It happens without fail.
Anytime I step outside my house – no matter if it is for tacos, to the grocery store or to go grab a beer down the street – I’m almost assuredly destined to get accosted by some enthusiastic stoner wanting to get me high.
The chances of this happening increase exponentially if I dare attend one of those godforsaken marijuana biz conventions where the industry’s entire publicity department shows up eager to impress doe-eyed journalists in an attempt to drum up some press. “Hey man, great to see you. We’re getting ready to burn a fatty, you've got to try this stuff.”
Listen, I’m a nobody. The way I see it, I’m lucky to be here. But to some folks, I’m Mike from High Times, the Forbes columnist who nearly brought down the hundred-something-year-old company after publishing a column suggesting that cannabis advocates should abandon their peaceful protests, storm the Capitol Building, and flog Congress with rubber hoses until they legalize marijuana at the national level. That was a year before Trump’s people actually did it! In hindsight, perhaps my directive wouldn’t have panned out in favor of the movement, but I digress.
A Whole New Weed Etiquette
I’ve earned a certain level of respect in my field. So, perhaps it is to be presumed, at least by those on the outside looking in, that if I’m out and about, at the store or in the drive-thru waiting for my taco order, it’s only polite to get me smoked out.
Anyone else in my position would consider these unsolicited tokes to be one of the perks of the job, a little added gravy to counterbalance the modest pay and no benefits. To the average stoner, free weed surely sounds like a pretty sweet deal, too. You mean, all you have to do is go out in public and eventually someone just shows up with a joint? Sign me up! Yes, that’s about the gist of it.
There’s just one problem. I don’t want to smoke weed with them, you or anyone else for that matter.
Tell them this and they get a confuddled look in their eye. It’s as though they can’t compute the words coming out of my mouth. “Um, did he just say noooo? To weed?” You can almost hear their burned-out brains trying to make sense of it all.
Never before in the history of all highness has a stoner ever refused to smoke marijuana with his brethren, yet there they were standing before the one guy who, by most accounts, should be the first one out back with a hooter in his mouth. And he’s rejecting our generous offer? What? GASP!
They’re offended that the weed writer won’t get stoned with them. The distressed look in their eyes suggests that I came over to their house, ate all their food, spanked their kids, and slept with their wife. What do you mean you don’t want to get high? What’s wrong with us?
They undoubtedly try to rationalize the rejection by embracing the idea that I must be some sort of snob. Maybe he only gets high with celebrities and we’re not important or worthy enough of a red-eyed exchange. Only, that’s not it at all.
Just Say ‘NO’ to Uninhibited Saliva Swapping
In the past, all I’ve been able to do is give these charitable pothead petitioners the “it’s not you, it’s me” routine. I just don't smoke weed with other people. Flat out. No exceptions. I don’t care if they’re famous or living out of the dumpster behind my office. I simply will not under any circumstance smoke marijuana with anyone other than myself. Why? The reasons are seemingly infinite.
For starters, it’s gross. Secondly, it’s flu season – everyone’s getting the yacks – COVID is still floating around out there, monkeypox is making a resurgence, and RSV is coming in hot. Oh, and if my anti-stance isn’t yet legitimized by the mere concern for my respiratory health and disdain for the pukes, I just don’t want to swap spit with strangers. For all I know, they could have herpes or some other incurable funk. If they don’t, I might. Ever think of that?
In addition to covering weed culture for various publications, I also write for Hustler Magazine. I’ve been known to mingle on occasion with porn stars, strippers, and drug-addled prostitutes. What makes you think my mouth is disease free? I sure as shit wouldn’t trust it.
Still, when I try to explain the inauspiciousness of communal smoking, even adding a twinge of humor in there to offset any perceived impoliteness, people act like the threat of acquiring massive, Toxic Avenger-sized sores on their lips is of no concern. “I’m sick all the time,” they often say. “Don’t worry about it.” Again, no thank you! Scratch that, hell no! Anyone that cavalier about the potential for herpes shouldn’t be trusted with their own well-being, much less mine.
It’s not that I haven’t shared weed in my time, but the no smoking together sign has been up now for the past few years. Yet, I feel obligated to explain myself every time someone steps up with a joint in their hand. I mean, come on. Why must my affinity for cannabis impose some sort of injunction demanding that I get high with all who ask? How about this: You smoke your weed. I’ll smoke, eat, and drink mine. There’s no need to get intimate just because we share an appreciation for this buzz.
I can’t be alone. There are many notable stoners who on more than a thousand different occasions have presumably found themselves faced with a fan eager to get them stoned. Tommy Chong, for one, probably can’t even go to the bathroom in his own house without some dreaded-up bastard rising up from the water and handing him a doob.
Any public figure who’s open about their cannabis consumption has likely encountered this debacle, stepping outside a venue to find a group of dirty, rough-looking dudes with cold sores on their lips screaming, “It would be an honor if you’d smoke with us.” Listen, with all due respect, go infect somebody else.
I’ve said it before, weed should be treated socially no different than alcohol. Nobody is gathered around their friend’s living room on Saturday night sharing a single beer between 15 other people and their questionable lips. Nope, as it should be, everyone is perfectly content with their own bottle. And on the rare occasion that someone whips out a flask, inquiring as to whether anyone wants a swig, their offer should be rejected all the same.
Why share? This isn’t some third world country where we’re all forced to fight over the same bowl of rice. The American economy might be in the crapper right now, but that’s no reason to continue spreading disease.
No, for the last time, I don’t want to smoke weed with you. So please stop asking.
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