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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Ask Annie: How can I celebrate 4/20 when I’ve never smoked before?

Facing a problem yourself? Annie has answers. Ask away!

Nicholas Anastacio | Graphics Editor

Dear Annie,

My friend group is getting together for 4/20, but I’ve never smoked before. I don’t want to cramp their style, but the FOMO is real. How do I act like I know what I’m doing when I join them?

Puff the Clueless Dragon

Hmm… I’m not very well acquainted with Mary Jane, so I’m going to phone one of my stoner friends for this one. Hope they aren’t too high to answer the call and write another “Annie’s Friends” piece.

Hi Puff the Clueless Dragon,

Getting high with friends as a first-time smoker can be daunting as it is thrilling, especially on a holiday as sacred as 4/20. Puff, if you’re smoking with the right people, they will be more than happy to welcome a rookie into their smoke circle. If not, then you’re probably smoking with the worst kind of people – those obsessed with their own pompous status as stoners. Find some good, chill friends to smoke with, and soon enough you’ll be floating above the clouds.

But if you really want to fake it until you make it, here are some tips to make you seem like a pro.

Rule number one, don’t be afraid to tap out. First-time smokers don’t know their tolerance levels yet, and you shouldn’t let your friends’ insistence to keep smoking make you feel like you have to keep up. Stop smoking when you are on the cusp of feeling a comfortable amount of high. It will take a bit for the weed to settle into your bloodstream, so give yourself time to gauge how high you truly are, not just how high you feel when you’re done smoking. If your sober sense returns, you can always go back for seconds.

Now, keep in mind that the device you’re smoking with will change the weed etiquette. If your friends are smoking a joint or a blunt – the best way to smoke in this lovely spring weather – the puff, puff, pass system typically applies. That means you get two hits of the joint before you pass it to the person on your left. Do your best to not skip the person next to you, so pass it to the same person every time, at least until they tap out. Don’t hold onto the joint for too long – you’re wasting weed and money, which nobody wants to do. Also, not to be too persnickety, but keep those lips dry! Nobody wants to taste their smoke circles’ spit.

Jenna Baer | Staff Cartoonist

If you’re smoking out of a bowl – like when using a bong or pipe – sharing generally works on a volunteer basis, so ask your friends for the next hit once the circle begins. Unlike the consistently lit joint, bowls can also be tough to smoke, so for first-timers, it never hurts to ask for help when taking your first rip. But if you’re lighting the bowl by yourself, don’t put the lighter in its center. Instead, ignite a slice of the weed pie along the edge of the bowl. It may take some practice to angle the lighter into the corner, but this way everyone in the circle will get their fair share of the bowl, not just the first person that hits it.

Once you’re high, it’s imperative to stay mindful of your own needs. Do you need some water or a snack to subdue the munchies? Or do you need to move because the smoke spot is too loud and you’re feeling anxious? Understand and listen to your physical needs, and always know that it’s OK to indulge them.

Keep in mind that you should generally never mention how high you are to your friends. The worst kind of smoker is always reminding other people how ‘baked,’ ‘blazed,’ ‘fried’ and ‘zooted’ they are. If you do get stoned, congratulations on achieving your goal, but there’s no need to brag about your high unless asked. Also, generally don’t make comments about how high your friends are, unless you think you or your friends are having intense anxiety or illness from smoking too much. More often than not, the comments can come off as judgmental, and nobody wants to feel insecure for having a good time.

Finally, always offer to Cash App your friends if you don’t have weed and they’re spotting you, or smoking you out. Particularly for first-time smokers, $2 to $3 should be enough to cover one session. If your friends don’t let you pay, offer to get them next time. After all, Puff, this is hopefully the first of many smoke seshes to come.

Happy Holidays,

Annie’s Stoner Friend

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