It all started this year when I wanted to buy a bong. Not just any bong. A nice bong, a pretty bong, a bong I could leave out on the table without a second thought when company came over.
I wanted a grown-up bong.
But where to procure such an item? And did this item exist? What was the object and design side of “weed culture” now?
To start from the beginning, I didn’t start smoking until I was in college. And, even then, I was two years into my degree before I tried it. But cannabis had been around me since I was fourteen, and just an adorable straight-edge little thing who observed instead of imbibed. And, man, did I observe. Up until my 30’s, I would have described “stoners” by the environment they created around them; not by the amount they smoked (or ate). A stoner, in my experience, wore tie-dyes and baggy hats. Maybe tried to rock some Rastafarian colors on a poncho hoodie. They had long hair, hemp necklaces, weed patches, and listened to Phish. This wasn’t just high school; this style existed around me in college with wall hangings, blacklight posters, and a designated “chill” room in their one-too-many-people-on-the-lease apartments. To be a regular cannabis user was to be a holdover hippie and that extended to the pieces used. Big, giant bongs with fifty percolators, or acrylic pieces that looked like tourist drinks from the Vegas strip, or a glass-blown orange and aquamarine hand pipe the length of a salami— its name was probably “Dave” or something.
I thought, “that’s what it is to be in weed culture. That’s what it is to enjoy cannabis.” If you smoke more than just at parties when