Stoner Rules 101: Everything You Need to Know About the Circle Etiquette

Ever since the widespread use of cannabis began with the hipster subculture (not the recent lame hipsters, but those from the 1940’s), and after them the beatniks, and later on the hippie movement of the 60’s, these archaic potheads developed a specific etiquette on how to smoke cannabis in the company of others.

Even though these subcultures had some pretty big differences between them, the sets of rules established by them changed very little through the decades, even to this day.

Naturally, some aspects became somewhat distorted because so much time has passed, but the core principles remained exactly as they were.

It should be noted that these orders of conduct are reserved only for sharing the cannabis flowers with other people, and they definitely don’t apply if you’re hitting the joint by your lonesome.

So if you’re smoking/dabbing/vaping by yourself, do whatever the hell you want, but if you’re not, carefully inspect these rules, because if you abide by them everyone in your circle will think you’re trés chill.

Don’t Bogart the weed

Coined because of Humphrey Bogart’s consistent smoking of cigarettes in his most famous movies, the term means you shouldn’t hold the joint for too long, but rather pass it on quickly.

Puff puff pass

This rule is usually reserved if you’re part of a bigger circle, but if only two or three people are smoking with you, no one is going to care if you took three, four, or seven puffs before passing the joint.

But if you’re smoking with a larger group of people, the puff puff pass rule should definitely be respected at all costs.

He who rolls it also sparks it up

An ancient rule among stoners, it directly rewards the person who put the biggest effort to make the smoking session happen.

There are some exceptions, for instance if the person who bought the weed desires to be the one to light it, he/she could be given the opportunity to do so. But in other cases, the roller is definitely the sparker.

Respecting the circle communication

This pretty much means that you should watch what you’re saying while the session is in place, because smoking pot in the company of others should always be a joyous and relaxing occasion.

The only time this rule can be broken is if you’re smoking among your closest friends and something is really pressing your chest, then no one will blame you for potentially ruining the circles mood.

In other cases just try to have fun and avoid being a complete downer.

Watch the saliva while you’re smoking

If there is a disgusting situation that can happen in a circle, that would be to place your lips on a roach that has spit all over it.

Unless it’s the saliva of someone you really like you’ll probably be very pissed off about it, and who could blame you.

It’s pretty easy not to slobber all over the joint, so keep this in mind at all times. And after a joint or two, the cottonmouth effect will kick in, so you won’t have to worry about that no more.

If you’re sick, don’t infest the clique

Pretty similar to the saliva rule but with more serious consequences, this one has to be respected without any exceptions, otherwise you’re just a complete jackass.

You can always ask the crew to roll you a mini-joint for yourself, but if you’re really down with something, the best possible idea is to wait until you’re feeling better.

If you’re rolling, make sure you do a pro-job

If you insisted on being the person who rolls the joint/blunt, try to live up to the expectations and excel at it.

On the other hand, if you’re not really talented (or if you just need more practice), maybe you should let someone with more experience to do it.

Also, always make sure to get all the seeds and stems out of your weed, because no one in the history of mankind wanted to smoke that, ever.

When it’s your turn, be silent and pick up the pace

It’s pretty normal once you get faded to start losing track of time and begin rambling about something for 20 minutes without stopping, but once the J gets into your hands, you should be collegial about it, take a few hits in silent reflection, pass it on and then continue your rant.

This is similar to the Boggart rule, but this particular situation usually only happens after a joint or two.

If the ash gets piled up, ashtray it before you pass

This one is pretty much self-explanatory, and it shows that you have some fine house manners and care about the person you’re passing the joint to.

Of course when you’re really blazed this type of triviality can easily slip one’s mind, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least try to do it.

Clockwise / Counter-clockwise dilemma

The majority of crews around the globe prefer to send their joints/blunts/bongs in clockwise direction, but if it’s your weed the gang is smoking on, you can pass it in any direction you bloody want, and no one will be able to tell you s***, because at the end of the day, it’s your weed they’re puffing on.

If you’re mooching, at least be grateful

Every respected stoner sometimes faces hardship and that’s completely normal, but if someone puts weed on the table, the only cool thing to do is be gracious about it, and thank the giving person for the high you received.

It’s all right to mooch from time to time, but in that case you should let the donor how much you appreciate it. Nothing too pathetic, just a quick “thanks a lot dude” would suffice.

Don’t harass people to blaze

Every once in awhile, there is a special someone who’s not that enthusiastic to get high, and in that case you should respect their personal freedom and not be too pushy about getting them high, because it will just create a negative effect and that person might end up having the wrong conception about marijuana in general.

Be cool to the rookies

If you have a newcomer in your circle, make sure you treat them with kindness. Just remember how powerful the effect weed had on you once you first started indulging in it, and how the wrong setting could make you feel uncomfortable and nervous.

In case you’re smoking with someone and it’s their first time, be a good pot ambassador and make that first experience a pleasantly memorable one.

Additional Reading: Bong Rules

There are a few exceptional rules that only apply for the use of bongs, so I wanted to clarify them separately for easier understanding. Nothing too complicated of course, but still quite important to know about.

Changing the water is a must

Stale bang water can easily ruin the otherwise wonderful experience, so if you’re the owner of the glass delight, be one step ahead of the curve and change it up regularly.

The green hit

The way to properly execute a green hit is to light only a fraction of the bowl, so there are additional fresh buds for other people in the circle to light up. Smoking burned weed full of ash and carbon residue can cause a heavy cough and is utterly unhealthy, so be a sport a leave some green for your friends.

Watch out for the cashed bowl

Sometimes it can be a bit complicated to realise if the bud is completely consumed, so in the case you’re uncertain about it, the least you can do is to inform the person who’s next in line.

On the other hand if you’re certain it’s all burned, ash the bowl, fill it up again, and send it back to rotation.

Clearing the chamber

Once the smoke stays too long in the chamber, it quickly becomes very yucky and can cause a hell of a cough, so the proper thing to do is to air out the bong before passing it to the next person in the circle.

The easiest way to achieve this is to blow out the remaining smoke through the carburetor.

That’s about all there is to it, follow these simple guidelines and no matter in which circle you’re in, you’ll be regarded and respected as a well informed, and above all gentlemanly stoner (or a stone-girl).

Categories Culture

A passionate cannabis enthusiast ever since his late teens, Marco usually writes about 420 culture, health and weed basics. You can find him discussing various conspiracy theories with his peers.

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