Pot Circle Etiquette: The Rules of the Reefer

Pot circles are often filled with regular imbibers who come together to partake in the herb with their friends and strangers. Or – in a true circle gets the square moment – they can be filled with never-smoked-before newbies who nervously weigh the morals of what they’re about to do against what their grandmother will think. Either way, it doesn’t matter: pot circle etiquette stays the same.

So, what exactly is this etiquette? What should you do (or not do) when uniting in the name of UK Cheese? Try the following on for size.

Pick the right place

If you’re an adult living in a legal state, you’re allowed to smoke marijuana. But, there’s a catch: you must do it at a private residence. The pot circle you dreamed of having on the playground at your old elementary school? That’s not happening (at least not legally). Do what they did on That Seventies Show and pick somewhere you won’t be rushed or hassled. Also, invite Ashton Kutcher.

Bring some of your own

Bring some cannabis with you if you're planning on partakingMarijuana isn’t cheap, especially when you get into the higher-grade stuff. If your pot circle is being hosted by a rich friend (refer back to Ashton Kutcher comment), that’s one thing. Under normal circumstances, prepare to share. If you don’t have access to weed, offer to chip in for what you’re smoking.

Ditch the seeds

Marijuana seeds are good for growing cannabis, not so much for smoking. The stems you can do without as well. They’ll ruin an otherwise good bowl by making it taste terrible.

Don’t take the first hit if you’re hosting

You can if you want to, of course, but it’s common courtesy to offer the initial hit to your guest. Be Our Guest, be our guest, put this sativa to the test!

Don’t keep the green hits to yourself

In the marijuana industry, a green hit is defined as “the first hit taken after you pack a pipe or bong.” It’s much more desirable than anyone’s sloppy seconds. One way to preserve this greenness is to light a corner of the bowl, a small corner. Don’t move the flame across the entire surface – leave some virginal land for your friends. And start each new bowl wherever you left off.

Don’t smoke when you’re sick

Don't smoke in the circle when you're sickYou know what’s fun? Smoking with your friends! Do you know what’s not? Strep throat! If you’re sick – even if you don’t know what it is (possibly allergies, possibly bird flu) – pass the pipe without using it. You can still imbibe, just light a joint over in the corner and try not to breathe too much.

Smoke it, don’t spray it

Whether you’re sick or not, no one wants your saliva (at least not until you buy them dinner first).  So, refrain from getting spit all over the delivery mechanism. If you’re a bit of a drooler – you were voted “Best Dribbler” on the basketball team and you didn’t even play – consider wiping things off before you pass them along.

Don’t hog all the glory

And by “glory,” we mean “Gorilla Glue.” Most pot circle etiquette involves taking one hit before you pass onto the next person. The exception is if you’re smoking a joint – then you can take two or three hits before it moves on down the reefer road.

Keep things clockwise

It’s not a hard and fast rule – if you want to be a rebel, go for it: pass counter-clockwise and get all the girls with your bad boy attitude – but, in many pot circles, you pass to the left. This consistency is important, especially as the evening progresses. People will remember which way to pass it even if they don’t remember where they are.

Watch where you blow

Blowing smoke in someone’s face – even if the smoke comes from cannabis – is just impolite: don’t do it. You’re not the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland.

Focus on the task at hand

Marijuana tends to make people talk……about everything. Their trip to Walgreens to get Gatorade suddenly turns into an epic story with lots of plot holes and little resolution. It’s fine if pot makes you social, but when it’s your turn, focus on the task at hand (i.e., the herb in your hands). In short, the bong is not a mike – shut up and pass it (but clear the chamber first).

Speak up when the bowl is cashed

You might not always know when your pot is “bowled over.” But if you think it’s getting close, give the next person a head’s up. It’s better to be safe than ashy.

Breathe, breathe, breathe

In a pot circle, it might be unnerving for newbies to inhale with everyone watching them. But just relax. Proper inhalation takes time and practice. Rome wasn’t built in a day and Stoned wasn’t either.

Just say no

When you think you’ve had enough, skip your turn. Unlike what every After School Special tried to teach us, no one’s going to peer pressure you into imbibing further. Your pass is their gain.

Be a good host

If you’re the host, it’s up to you to set the tone. You don’t need to roll out the red carpet (it might be a nice touch though), but you should strive to make people feel safe and included. Anyone who isn’t an experienced pot smoker may need extra reassurance – smoking pot inside a circle of long-time users can be intimidating for even the most confident doobie newbie.

Be an appreciative guest

If you’re a guest, show appreciation for the person hosting. They probably supplied food, pot, bongs, and pipes. At a minimum, they provided a place to smoke in safety. Make sure you clean up after yourself and convey your appreciation. It’s the right thing to do, of course, but it also ups the odds that they’ll host again.

Pot Circle Etiquette: The Rules of the Reefer was last modified: by
Jenn Keeler

About the author: Jenn Keeler is a freelance writer and illustrator specializing in humorous lifestyle articles. She is one of the few people on earth actually using an English degree. Her heart belongs to the Denver Broncos and her husband. In that order.