it's important to understand a few pointers before just diving into your first bowl or blunt. Besides being courteous, proper consumption can help new consumers avoid an uncomfortable experience, as well as, embarrassment.
Before I dive into the quirky and fun etiquette rules of smoking cannabis, the more vital topic to cover is consumer safety. We've seen it happen hundreds of times – people underestimate the power of legal cannabis products. Most legally – grown cannabis is bred for high – THC potency and today's plants are higher quality than the days of brick weed past.
As you start to explore this wondrous new world of legal cannabis, keep these three things in mind:
- Start Low, Go Slow – build your tolerance, slowly. Consuming too much marijuana can send even a veteran consumer into a 4 – hour panic attack. Don't be someone your friends need to babysit.
- Don't Drive Impaired – look, it's 2018, we've evolved enough as humans to understand whether you're impaired by drugs or by alcohol, getting behind the wheel of a vehicle under the influence is not only irresponsible, it's stupid. Just don't.
- Ask Questions – the budtender or cannabis advisor is there to help you understand cannabis, its effects, and how the products work. Ask questions if you don't understand. There are no stupid questions when it comes to your personal cannabis experience.
Once you've established a safe environment and understand responsible consumption, experimenting with the different strains and effects of cannabis can be a fun and enjoyable experience. However, for as long as modern Americans have been consuming the infamous herb, there have always been a few unwritten, but well – known etiquette rules for social cannabis smoke sessions. Knowing the proper way to partake can help you look like less of a newbie.
Here are the 9 Commandments of Cannabis Etiquette:
- He who rolls it, sparks it – the person who loads the bowl, rolls the joint, or packs the cone gets the privilege of lighting it.
- Cornering the bowl, don't torch it – leave a little green for the next guy. The art of cornering a bowl, can take a little practice to learn how to control the flame, but your friends will appreciate the effort.
- Don't fish lip – when sharing a bowl, blunt or joint, don't have sloppy, wet lips when you hit it. No one wants a soggy spliff slathered in whatever cooties you're carrying.
- Don't bogart that joint, my friend – the phrase is "Puff, Puff, Pass." When it's your turn, quickly take your hit or two, then pass it to the next person. Taking more than your share is rude; and camping during a session is a waste of product, something no one wants to do.
- Don't mess up the rotation – as Beyonce taught us – to the left, to the left – we always pass to the left. Keeping the rotation going in the same direction helps ensure everyone participating in the session, gets equal participation. Interfere with the rotation, and it messes everything up.
- Flick before you pass – again, while it might seem like common courtesy, be considerate of your smoking buddies.
- Clear the Chamber – this obviously only applies if you're smoking from a bong, pipe, or dab rig, but clear the smoke or vapor from the chamber of the device from your own hit. Don't pass stale smoke.
- Don't Mooch – always bring some to share. No one likes the guy who shows up empty – handed asking for a beer on gameday. Likewise, if you're going to participate, contribute.
- Peer Pressure is so 1982 – if someone doesn't want to partake, there's no reason to try to pressure them into it. Cannabis isn't for everyone, don't force it.
Understanding the do's and don'ts is the first step to avoiding adverse outcomes. Although cannabis consumption has long been revered as an illegal, shady activity, the proliferation of the legal market and a greater understanding of its effects is opening up opportunities for the canna – curious to indulge in a new experience. Making that experience a positive one requires taking an educated approach to consumption, as well as, preparing for a positive social interaction. Learning to use cannabis responsibly and with respect is what defines appropriate adult use.
Thanks for another great question from Quora. If you'd like to see your cannabis – related question answered here on Leafbuyer, ask me on Quora!