The New York Times Explored Pot Etiquette This Weekend

Jill Abramson? David Brooks? Is That You?

  • Jill Abramson? David Brooks? Is That You?

As it must be, as it was foretold, the New York Times has taken a tentative step into the wide world of “mainstream” pot smoking. And I’m not saying it matters that I happened to open this article at exactly 4:20 pm this Saturday, but it also doesn’t not matter. Anyway, the point is, it’s a social minefield out there for a genteel, adult stoner! So what are you supposed to do, then, when slurring “do you party” at fellow party guests is no longer acceptable (it is always acceptable)?

Well, Henry Alford tackled this very question in this weekend’s Style section, with mixed results. As usual, Pacific Northwest luminary (and surprisingly excellent professional partier) Rick Steves had the best idea, telling Alford, “I just keep a decorative bong on a shelf in my living room. If someone comments on it, then it opens up the conversation.”

You know, let people know what kind of party this could be without being weird and pushy. This is truly great social technique. The Times also brings up the less-cool options of taking single hits at a time and exhaling them into a towel like “furtive boarding-school students and prisoners,” or “encouraging the pot smokers in the room to momentarily absent themselves for their fug-making.”

Huh, “fug-making.” But maybe their savvy readership will have some ideas, here? “I knew a lot of pot smokers in high school and sadly most of them dropped out,,,spent time in jail ,,,or are dead now. What is so good about that,” asked one Times commenter. Oh. I see. Maybe someone else? “They all probably use hand sanitizers at the drop of a hat, yet pass around a saliva-gunked roach. Yuk!”

So, never mind, that was not necessarily too helpful. I guess Alford is pretty right, in the sense that “each situation has its own DNA to be decoded.” In which case, one should fall back on the time-honored etiquette tradition: act like whatever you’re doing isn’t weird and it won’t be. Or get blazed on your own time before social events. Meaning, then, that we can expect a Style section article about weed pre-gaming (weed-gaming? pot-gaming? some other portmanteau word?) about six months down the road.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.