Put that in your pipe and smoke it

Green cannabis leaf on white backgroundIf you live in Canada, or you’re nearby, or you’ve read a newspaper in the last 72 hours, chances are you’re well aware that marijuana is now legal all across Canada.  From bong hits to blunt rips, Canadians can blaze up and burn one down, but if they get the munchies, they’re on a strict no edible diet – that is, food and beverage infused with cannabis is off the menu, at least for now.  

(By the way, the legal age for consumption of marijuana in the country of Canada varies from province to province, so be sure to check with where you live, and always remember to use responsibly.)

I’ll save delving into edibles for the time being, but in honour of 10/18/18, I decided to dust off a few tomes that have been sitting in my shelves since I moved to Alberta around 13 years ago.  Before that, I lived in Vancouver for a year.  I was 25, single, and I worked at Starbucks.  Did I smoke pot?  Yes, yes I did.  Did I smoke a lot? You better believe it.  Do I still smoke it now?  I haven’t for about six months, but I wouldn’t turn down a hit from a reliable source.

Bill Hader as Private Miller in the opening scene for Columbia Picture’s Pineapple Express (2008)

Where was I?

Right.  Books.  And bongs.  And such.  

The first title on my list is the aptly named Build This Bong, by Randy Stratton.  If there’s one thing that most people who smoke pot like to do is tell you all about it, and all the different ways to smoke it.

This guide is a handy little collection of do-it-yourself bong construction that uses a variety of unlikely, and sometimes hilarious, household objects (or those easily obtained at a supermarket or hardware store) for the construction of bongs.  There’s ice bongs and water bongs, waterfall bongs, and apple bongs; bongs made from rubber ducks, and bongs made from coconuts.

That rhymed, by the way.

If you’re feeling a little more sophisticated than tropical produce and empty two-litre pop bottles, get your hands on some PVC pipe and recreate the pistol-grip bong.  Got a few friends to consider? Try the tandem bong.  And if you’re really adventurous and you can access some bamboo in various sizes, go all out and construct the Vietnamese thuoc lao pipe.

Stratton not only has a thorough introduction to the science side of bongs, and how they work, but he has clearly developed instructions on how to construct each device, whether you’re in a pickle and out of rolling papers, or you want to impress your closest friends with creativity.  Truth be told, if it’s airtight, you can make into a bong.  The only thing stopping you is your imagination.  And whether or not you’re already high.

For the record, the book stash box is a personal fave.

Anna Faris, Adam Sandler, and Alexandra Holden in Touchstone Picture’s The Hot Chick (2002)

Green cannabis leaf on white background

Next up is The Official High Times Pot Smoker’s Handbook, by David Bienstock and the editors of High Times magazine.  This colourful little book is a sweet addition to any smoker’s bookshelf or coffee table, as it’s chock full of the highlights of marijuana and the culture surrounding it.  From its archaic history, to its westernization, and subsequently its criminalization, decriminalization, the music, the movies, the food, the strains, the pains, and all the ways to get away with burners, Pot Smoker’s Handbook has it all, and also ‘420 Things To Do When You’re Stoned’.  

Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith as Jay and Silent Bob in Miramax Pictures’ Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

That section in itself is invaluable.  Most people who haven’t smoked think that the most you can do after you have yourself a cannabis kicker is put on some tunes, or a movie, or play a video game.  These are all viable options, but there’s so much more to consider: fly a kite (done it), cook a meal (also done it), paint a picture (trippy), turn a cartwheel (I’m not built for cartwheels), do yoga (namaste), rearrange your kitchen cupboards (where did I put the oregano), carve a pumpkin (toast the seeds, too), consult a ouija board  (don’t recommend it as I have an overactive imagination to begin with)… the possibilities are probably endless.  If it doesn’t involve driving, the use of heavy machinery, or climbing Everest, you’re good to go, man.

The book is lively, full of bright colours, vintage ads and pictures.  There’s pretty pictures of bud, music recommendations for your sesh, and reprints of covers from High Times Magazines.  For a more academic approach, there’s a section on the global pot scene, and a really great breakdown of the difference between cannabis sativa and cannabis indica, and the pros and cons of each. Both seasoned veterans and the newly weeded will appreciate the book, and it’s got enough trivia to keep your straight-edge friends and family entertained, too.




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