Guidelines for an afternoon ritual

Vanity Fair has a pleasant piece by Micah Nathan: A Nice Bowl of Weed

When I think about my experiences with cannabis, I find no fewer than 10 outstanding rules for enjoying the perfect bowl of weed. Orwell had 11 rules for his cup of tea, and he claimed at least four were controversial; I have no comparison. Controversy, as one would expect among marijuana enthusiasts, is soon lost in a warm, smoky haze. Or vapor, if I’m being literal.

The guidelines seem quite appropriate, to me. You may have differing opinions…

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26 Responses to Guidelines for an afternoon ritual

  1. free radical says:

    I’m not impressed. Some of these “guidelines” are highly judgmental expressions of personal taste.
    For starters, why wait til the afternoon? How bout a morning ritual?
    He “guides” us not to smoke out of a pipe sculpted to look like something. Um, why? How does that matter in the least? Isn’t that a matter of taste? Wouldn’t it be better for the ritual if I decide for myself what kind of pipe I want? He dismisses glass pipes as, among other things, awkward. Awkward? How, exactly? I prefer glass (or stone), as you get a clean hit with no taste of metal or wood. But to each his own, and one size does not fit all.
    Then he commits a grievous offense by ruling out bongs with “no exceptions.” Well that’s unnecessarily rigid. But his reason is that bongs are “the sound of unemployment.” Wait, is this bill bennet writing this? Really, how dare he? Singling out one way of smoking, which happens to be far healthier than smoking a joint, which he guides us to do? That’s an asshole. Fuck him and his guidelines.

    • Pete says:

      Wow. That’s a pretty un-mellow response to a very low-key puff piece about the joys of the herb. This piece is no different than me talking about what kinds of scotch are best – it’s assumed that this is a personal opinion meant to start a conversation.

      Of course, everyone will have different views (he said as much in the intro), but “fuck him and his guidelines” is just… harsh.

      • free radical says:

        “Well, I *am* a ticking time bomb of fury.”
        -Mr. Furious (Mystery Men)
        Pardon my harshness, Pete. I appreciate having this forum where I can freely express my anger.
        I was upset by his tone of authority, when his advice would be unhelpful to a cannabis newbie.
        His stereotyping, to me, evoked joe friday. What the hell does use of a bong have to do with employment? A piss test doesn’t differentiate between methods of ingestion. And obviously, the main link between cannabis and unemployment is prohibition, a fact he fails to mention. Also, he entirely dismiss a whole class of cannabis: indica. While I also prefer sativa, indica has its uses, which he seems to dismiss.
        I might not have bristled so much if he could have used “I” statements, describing his own personal preferences, rather than writing off large swaths of cannabis culture for everyone.
        I would agree that ritual is beautiful, when it i from the heart and is personally meaningful. But not when it turns to religion, being needlessly rigid, arbitrary and ultimately oppressive.

        • Pete says:

          It’s a style piece. You’re just not used to seeing them in relation to marijuana.

          This is in Vanity Fair!!!

          This is like a foodie writing a column with rules like you should only serve tea in a china cup, you should never put ketchup on a hotdog, thin crust pizza is an abomination or someone writing that blended scotch is the work of the devil, that you should only lounge on a leather couch.

          These aren’t laws – it’s a very distinctive tongue-in-cheek type of writing that you find in food, cigar and other high end places.

          It means that marijuana has come of age – it can be that luxurious thing that people can enjoy and argue over the merits of different kinds of pipes, rather than seeing it as a drug that delinquents use on the corner in the ghetto.

        • free radical says:

          Thanks. That provides better context.
          I guess I can lighten up.
          Cheers, Pete.

        • Pete says:


          And, of course, he’s all wrong.

          The proper way to enjoy is to slowly shotgun into a nice empty brandy class (or some other glass with a curved-in top) so the smoke is heavy enough to stay thickly in the glass, and then you drink it.

        • Chris says:

          I’ve drank blunt roaches like this in a mason jar.

    • darkcycle says:

      Try a “Church Warden” sometime. No briar pipe delivers a cleaner, cooler hit. I love mine, which, as it happens, is packed with DJ Short’s Blueberry right now. Here…

  2. Frank W. says:

    Drug use is always ritualized. The Booze Culture can be seen in all its glory in any movie made between 1950 and 1980. The loving shots of jiggers, swizzle sticks and cocktail-making accompanied by soft lovers music, lighting up a Lucky…
    Meanwhile Sgt Joe Friday is shaking down a dopesmoker and shaking his head over those Evil Hippies.

  3. joe minella says:

    The more public conversation about my favorite herb, the better. It’s going to take a long time to shed the gov-powered stereotypes and demonization and marginalization that we’ve endured since forever. Even this rigid silliness (odd that) is helpful, I think.

    Don’t tell anybody but I set my Volcano on 6 occasionally.(374F)

  4. stlgonzo says:

    Marijuana Legalization Progress in U.S. Shows Signs of Harming Mexican Cartels

  5. pricknick says:

    No bongs?
    The idiot has never smoked high quality wax. As a matter of fact, bongs do a great job of filtering the smoke. I’ll take a bong any day over a joint.

  6. Sorry, will not use a kitchen knife and glass to chop weed, I think he has his drugs mixed up. Anyone who thinks his trichromes are that precious needs to grow some.

  7. I do like the ambiance that he creates for smoking. It reminds me of the pipe and cigar smokers I have known who took their smoking seriously and practiced it as more of an art to relaxation and pleasure.

  8. Irie says:

    Hey couch mates, a friend of mine on facebook just posted this, kinda liked it, enjoy
    Just a suggestion, fill the chism up, sit back and enjoy the rasta man’s vibes, yes mon, nice ya know!

  9. DonDig says:

    It is a pleasant piece. And the prep for smoking (or ingesting) is a little bit of a process that is enjoyable in and of itself. And while his way isn’t my way, he wrote an enjoyable diversion about an enjoyable diversion, and simple me, I enjoyed reading it, even though I completely disagree with some of his ‘rules’.

    As we see more and more of this kind of thing over time, (style pieces going mainstream), it may in some small way help to dispel some of the ‘typical user’ stereotypes, and that can’t be bad.

  10. claygooding says:

    I am just glad I only smoke the shit by myself or with someone.
    And I am just as happy with a pipe made out of a Coke can as the fanciest bong,,,nothing like having a blowback and burning weed doing the usual seed hole patterns on every t-shirt you own.

  11. “using marijuana is so much fun”

    Connoisseurs can be eccentric to extreme. Check the illustration with the article – it speaks.

  12. Freeman says:

    Micah sounds like a relative newbie. Ah well, he has his way, and I have mine.

  13. MJ Verite says:

    Yes, it was a nice style piece, yet more evidence of an evolving cultural attitude. I shared it with 500 of my closest friends.

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