By Bruce Barcott
Few people on the planet know 420 better than David Bienenstock. After spending more than a decade as the West Coast correspondent for High Times, Bienenstock moved on to Vice, where he currently writes the Weed Eater column and produces the video series “Bong Appetit.”
Now he’s written How To Smoke Pot (Properly), an entertaining guide to the ins and outs of weediquette. The book was, appropriately, published earlier this month — one week prior to 4/20.
Leafly spoke with Bienenstock recently to glean his expert tips on 4/20 strategy and etiquette. As you plan and play out your day, keep these sage words of wisdom in mind.
Celebrate. “Be cognizant of the fact that 4/20 is a special day,” says Bienenstock. “It’s important for this culture to have a day to celebrate. This started as a totally underground thing many years ago. The fact that it’s widely celebrated around the world is a sign of how far we’ve come.”
Remember those who can’t. “Not everybody gets to celebrate 4/20,” he adds. “Not to be a downer, but this day is about liberation. It’s about everybody enjoying those freedoms, and fighting for those who can’t. Yet.”
Take action. “This is a day to be an activist,” Bienenstock says. “Spend the day thinking about and talking about the great things cannabis brings into your life.”
Spent time with good friends. “Spend the day celebrating the people in your life that you really enjoy sharing cannabis with. Think about the experiences that being a part of this culture has brought to your life.”
Pace yourself. “It’s a day to celebrate abundance, if you have that abundance. But we don’t want this to turn into a St. Patrick’s Day model where it’s all about overconsumption. That quarter-pound joint makes a great visual, and it’s fun—but man, it’s really wasteful.”
Keep yourself well fed and hydrated. “You always want to have good meals and plenty of liquids throughout the day,” Bienenstock says. “As a veteran of many, many Cannabis Cups, I can tell you that the biggest reasons people end up taking weed naps is not remembering to eat and drink.”
Know your tolerance and stay within it. “Smoke with your head, not over it,” he says.
A little dab will do ya. “If you’re new to dabbing, remember that you’re working with the same active ingredient, but understand that the potency is much higher. Trying to take the biggest dab you can take, may mean you end up missing the rest of your day’s plans.”
Help those who overdo it. “If you’re fortunate enough to live in a place where you can access CBD, remember that that will temper the high, and also some of the anxiety that may come with THC ingestion. When we film our “Bong Appetit” series for Vice, we have a bottle of CBD tincture in our first aid kit.”
Get creative. “If you don’t have an event to go to, throw your own little event. Have everyone bring a different strain of weed, share and compare notes. 4/20 isn’t just about the cannabis, it’s about the people you share it with.”
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