Advice for NewDoobies


Hello, and welcome to the wonderful world of weed! Be aware: The cannabis-etiquette rabbit hole is full of traps and inconsistencies, as well as local customs and arcane superstitions.

It takes practice to be a pro like Willie Nelson, but you can get there.
It takes practice to be a pro like Willie Nelson, but you can get there.

Some general rules (pirate voice): “The code is more what you’d call ’guidelines’ than actual rules.”

Pass the dutchie to the left-hand side. Yes, it’s a song. The first joint or bowl or whatever should go to the left. If the circle is big enough and the weed is plentiful, someone may send another bowl or blunt counterclockwise—and it’s always funny when someone gets passed both joints at the same time. That person, of course, should attempt to smoke both joints at once.

Puff, puff, pass. This is America. The joint should proceed around the circle in a timely manner. If the joint is not being hit, it’s just burning weed. The rules are different in Spain, where the doobie is probably some mixture of hash and tobacco and burns hella slow, everyone is unemployed, “tranquilo” is the order of the day, and so it takes for-freaking-ever for the joint to get back to you.

Don’t burn the whole bowl. When smoking from a pipe, one should endeavor to burn a corner of the weed in the bowl, thereby ensuring that the next person gets a “green” hit and a chance to savor the flavor of the weed. This is not always possible, but do your best. If the bowl is cashed when it gets to you, reload it.

Don’t slobber. Come on. There used to be a racially charged term for this sort of marijuana abuse, but times have changed. Suffice it to say, please keep your lips dry when hitting the joint or bowl. There are few things worse than being passed a soggy joint. Ew.

Know your health. If you have a cold, don’t share a joint. Duh. If you have a cold sore or some sort of thing on your lip, please think about what you may be introducing to the circle. I have never heard of anyone getting the herp from passing joints around, but still.

Try to bring some weed with you every once in a while. It’s not hard to get. New smokers get the benefit of the doubt, but if you keep showing up to a session empty-handed, people will start to talk.

Introduce yourself. When approaching a group of people smoking weed, a friendly smile and a “hello” work wonders. I have met some cool people while standing in the circle or sneaking around the corner to smoke a bowl. Use a nickname if you want, but it’s always better smoking with friends than with strangers.

Most of all, just be polite and kind, and most issues will take care of themselves.

Ngaio Bealum is one of the premiere cannabis comics in the United States and you’ll see why he has performed at just about every Hempfest on the West Coast and too many cannabis-related events to even keep track of. He has appeared on Comedy Central, BET, MTV and many other networks and shows across your television dial. Very recently, he was a featured guest on the hilarious podcast of Doug Benson (Super High Me, Half-Baked), Getting Doug With High. In addition to his cannabis comedy, he is the former editor of West Coast Cannabis Magazine and has been a tireless activist for legalization. While Ngaio’s comedy is hilarious whether you are a full-fledged member of the cannabis community or not, it certainly doesn’t hurt. You should follow him on Twitter @ngaio420