Saturday, February 28, 2009

Branching out

I have been reading as much as I can about entheogens.  After a somewhat terrifying experiment with Salvia divinorum a few weeks ago, I decided to stick to my guns (i.e., weed) and wait until an appropriate time for attempting such things again.  Watching a show recently where these two British men live with various primitive tribes for four months at a time, I caught an episode where they took Banisteriopsis caapi--common names include yaj√©, cappi, and, most commonly, ayahuasca.  This hung around in the back of my mind for about a week, and finally I made the connection with a book that I happen to own entitled The Visionary Vine--the title being a reference to ayahuasca.  From it I learned that the session I watched on television was fairly typical of jungle healing sessions that occur in countries all up and down that portion of coastline.  The shaman leads participants to a jungle clearing near a river, where he administers to them an ayahuasca-based potion.  They have their experiences, and early in the morning, once the effects have worn off, they walk on home.

After reading this book, I began to dig deeper and realized that there was a surge of scientific interest in the divinitory narcotics of the indigenous Americans.  This began after World War II, and by the 1960s and 70s, many of the more widely used species of plant and mushroom had been identified--in some cases, their active ingredients had even been isolated.  The better-known of the indigenous narcotics uncovered by these scientists include ayahuasca, peyote, salvia, and psilocybin mushrooms.  Some of these plants and fungi were quickly promoted to Schedule I status in the United States.  But surprisingly, a great many of them are not controlled substances at all--I just ordered four of the more promising among these.  If any of them emerges as agreeable, that would be great.  These are all much cheaper than marijuana.  What I found the most surprising is that ayahuasca is not a controlled substance here in the U.S.  I am maybe a bit hesitant to dive into that one without a shaman to lead me through the journey, but I will carefully experiment with some of these others.  I am proceeding from these scientific articles written in the 1960s and 70s, so that I won't be persuaded by any recent hype or rumors.  I guess I will report any findings here.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Games We All Play

The games we all play are funny.  I realized this at work, I work weekends at a Bed, Bath and Beyond-like establishment.  One of my co-workers and I are pretty close seeing as she likes to talk a lot and I like to listen.  Today we were talking about some random things when for some reason we went off on another subject and she used to word "herp" which I could barely hear since she said it in such a low voice.  
  "What?" I said, seeing her glance around in both directions, a third employee who was also there talking with us also began to speak in a lower tone.
  "Herp," said the third employee.  "What is Herp?"
  "Not herp," she replied.  "Herb, you know...(making a smoking gesture with her fingers)."
  It was a funny coincidence that the co-founder of The Weed Blog had up until this point concealed his true colors regarding drugs of any kind.  The woman, she was about 40, looked at me like I was a newcomer, and came closer.
  "Herb, weed, marijuana," she said, moving much closer in proximity to me now.  She then smiled in a sly way, the kind of gesture that clearly indicated she waited every day until six o'clock to get off work, run home and take a bong hit.
  This was when I realized that I had known this person for nearly four months now and the subject of smoking had never come up between us.  I remembered moments when one of us would come close to the subject and I would back off with the attitude of 'I don't do drugs' which is an idea that I do stand behind because I don't believe Mary Jane is a drug.  
  In any case, it made me think.  We clearly both smoke and have been keeping it a secret from each other due to the work environment.  It made me think how many people actually smoke but keep it a secret for whatever reason from someone else.  It would be ignorant to think that this theory didn't apply to even the most respectable professions: real estate agents, lawyers, brokers, drivers, chefs, doctors and cops.  Thats a fact Jack. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Day Four in the World of the Living

What is a little bit funny about smoking marijuana is how you can lay off the grass abrubtly, cleanly, and voluntarily, as I did a few days ago.  I'm not experiencing a dry spell.  I'm not out of money, or weed.  I didn't put my weed into safe-keeping, or destroy my pipe, or do anything to coerce myself into quitting temporarily.  I. just. stopped.  I was falling behind in my work duties.  And what's really funny is going about sober, talking to everyone who was beginning to suspect that you were a borderline weirdo, watching their reaction to seeing you suddenly very calm, cognizant, and focused.

I've been on the other side of this before, like when I would meet the Dwarf during the day, and eating an ice cream cone with his hair neatly combed he would happily greet you at a playground near Oktogon and produce a small grocery bag containing those five Christmas trees you ordered.  Surprising that it's the same guy you saw a couple nights earlier, pupils dilated and unable to remember that you speak English, not Magyar.  In fact, I wonder if it's it too late to dedicate this blog to the Dwarf?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The sobriety experiments, day three

I've lately discovered some benefits to not getting high during the weekday.  I hate to admit it, but I think I've been a little more focused and productive.  This might just be explained by the fact that my routine when smoking consists of frequent runs into secluded areas of the outdoors, which can cause a lot of discontinuities in a work schedule.

I was reading this WHO report on marijuana, and I think that the writers are trying to be cool by making these insider references.
Causal inferences about the long-term effects of chronic cannabis use become more difficult the longer the interval between use and the occurrence of the ill effects; the longer the interval, the more numerous the alternative explanations that need to be excluded.
Chronic cannabis use?  Do you mean the effects of chronically smoking, or the effects of smoking The Chronic?  Of all the alternative words that mean 'frequent', they picked chronic.

Later on:
A heavy smoker may consume five or more joints per day, while heavy users in Jamaica, for example, may consume up to 420 mg THC per day.
How many milligrams, exactly?  The single-most emblematic numerical symbol of weed smoking?  Was this shit written in the Netherlands?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Aluminum Smoking Apparatus

When I was a young boy, my friend and I would always smoke in public places like mall parking lots.  We would go out sin drugs, buy some from a friend, and then go buy a disposable pipe at the local vending machine.  No, we didn't live in Amsterdam, it was here in America.  We would go to a nearby grocery store, put a dollar in the soda machine and after washing down the contents we would have a pipe.  
I heard a bit of wisdom once in a hostel in Barcelona while I was working the night shift.  A colorful chap from a strange land in Eastern Europe named Estonia asked me about making a smoking device out of a discarded soda can.  I watched him carefully double the can against itself and being familiar with the operation that was at hand I pulled out the business end of an unfolded paperclip for poking.  This was when I was unexpectedly awarded a pearl of wisdom from my new blonde-haired friend. 

"Are you aware of the trick to these devices..." he began in his strange, broken english words, "I need not a poker, the device is self-supporting, see..".  He then broke off the pull tab of the can.  "Watch this..." he started, bending the aluminum tab against itself until it broke and looked like the fat retarded brother of a miniature pitchfork. He then used this little object to poke, making very even, professional holes in the coke can.  

I once heard, many years ago, of a strange doper's urban legend.  The tale was told to me in such a way as to insinuate that much research had been put into finding out the results soon to be shared with me.  When you smoke mary jane (I was told) it kills brain cells, however these same brain cells regenerate with time.  When you smoke out of an aluminum can or homemade aluminum foil pipe you kill the same brain cells, however this time they do not regenerate. Whether true or not it still makes me uncomfortable when I use one of these smoking methods. And I have paid it forward to you, no doubt, giving many current readers the same seed of fear. And yes, I am, smoking out of an aluminum pipe right now [disclaimer: the author does not actually do drugs, everything is written as a fictional part of his or her poetic license].


Friday, February 6, 2009

Smoking in Moderation

Now I have at one point been that guy whose life most closely resembled the lyrics of a song by the classic hip hip duo Lost Boyz.  For those unfamiliar, these are not uncommon lyrics: 
Stereo system with crazy cds
Understand cause she got cheese
She said cheeks do what you want
She said Im gonna feed the dog
I said alright well Im gonna roll this blunt
She came back with stretch pants and a ponytail, a t-shirt
A yo, fam I got a tender-roni girl
Were sitting on the couch chattin
Were smoking blunts off the balcony
Were staring at manhattan now
She started feeling on my chest
I started feeling on the breasts
And theres no need for me to stress the rest
A yo, I got myself a winner
We sparked a blunt before we ate
And a blunt after we ate dinner

That being said, as of the last year or two I have actually developed a strong system of moderation.  It started purely as an experiment in self control and became a sort of "game" with myself.  Being broke and unemployed during the recession also helped provide direct motivation towards the "lets see how long I can make this G last" game.  I got rather good at it.
Now I have worked myself into enough of a rhythm where I smoke 1/10 of what I used to.  Here are some ideas to think about:

-I get WAYYYYY higher now because my tolerance is always low, though I still smoke often

-I get all my to-do lists finished because I operate on my own customized set of rules (for example: No smoking before 7pm), before I set no limit at all and I found myself smoking early in the day and then receiving a call back from a potential job offer to interview that day (awkward), which leads me directly to my next and possibly most important point:

-Seperate shit that needs to be done SOBER from everything else

-My house AND/OR apartment no longer smells funny


-During many points of my life I hung with associates and friends who always appeared when the bong came out, yet never appeared with a bong to offer, and a lot of the weed I bought was going up in smoke
-If I see cops, I no longer get paranoid

-I read much more and in general I utilize my time better because I realized that weed is an extremely social drug and it is not being high that is inconvenient, it is going to this guys house, trying to find an ATM machine, meeting that guy at 5 to get some, crossing the street or taking a different road because I see a cop, then splitting a bowl with that guy across town while finding time to eat in between and still doing the dishes... 

But I want to make one thing especially clear.  I am not judging or pointing out flaws in the Constant PotHead.  I am merely explaining my current situation and the various pros and cons of it for posterity.  If my buddy invited me to a 2 day camp out with an ounce we wouldn't see the forest for the trees, if you catch my drift.  But there is a time and a place for everything, and this is my time for moderation.  And guess what, smoking myself stupid for a large number of consecutive years clearly didn't have any negative effects on me or my ability to "snap out of it". The only thing I regret now is not saving all those joint and blunt roaches which I casually threw out of the window or into the sewer drain.  I am sure that if I fused them all together they would wrap around the earth twice if not thrice.

The very first puff is all it takes to get high, part 1

This is kind of a follow-up post to To Smoke or Not to Smoke.  It got me thinking about the various non-smoker periods I've found myself in before.  I think they all came about the same way.

(1) First you're forced into quitting because your sources dried up, your dealer dropped off the face of the earth, yo moved to a new town where you don't know anyone, etc.

(2) Once you get over the initial annoyance of not having access to marijuana, you adjust to life as a nonsmoker and realize there is nothing catastrophic about it.

(3) You start thinking about all these negative associations with the weed and start attributing past blunders and failures to marijuana use (whereas it was probably alcohol that was the cause, which you've begun to drink more of because you no longer have any weed to smoke).

(4) After a few weeks of not smoking, you start thinking, "Wow, it's been a few weeks and I feel fine.  Maybe I'll just never smoke again.  After all, it was a pretty expensive habit."

(5) Now, you've become a voluntary non-smoker.  Your local contact might be back up and running, but you're keeping away from that stuff now.  People in this stage often hold deceitful notions like, "Now I have my life back," and, "My friend X still smokes -- man I remember what it was like back when I used to make poor decisions like that."

(6) You might even start persuading your friend X to join you in the world of the living.

(7) But hopefully your friend X has his brain, dick, and heart all in the right places--i.e., now it is up to X to (a) ignore your efforts of persuasion and (b) counterpersuade you to come back to the Dark Side.

(8) If X is persistent enough, then sometime when your defenses are lowered (e.g., at a party), X will persuade you to take a puff, and you will give in.

(9) Welcome back to the Dark Side!  You know where you are?  You're in the jungle, baby!

(10) Since you only smoked during a party or something, you may not yet have had a really convincing high to bring you back into the fold; it might have been shortly before passing you, you might have been drunk, etc.  But you're now a little more amenable to smoking during the day and experiencing a classic daytime high.  And once that happens, and you find yourself simultaneously composing music, checking off all your neglected to-do's, exercising, stretching, preparing bolder and more complex dishes than anytime during your stint as a nonsmoker, etc., then you realize the web of lies in which you'd been increasingly ensnarled.  You're stunned by how amazing a marijuana high is, and you regret having gone so long without that experience.

Comparing marijuana strengths across decades

The claim that marijuana is more potent today than in the past is certainly very compelling, but it may not be scientifically accurate or--supposing it is--truly relevant. I was reading it being peddled by some bitch who tells us that "the average strength of marijuana back in the day was around 2 or 3 percent."

You might be wondering how the potency of marijuana can be compared over a long span of time. Who was doing the measuring "back in the day", and how would we know whether their methodology was reliable? What varieties of marijuana were being measured, and which parts of the plant? Grown under what conditions?

While it's fun to ridicule these studies for being empirically dubious, I would think (and hope) that their conclusion is correct. Growing technology is very advanced. For example, this article describes a very sophisticated regiment for plants grown hydroponically:
It was a relatively small operation: the lights and their installation had cost about fifteen thousand dollars, and power and nutrients had cost an additional twelve thousand or so. The array of nutrients along the walls included specialized growing products such as Bud Blood (“promotes larger, heavier & denser flowers and fruit”) and Rizotonic (a powerful root stimulant). “Voodoo Juice is going to go in here, and Scorpion, and it goes on and on,” the Kid said. Every three or four days, she ran purified water through her hydroponic growing medium for a full day, in order to give the plants a break. After the full, eight-week growth cycle, the Kid planned to harvest her crop and clear out.
Do you think anyone gave a shit about fancy fertilizers back in the 70s? I doubt they even had notions like 'nug', 'schwagg', or 'mid-grade' (whether or not there really is such a thing as mid-grade would make an interesting topic for another post). Of course marijuana is stronger today; there are a wide variety of advanced technologies specifically developed to assist in its growth. Unfortunately, these advancements are cited by the antidrug crowd just to motivate former pot smokers to be hypocritical.

To some extent the whole discussion of relative strengths is moot due to the fact that a lot of people now smoke bud/nugs/"the Good shit" (this is my favorite name--it makes reference to the fact that nug is probably God-given, but again, that's for a different post), whereas--from the information I can gather--people didn't used to smoke bud exclusively, just as they didn't wear seat-belts or refrain from all-day cigarette smoking. Life was so shitty back then that standards barely existed. If you wanted to throw a bunch of people into a mock--but fully functional--prison and randomly assign roles like 'Guard' and 'Inmate', then it was totally cool.

Again, relative strengths is irrelevant because people used to indiscrimately smoke all kinds of the plant--bud or not--whereas today a lot of smokers smoke bud exclusively. They also smoked in different ways. My informant claims that people smoked joints exclusively around 1971-1975. At the time, the standard amount for purchase was an ounce. My informant, a dealer around this time, would wrap the ounces in ribbon for show, as her clientele was made up mostly of women. That is to say, the standard purchase amount for casual buyers was an ounce. Today, the typical purchase amount is an eighth of an ounce. It's true that weed is stronger today than it was "back in the day", but it's also more expensive, and people buy less of it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

To Smoke or Not To Smoke

The question is a common one and one that I believe goes through the mind of smokers much more than non-smokers.  Having experienced both realities I have come up with list of why you SHOULD smoke despite the paranoid thoughts that may sometimes tell you the opposite.
-it is fun
-music sounds better
-movies high are different from the same movie sober, it is like a double feature
-Phelps smokes and he is the best athlete EVER  
-you WILL make those same stupid mistakes (like locking your keys in your car) even when sober for multiple years 
-it is better than smoking cigarettes
-you will not become a heroin addict unless you choose to
-you are not supporting terrorist, more like starving artist who sell weed part time
-food taste much better, amazing actually, this is the best ice cream I have EVER had

and last but not least, Otto from The Simpsons was famously quoted as saying "I don't even need drugs to enjoy this, just to enhance it!"

One Two One Two, This is Just a Test

You boys and/or girls have been setting the standard pretty high, and I can tell you right now that this post isn't gonna cut the mustard. That being said, I'm also sober right now, so I may not be able to fully tap into the spirit of this page - regarding the debated commented upon above, over marijuana's possession or lack of performance-enhancing qualities, I would say that weed definitely makes you better at doing one thing in particular: writing or talking about weed! I will return when the buzz returns, and beware; I may come back speaking in rhymes.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

High Rant #12

You know something funny, I had an epiphany earlier today.  I was reading my collector's edition copy of "The Curse of Lono" by Hunter S. Thompson.  And if you don't know who Hunter S. Thompson is, then you really should click on that link.  Anyways...I realized the reason why HST has such a high status, especially among those who alter their consciousness.  
Hunter used drugs, alcohol and all things illegal to an extreme; but if you read his writing you simultaneously see an author who is very sober-minded, who notices every detail and whom lives in every moment.
An example from the book:
'I didn't know Mr. Ackerman, but I remembered him coming aboard.  He had the look of a man who had once been a tennis pro in Hong Kong, then gone on to bigger things.  The gold Rolex, the white linen bush jacket, the Thai Bhat chain around his neck, the heavy leather briefcase with combination locks on every zipper...These were not signs of a man who would lock himself in the bathroom immediately after takeoff and stay inside for almost an hour.'
So Hunter was the ultimate paradox.  A person who could kill a 12 pack of Miller High Life, a pint of Jack Daniels, hit a vial of LSD after swallowing a dozen pills in a 2 hour period on an airplane.  But this same guy noticed everything and was really able to put that into his writing.  I don't know how someone like this could exist, but obviously they do.  


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Michael Phelps smokes marijuana -- Is weed a performance-enhancer?

Michael Phelps was caught on camera sipping at the pipe at--what do you know--Cackalakki, Univeristy of, Petroc's alma mater:

Marijuana relaxes the nerves and puts the user in touch with the goddess Isis, sure, but is it performance-enhancing?  There have been recent calls to reclassify marijuana as not a performance-enhancer.

This is a tough question for everyone.  From an anti-drug perspective, if cannabis is performance-enhancing, then that contradicts a great deal of the propoganda on the subject; in the portrayal on public service announcements of the effects of THC, it is anything but performance-enhancing.  It causes the user to sit around on the couch all day, only leaving once a day to pick up fast food, where he runs his car into a little girl on a bicycle on account of his diminished response time.  In this view, marijuana's only role in sports is to weed out the abusers by giving them poor coordination and motivation.  So it would seem to be in the best interest of marijuana's opponents to say that marijuana is not a performance-enhancer drug.  But in doing so, they would be acknowledging that marijuana is basically innocuous.

For smokers, a 'Yes' means that they use a drug that is classified the same way as steroids, something most smokers would prefer not to be associated with.  But a verdict of 'No', that marijuana is not a performance-enhancer, would reflect badly on smoking, as a habit.  It would mean that any claim to deriving day-to-day benefit from marijuana smoking is delusional.

The truth is that marijuana has a complex range of effects, both positive and negative and both physical and mental.  It depends on the strain of marijuana--indica and/or sativa and which subvariety--and on the user's own physiology, whether the herb will turn out to be performance-enhancing.  The reason that marijuana is hard to classify like other drugs is that it is nothing like them.

Just a Quickie

Have you ever had a headache from 2 blunts in a row, or from really cheap Mexican brick weed you bought at the border?  Well I have found the solution!  You need to have some better marijuana, if you smoke it, it will take away the effects of the lesser weed.  It is like two dogs fighting each other, and the stronger one always wins.  

Monday, February 2, 2009

Getting High vs. Getting Arrested

True story.  As I was walking to my weekly night class tonight in lower Manhattan, I spotted three baggy pants wearing thug-image types walking side by side in a line across the very wide sidewalk.  They were walking downtown and I was going uptown.  Being NYC, the sidewalks are always packed with people and to the average observer, I assume, there was nothing to be noted.  Keep in mind that I was still very far, maybe 20 feet away, when a little red (or maybe green) flag went off in my mind.  They ARE smoking weed, it indicated.
This assumption seemed to be purely based on a few key factors, the real question is: Did I notice this because I am a seasoned smoker myself with Marijuana constantly on the mind OR would a trained police officer also notice the small details I noticed which were as follows:

1) baggy clothes, thug image- more likely a drug user than a nerd or prep image
2) walking side by side in an almost perfect line (for passing the joint)- not a normal way to walk
3) only one person smoking- from a distance I only noticed one flick of fire among the three   
4) I also noticed that a small ember dropped from the cigarette which struck me as being unusually bigger than normal

As all this was running through my head on some subconscious level, I soon passed within a close enough distance and took a whiff of the air to test my "police dog" nose and BAAAMMM!!!  The smell of weed was faint but definitely there.  Whether they rolled a pure joint or one mixed with tobacco is not clear. However, some definite conclusions can be drawn from this situation to aid the average city-smoking Pothead in his constant avoidance of all things Police.

Please refer back to the original numbers for comparison: 

1) if you must hit the public streets and smoke, is it too paranoid to dress a little less  "criminal" to begin with, maybe not
2) DONT walk in an unusual or sketchy way, I know you don't want to miss the spliff rotation, but getting arrested is much worse
3) light up a cigarette with the joint, it can only help with the damning aroma and your overall appearance to the public, even if point #2 isn't followed
4) roll your joints tighter, PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!!!!

I will continually post new Stoner Tips, call me paranoid if you will, but this post wasn't published from jail and I have been smoking so long I saw "Half Baked" in the theaters wasted.


I think that domestic production and regulation of marijuana would work to suppress demand in the U.S. for marijuana smuggled in from Mexico.  There will always be marijuana from Mexican cartels available.  The problem with the present system is that for the normal, casual user, there is no way to differentiate weed on the basis of its origin; nobody at the bottom end of the supply chain knows anything about the organizational structure more than one or two levels up.  Thus, it is impossible for an everyday, right-minded smoker to use his purchasing power to support otherwise law-abiding domestic growers and put out of business any suppliers that engage in violence.  Under system of regulation, on the other hand, the legal cannabis dispensaries would  have to check out their suppliers.  Under such a system, it would be possible to prevent known cartels from supplying them.  As a result, those who would prefer the safe, legal, reliable option of purchasing their marijuana from a licensed dispensary to black-market purchases (i.e., everybody) would contribute nothing to the cartels, thus drying up the resources they need to fund their audacious feats of law-breaking.

To a casual user, violence in towns across the border which might be indirectly funded by his occasional weed purchases may not be the most compelling reason to get behind the movement for sensible drug legislation.  After all, our government funds and participates in all kinds of violence around the world.  In fact, the average smoker might contribute more to unnecessary violence through paying taxes than by purchasing weed.  There are, however, potential direct consequences to the end user of using marijuana supplied by cartels.  Here is why.

A Mexican drug cartel, lacking in compassion for the user across the border, may see little problem in making his product somehow heavier.  This could be achieved by sneaking in either poor quality bud, other herbs altogether, or metals potentially containing toxins.  Under regulation, this could never happen.  Obviously any supplier who engaged in adding harmful chemicals to his bud would be blacklisted and probably imprisoned; moreover, samples of bud could be tested beforehand to ensure that harmful additives never reach anyone's lungs in the first place.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

High Rant #73


In a long lost city, far far away from America, there resides a little man.  He works on his motor bike steadily through the bitter winters and humid summers.  Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is his bible, not only by birth but according to his trade, which (lucky man) is also his passion: motorcycle delivery of Thai food and soft drugs.  We met him the way many met him, through the delivery of Thai food combined with the aroma of that which produces the hunger itself.  As he entered our apartment for the first time he deeply inhaled the air and smiled, and then forgot to give us the egg-rolls we ordered.  But he quickly returned, bag in hand!  

"There is a surprise in there for you and your friends", said the man, he deeply inhaled "call me anytime...ask for the Evil Dwarf."

We stood in stunned silence as he left, rushing into the other room to open the bag and it seemed he HAD given us something extra.  A fat little plastic bag with a strange herb.  We began to call the Evil Dwarf a lot, he would appear on his motorcycle.  The same motorcycle that would evade the police time and time again.  The same motorcycle that needs daily maintenance like every other motorcycle owned by a dedicated owner.  The Dwarf was always around, seemingly appearing from nowhere at times.  My friend Tommy once saw him disappear.  Once I had to introduce him to an important family member whom happened to be in the city.  For he was indeed a friendly Dwarf worthy of introduction.  

"What may be your true name Evil Dwarf", I inquired "give me your name, for I still do not know it (even after 9 months)."

He thought about it, his face turning to stone.  His eyes seemed to be staring at nothing when he turned to me and spoke:

"Call me the Little Dwarf".  

He truly believed that the worst word to include in his title was the adjective "Evil", the Dwarf part being a given.  

Needless to say I did not introduce him.  It was convenient because the country we resided in spoke a strange gypsy-derived language.   

private and public spheres

Marijuana smoking is a very important part of my life. That isn't to say that I abuse marijuana--maybe I do, maybe I don't--but I would rather be forever flirting with abusive behavior than forever barred from access to this magical herb.

There is nothing like a marijuana high. It's persistent but never pushy. Alcohol, which will eventually force the user into submission, is just a poor substitute. There is no comedown associated with the high, unless you count a smooth transition into drowsiness, which can be countered with simple a cup of coffee. On the other hand, other drugs have an associated comedown which is equally as crappy as the high was pleasurable.

Smoking at or around home is rude to cohabitant nonsmokers, whom you may be putting at risk on account of a lax restrictions on guilty-by-association-minded police forces and prosecutors. Outside of the home, two main options exist: the public and the private spheres. The private sphere may contain smoking safe-houses; examples include friends' homes and businesses run by sympathetic parties. Otherwise, the private sphere is just as unsafe as the public sphere, if not more unsafe, in terms of one's likelihood of being caught by the police. In the private sphere, your activity might be linked to you; someone who recognizes you can provide the authorities with your name. In the public sphere, on the other hand, one is less at risk to a police encounter based on the phonings-in of your activities from other civilians. That is because the public sphere is basically the outdoors, and when you're outdoors you're likely to be walking or otherwise just moving. Assuming that there is a negligible probability of actually being recognized by anyone who sees you in the public sphere, the chances of being caught are much lower in the public shere than in the private one.

Whereas in the private sphere, danger of being caught is probably very low (as in, when you're at home) or very high (as in, at work, which is likely to be crowded with unsympathetic parties who will recognize you), in the public sphere this danger ranges from high to low and depends on your overall perceptibility. Your overall perceptibility is based on how perceptually salient your activities are to other human beings. How densely populated are your surroundings, and to what extent do your surroundings mask your activities? The lowest and best perceptibility is thus achieved by smoking in a sparsely populated location with dense vegetation that will block your sight and smell from reaching the eyes and noses of anyone who happens to come nearby. Any smoker who is lucky enough to have access to the outdoors can attest to the overall high degree of protection it provides.