As we all know, the world of cannabis has been running at a hundred miles a second since i502 passed. I once heard a cannabis accountant refer to the legal industry in “Cannabis Years” when talking about the speed at which businesses were moving through their phases. Lemonhaze.com headquarters in an exciting and often chaotic environment; watching and analyzing the legal cannabis market has a habit of stealing all of the hours in the day. It is so easy to lose track of how far we have come as Cannabis advocates, users, and business people. So I wanted to take a moment out of the real-time analysis to reflect on some of the changes to the cannabis culture I have noticed since the era of legalization.
The first time I smoked cannabis I was, well, let’s just say I was younger than I am now, wink-wink. My older friend Brandon led the four of us into the Maine woods on a beautiful spring day, pulled out an old metal pipe wrapped in colorful “dough” (you remember those right?) packed tightly with what I would later learn was Shwag-Brick weed.
I was the fourth person in the circle and the newbie, so as I nervously awaited my first toke Brandon explained the etiquette of cannabis culture:
- Don’t Bogart the Joint/Pipe
Online Etymology Dictionary defines Bogarting:
1969, “to keep a joint in your mouth,” dangling from the lip like Humphrey Bogart’s cigarette in the old movies, instead of passing it on. First attested in “Easy Rider.”
1968 ‘Fraternity of Man’ Don’t bogart Me (transcription of the song) in www.stlyrics.com (O.E.D. archive), Don’t bogart that joint, my friend Pass it over to me.
When cannabis was more difficult to get and a session was an event rather than a casual daily activity you could show a lot of social respect by making sure that everyone got a green hit. I was shown how to bring the lighter up from the underside of the pipe, and allow the flame to curl over the edge lighting just a small portion of the greenery. By then applying rule 3 from below you could try to make sure that every person in the circle got a “fresh, green hit”
- Smother with the side of the Lighter
When Passing the pipe one should hold the side of the lighter over the bowl to maintain that further burning did not occur. This was especially important if you were entering a coughing fit that disallowed you from maintaining positive control over the pass.
- Don’t Pack a Seed!!
Before legal cannabis, seeds were a regular, pesky problem. Knowing how green I was, after the session my friends played a prank. They handed me the empty pipe, well empty aside from one seed. Now I was high my friends, extremely high. I looked at this little seed rolling around on the metal screen with bewilderment. “This will send you soaring!” they told me. Well, I brought the lighter to the bowl and prepared for something magical. It was magical alright, the foulest tasting, cough-inducing hit coupled with a tiny explosion in my face: POP! Just as this all happened Brandon yelled a common urban myth from the time: “It’ll make you sterile!” Hahaha. I threw the pipe into the woods with a paranoid fervor, it took us almost ten minutes to find it in the bushes.
In the era of legal cannabis, I have noticed a more laissez-faire approach to the bountiful amount of cannabis available. People holding onto joints as if they were cigarettes, no one anxiously awaiting the pass because, hell, if it doesn’t move fast enough we will just light another, even everyone smoking their own joint. This style of Cannabis consumption used to be reserved for players, dealers, and fat cats, or the kid trying to earn social cred. The concerns about making every puff count and a session being an event has been usurped by the plethora of legal cannabis products and having a shop around the corner.
Coincidentally, almost exactly 25 years after this first session and my first seed explosion I found myself with some older i502 insiders. There we were, four or five old timers sitting around a garage, hand rolling joints. When there was a shout of surprise and joy: we had found a seed. So, for posterity, we rolled it up and awaited the pop that reminded us of the foul-tasting days of the black-market.