The Death of Joint Rolling: A Cautionary Tale

Joint rolling no longer a rite of passage?
Joint rolling no longer a rite of passage? /

I am a fan of the classics. 

Some of my favorite bands of all time emerged long before I was born, and not much, in my opinion, beats a black and white film – nothing after 1979, please – on a rainy Sunday morning. But more than just an affinity for classic art, I’m also partial to classic fare. There’s no better pizza being made anywhere today that tops a basic New York-style pepperoni. Give me a beer to wash it down, and now we’re talking. Go buck wild with the toppings if you must, but it’s not necessary.

Classics are classic for a reason. 

After all, it’s tough to have an impact on American culture and endure all of the hardships having any longevity at all demands, much less create a product that’s good enough – no, great enough – to span several generations and remain highly adorned. Therefore, classics are to be respected, damnit, if for no other reason than our time on this planet has been made just a little more bearable than it would have without them. 

So, turn up the Led Zeppelin, keep Woody Allen alive and well for another eighty years and get me a modest slice of pepperoni pizza, and stat! All of these things make me happy, and I don’t want to live in a world without them. 

Some classics, however, were born to die. 

Joints, dare I say, belong in this category. Of course, this may be an unpopular opinion in some circles, and it is one that will likely get me drawn and quartered at the next cannabis event – jokes on those bastards, I never attend those things – but that doesn’t make it any less true. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, kids, because rolling a joint, regardless of how widely revered it may be among the cannabis culture, has one foot in the grave. 

Old-time tokers often look down on what they laud as a candy-ass cannabis connoisseur if some poser should dare confess to not knowing how to twist one up. They see this inability to roll a joint as a social defect, part of the pussification of America, where the kids don’t work, couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag, and are basically destined to run this country into the ground the second they gain control. 

Even beloved travel writer and journalist Anthony Bourdain was part of this tribe. He believed rolling a doob, much like a handful of other skillsets, was a fundamental test of aptitude. "Next to making a proper omelet or wiping your own ass, rolling a joint is an essential life skill for any self-respecting member of society,” he said in the Seattle episode of Parts Unknown

Many of The Bluntness readers we talked to on this subject were of the old school mentality. Most are of the opinion that this classic isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. How could it die? It’s part of the legacy cannabis culture, the way so many people got stoned for decades. It is arguably the Led Zeppelin of all cannabis consumption methods, the sultan of smoke. 

“Rolling a joint will never go out of style,” Richard, a 36-year-old tattoo artist told The Bluntness. “I've never thought of it as in style. I've always just thought of it more as a daily ritual or routine. Kind of like grooming yourself when you wake up and make a cup of coffee.” 

Another man named Nathan agrees wholeheartedly. He likens rolling a joint as part ritual, a mass of sorts that gets one into the proper headspace to truly relish in the offering in hand. “I think people who roll enjoy that part of the process,” he said. “If you can't roll them, are you even really a smoker?”

Sure, some of you will keep the joint on life support for years, but rest assured it is going bye-bye. Come on, who really gives a damn anymore about rolling a joint? 

Now that legal weed has touched down in parts of the country – and will one day be legal all across the nation – giving way to a slew of new products – even prerolls – there’s no need to go through the hassle of rolling a doob. “The industry has taken away that simple pleasure,” Rick of Phoenix, Arizona declared.

Joint rolling? Good riddance!

Some say rolling a joint is a lost art. I say good riddance. Never mind that you can’t roll one or when you do it’s loose. We don’t need them anymore. 

There’s no shame in lacking this basic skill or not wanting to learn it, as if putting it on your social repertoire is somehow going to help you get laid or earn more money. It could, but it probably won’t. 

Contrary to what some believe, the ability to roll a joint is no indicator of competence. It proves nothing

Mike Adams

This is America, after all, a place where the sad sacks known as the powers-that-be have continued to find reasons for us to abandon the many basic skills that we’ve, for one reason or another, deemed unnecessary as a way of life. Rolling a joint is no different. 

“Much like cursive writing, many folks don’t really know how to roll joints anymore,” said Lora, a 38-year-old events coordinator from Nashville, Tennessee. 

Our time here is too short, and most of us are far too busy to break up weed and roll it up through a series of licks and twists. 

I don’t shoot my own cows, brew my own beer (anymore) or grow my own pineapple in the backyard. 

No sir, I have people assisting with all of the heavy lifting. All of us do. We now have the luxury of having the cannabis industry do the rolling for us. 

Furthermore, contrary to what some believe, the ability to roll a joint is no indicator of competence. It proves nothing. Marijuana has certainly come a long way over the past ten years but the joint, specifically rolling them up, I’m afraid to report, is out.

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