As the World Stops Turning:  A Little Helpful Advice for Our Stoner Friends


     The unprecedented sheltering-in mandates sweeping from city to city the US over have had an overwhelming effect on the US economy. Once-thriving businesses are closing their doors for the foreseeable future, and as patrons face the sobering possibility of seclusion without marijuana, legalized states have seen a sharp climb in consumer transaction counts.  In just one week, dispensaries in Washington State alone experienced a 33% rise in sales.  Since last Monday, some shops reported serving over 100 more people a day than usual. But are people panic-buying? Or being practical? Though most restaurants and bars have halted their operations, businesses that don’t fall under either of these categories are doing as much as they can before they are singled out and ordered to halt their efforts. Despite the fact cannabis is a necessity for many adults – more than 35,000,000 Americans have admitted to ingesting cannabis regularly – in California, recreational dispensaries near sheltering-in areas won’t be exempt from concluding work. From a statement sent from the San Francisco Mayor’s Office, Business published Tuesday morning:

“Medical cannabis dispensaries are medical by definition, so they qualify as essential. But recreational retailers are not an essential service”   

So far, we know that hospitals and grocery stores fall under the umbrella of essential services, but whether or not this means medical dispensaries will be able to keep their doors open to card-holding patients has yet to be determined.   

     Home internment looming, consumers are seemingly left with no choice but to stockpile. It is important to note that each state has its own allowances when it comes to the total pot a customer can procure. I live in Portland, so to find out what our rules are, I looked to the Recreational Marijuana FAQ’s on       

 Q:    How much marijuana can I purchase?

 A:    Customer cannot purchase more than the following amounts at any one time or within one day:

  • One ounce of usable marijuana if a recreational consumer;
  • Eight ounces of useable marijuana at any one time or within one day, and no more than 32 ounces in one calendar month if an OMMP registry identification cardholder or designated caregiver;
  • 16 ounces of a cannabinoid product in solid form;
  • 72 ounces of a cannabinoid product in liquid form;
  • Five grams of cannabinoid products intended for inhalation (smoking or vaporizing);
  • Five grams of cannabinoid extracts or concentrates, whether sold alone or contained in an inhalant delivery system   

Goodwill goes a long way in times like these, so if one has the funds to buy weed, it is important to factor in a tip for their budtender. 

     So say you have all this herb and no pipe or bong to smoke out of. If you’re not the usual blunt-roller for your squad, or  in need of a brief refresher, the internet literally has countless videos online demonstrating how to roll the perfect joint, with some clips lasting under two minutes. Rolling papers are, of course, smoker’s choice. 

     We should all be responsible with our resources right now. But with a surplus of fruit and the right tools, cannabis aficionados could have a creative field day. In a pinch, apple pipes have served as an old mainstay of the cannabis community. Carrots have generally been left out of this conversation, but the straight nature of the orange root makes it easy to whittle out a bowl and a carb, or carve through a hole to make a little steam roller.  Even potatoes can be easily transformed. Innovative smokers have also used tart pineapples, sweet melons like honeydew, watermelon and more

      ‘Social Distancing’  is a new guideline which applies to all Americans, still, many will have no choice but to continue on cohabiting. You stocked up, but unless you’re in a self-quarantine,  there’s a good chance some of those partaking housemates/partners/SO’s/family members procrastinated the replenishment of their marijuana stores until it was too late. We can cite Aesop’s fable of The Ant & the Grasshopper, or use empathy to combat our selfish desires to keep it all to ourselves.  The 1967 hit by the Beatles, “With a Little Help From My Friends”, comes to mind. When passing the bowl, it is possible to decrease the chances of cross-contamination by keeping peroxide, alcohol (flammable), and/or lysol wipes handy during your sesh. A bong condom might be a helpful accessory for your household’s community setup, but be aware that the mouth-feel and taste of bong condoms have been rumored to be off putting. If anxious that the evidence of your hotboxing antics might be wafting over to your non-smoking neighbors, companies like Beamer Candle Co. make candles that specifically neutralize the aroma of marijuana smoke. School’s out for children and adults alike thanks to COVID-19, so if you are confined with any kiddos, please consider them before leaving any paraphernalia out and about. 

     Many recreational marijuana users implement the herb into their self-care routines, selecting strains with medicinal properties they seek in their struggles against issues from depression and anxiety to chronic pain. Non-card holders who run empty on bud might find relief from a chat with a life coach or therapist. Some medical establishments can do virtual appointments via the phone or computer, and there are also free apps like Calm, which may be a temporary step-in if you cannot readily attain professional help. Gentle yoga poses and meditation with diaphragmatic (belly) breathing are some other great, free ways to relax. When these techniques are paired with cannabis, a transformative, deeply relaxing experience may even take place. If you know someone who is struggling right now, they may find help at this link, or they can call 1-800-273-8255.

     In closing, remember to be a friend to yourself right now too. The example of taking in one’s own oxygen first before assisting others during a plane emergency has never rung truer. This same crucial principle applies to tending to our personal physical and mental health. So let’s everyone stay safe, DO THE FIVE, and hang in the best we can! The only way through this mess is together.

Note: Per the CDC, those who are showing signs of respiratory distress are not advised to smoke marijuana.