How to Be a Good Stoner – the Etiquette of the Smoking Circle

The stoner circle is a place of honour, reverence and respect. For that reason, there are some rules of etiquette to be followed if you want to be a very good stoner. Reading this article will make you the perfect gentleman or lady of the smoking circle and will help you to avoid any embarrassing blunders!

Many of us like to share our cannabis experiences with our friends rather than do it alone. So, naturally, we often find ourselves sharing ganja in a community kind of setting. Communities (for better or for worse) almost always come with a set of rules for maintaining the order, and there’s nothing different about the smoking circle. There are do’s and don’ts in the smoking circle the same way there are do’s and don’ts at the dinner table– and stoners have come to treat the smoking circle with the same ritualistic approach!

So if you want to be a polite and courteous stoner, there are some etiquette guidelines to uphold. Here they are!

Bring something to share

The whole point of the smoking circle is to share, so make sure to contribute. The good news is that smokers are generally pretty easy going. If you can’t get your hands on some weed, bring the munchies or bring the beers.

Don’t accept joint rolling duties if you can’t roll a joint

Ok – this point of etiquette is a little hard for some to accept. Practicing joint rollers can practice in their own time, or in smaller circles. For the sake of the big smoking circle, be honest about your ability to roll a joint. Nothing is worse than the joint falling apart halfway across the circle. Only volunteer to roll the joint if you’re confident in your joint rolling skills. Otherwise, leave it up to the more seasoned rollers.

Roller’s rights

More often than not, a smoking circle will give the roller the rights to light the joint or spark the bowl. This takes precedent over whose weed it is. However, it is custom in some parts of the world (like India) to give someone else the honour to spark the joint or pipe. But this person can only be nominated by the person who rolled the joint. Basically, the rights rest with the roller. If they want to spark it they can. If they want to give someone else the honour, they are well within their rights!

To the left, to the left!

Everybody knows how hard it is for a circle of 20 to maintain a proper smoking rotation. That’s why there’s the etiquette rule to pass it to the left. This keeps things simple and maintains the rotation.

Stoner Etiquette of the Smoking Circle - Weed Seed Shop Blog

Don’t pressure non-smokers

The truth is that these days it can be hard to find non-smokers who are okay with hanging out with smokers. If you have some non-judgemental, non-smoking friends in your circle, it’s an honour. If you peer pressure them into smoking, it leaves a bad reputation on pot smokers. Weed is about freedom, relaxation and happiness, and is definitely not about peer pressure!

Don’t butt-suck

If you’re at all going to have any friends to smoke with, you can’t be a butt sucker. A butt sucker is someone who leaves loads of saliva on the butt of a joint or even on the end of a pipe. The problem is that if you do it to the joint, it can’t really be salvaged. If you leave some saliva on the pipe by accident, wipe it off before passing the pipe!

Clean the chamber!

There’s nothing worse than getting passed a bong whose chamber hasn’t been emptied yet. This is not the responsibility of the person packing the next pipe! Every time you’re the one to finish a bong or pipe, it’s your responsibility to make sure it’s clean and ready to go before you pass it along.

Don’t use it as a microphone

The person gets the joint and then they start telling a story. This is a common occurrence in any smoking circle. Some people hold the joint for so long without smoking it, it goes out. This is a big no-no when it comes to smoking etiquette. The joint is not a talking stick or a microphone. The circle is open for talking and long jokes all night – except when you’re the one holding the joint!

Treat the bong with care

We all know accidents happen, and they tend to happen most when we’re stoned. But it’s important that you treat the bong or pipe with care, especially if it belongs to someone else in the circle. If you’ve been lucky enough to smoke someone else’s bong or pipe, handle with care!

Don’t host with a dirty bong

If you’ve invited people over to smoke them up and you’re getting the party ready, make sure that the preparation includes cleaning the bong. There’s nothing worse than showing up and being handed a filthy piece or bong. Dirty apparatus take away from the beautiful taste and smell of weed. Do your bit, and bring people a shiny bong to smoke from.

Stoner Etiquette of the Smoking Circle - Weed Seed Shop Blog

Don’t blow smoke in anyone’s face

It’s quite rude and inconsiderate to blow smoke in people’s faces. The only time this might be appropriate is in the case that someone has agreed to a shotgun hit. This is especially true if there are non-smokers in the circle.

Warn everybody if you’re coming to the circle sick

It’s ok to have the sniffles. But if you do, it’s etiquette to warn the other smokers. It should be a collective decision whether people want to take the risk to share, or whether everyone will smoke their own piece. Your stoned friends aren’t going to like you much anymore if you infect them all with the plague, so be honest about your sickness!

Be gracious, be welcoming, and don’t be the fun police!

This is the most important part of weed etiquette. Weed is for having a good time, and this list of etiquette guidelines is by no means an excuse for someone to be the fun police at a smoking circle. Sometimes, all of the order falls away and chaos ensues. That’s ok!

If someone has invited you over to smoke, be gracious, grateful and respectful of their space. Having a cool place to chill out and smoke is a blessing, so don’t take it for granted. And finally – in the smoking circle everybody is welcome.


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  • Author_profiles-WSS-Sera Jane Ghaly

    Sera Jane Ghaly

    I like to call myself the traveling gypsy wanderer of the world. Born in Melbourne Australia, but reborn just about everywhere else in the world. I have a healthy obsession with words and languages, using them as a vehicle to navigate this multi-dimensional human experience. My enthusiasm for marijuana started in the USA, and since then I’ve been traveling the world with the herb as my inspiration. Sweet Mary Jane has led me to shamanic ceremonies in the Amazon all the way to smoking ganja with the Babas in India.
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