Pot Smoking Custom
When smoking marijuana, the participants form a loose circle and the piece is always passed to the left with each person getting one hit.
The informant, DRH, reports that the smoking of marijuana is in a sense highly structured. He reports the participants, when ready to smoke form a loose circle and begin passing the smoking utensil to the left. He says each person takes one hit and passes it to their left until all the marijuana in the utensil has been smoked. DRH says that once the marijuana in the utensil has been smoked, the group generally decides by consensus whether another bowl is needed. If the group chooses to smoke more, the person who finished the previous bowl packs the next bowl and takes the first hit.
DRH doesnt know exactly where he learned all of these customs. He says he has picked them up from various friends over the years. David believes the customs are necessary for a efficient smoking session. He says the circle ensures the participants smoke in an order and the one hit rule ensures that everyone gets a fair share. He says that a person must show knowledge of these customs to be accepted as a true smoker by the group.
In my opinion this is a custom that has arisen out of necessity. When under the influence it is hard to keep track of an order. The circle is a way to ensure the smoking order is maintained. The circle likely prevents a lot of bickering that would waste time. Similarly the one hit rule ensures that each smoker receives roughly the same share of the drug. It is not surprising that a hobby has a specific way it is performed, especially one that is illegal. The informant notes that one must be proficient in these customs to be considered a veteran smoker. The customs that pot smokers follow therefore serve as a way to differentiate experienced smokers from non-experienced smokers. Due to the illegal nature of the activity this proficiency test could serve as a sort of protection mechanism. The customs described in this article can be found in many popular movies that center on pot smokers and their adventures. Movies that contain these customs include Half Baked and How High. Although these movies contain the customs, the movies did not create the customs. According to the informant, the customs have been around longer than the movies.