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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Smokerstitioins - by Marijuana Jones

Halloween is right around the corner, so this month’s article will focus on some of the creepier superstitions and legends surrounding cannabis culture worldwide.  Like any superstition, sometimes there is a logical origin for the belief, and some are completely absurd. Some of these stories were likely made up by some toker fresh off the dank, yet these stories still end up getting passed around like joints at a Cyprus Hill show. These legends tend to circulate and transcend generations until the true origin of the custom becomes lost to myth. A good example of this is the ubiquitous number 420 that surrounds our culture. While there are several stories as to how this number became a thing, some claim it is the police code for possession, while others conjecture that the code originated as a time where students would meet to smoke after school. Some say that 4:20 is tea time in Holland, others say that there are 420 active chemicals in marijuana. Whatever the actual truth is, we may never know, but anyway, please enjoy these Halloween smokerstitions.

The White Lighter Curse
This one changes depending on who you talk to. In some circles a black lighter is unlucky, while others avoid red ones. Yet the white lighter seems to be the most prevalent source of bad mojo. One possible reason for this belief is that when the disposable bic lighter came out, it was only available in two colors, black or white. If a smoker used the bottom of a white lighter to tamp out a bowl, the carbon scoring would be a sure sign to police that the owner of the lighter smoked weed, while the black lighter was better at concealing the ash.
Another possible (albeit more morbid) reason for this belief comes from the deaths of four famous musicians. Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain, who all died at the age of 27. All four were left handed. And, according to the myth, all four supposedly had white bic lighters on them when they died.

Tip a Canoe
Canoeing in this case is the uneven burning of a joint or blunt, which starts to take on the shape of a canoe. Also referred to as ‘running’. Some say it is unlucky to hit a canoeing joint without attempting to fix it.

THC Worms
It is uncertain how exactly the legend of THC Worms was born, but the story goes that there are worms that live on cannabis plants, and feed on THC, which becomes concentrated in their bodies, adding an extra ‘kick’ for the smoker who happens upon some of these creatures in their buds. It should be noted that the THC Worm is unknown to science, and has yet to be documented. One hypothesis behind the birth of this legend is that a newbie smoker once complained to their hookup of the stash being infested with caterpillars, and in order to save face, the dealer fed them a line about the worms being concentrated, and instructed the client to smoke them with the weed. As strange as it is, this story crops up often in smoking circles and internet discussion forums. Some strongly insist that finding worms in weed is good luck.

Note: The MMM Report strongly discourages patients from smoking any foreign objects they might find in their cannabis. Especially worms.

Never Name a Bong
Although humorous, naming a glass piece can be an invitation for disaster. Some smokers swear that if you name a glass piece, it will surely be broken. And while every frat house in America at some point probably had a piece named Wesley Pipes, superstition warns that giving a name to a smoking piece is almost like a curse. And although it may be tempting to name that killer new glass something clever like Billy Bong Thorton, Dank Sinatra, or George W. Kush, some strongly discourage this practice as you will surely be sweeping up the remaining shards of that pipe in due time. They say that even a premium name like Bongkey Kong or Tim Tebowl  won’t save your pipe from the curse.

Move it on Your Left
Quick question: which way do you pass in a smoking circle? If you answered left, you are in the majority of tokers. There have been many references to passing to the left in pop culture, especially in the 1982 hit by reggae band Musical Youth. If you’ve never heard the song Pass the Dutchie on the Left Hand Side, set this magazine down right now and YouTube it. We’ll wait...
Catchy tune, yeah?  Rastas pass to the left when discussing important matters, and only pass to the right in times of war or distress. Coincidentally, it was common for Native Americans to face north when sharing a peace pipe, and pass it to the left because the sacrament had to follow the direction of the sun or negative consequences could result. Other smokers in general pass to the left because it is easy to remember, and causes the rotation to go clockwise.

Beware the Duppies
In Jamaica and other parts of the Bahamas, there are tales of evil spirits called ‘duppies’. A duppy can take on different forms, appearing as animals, people, monsters or disembodied spirits. Among other superstitions surrounding duppies, it is believed that if you light a pipe at night with a match, never throw the match on the ground, as this act can summon a duppy, causing chaos to the hapless smoker and those around them. Duppies have been referenced numerous times in reggae music, one popular example is found in the lyrics for the Bob Marley song, Mr. Brown:
O-o-oh, calling duppy conqueror,
I’m the ghost-catcher!
This is your chance, oh big, big Bill bull-bucka,
Take your chance! Prove yourself! Oh, yeah!

Don’t Smoke the Seed
Most seasoned tokers know that it is bad form to leave a seed in a bowl or a joint, as they can explode, and they taste miserable. But did you know it may be bad luck to smoke cannabis seeds? As quoted in the Michael Palmer song Smoke the Weed:

Smoke the weed
 don’t smoke the seed, 
'cuz if you smoke the seed, 
you’re going kill the breed.

This saying can be taken two ways. One is in the literal sense that seeds should be planted instead of smoked in order to preserve the genetics. The figurative sense is that humanity is sometimes referred to as ‘the seed’ and so one might be figuratively endangering mankind by burning cannabis seeds.

Three on a Match
If you find yourself and two other people getting ready to smoke, this superstition says that you should never light up all three on the same match. Also known as third on a match, or the unlucky third light, this belief has several possible origins.

One theory is that this superstition originated between the Crimean War and WWI among soldiers who believed that the third guy to light from the match was a target for sniper fire. Upon the first smoke being lit, the light would get a snipers attention. Once the second cig was ignited, a sniper could zero in on the area. The third ember to light would be the one to get capped. Another explanation is that the Swedish match tycoon Ivar Kreuger made up the story in order to get people to use more matches.

A third possible origin refers to a Russian funeral ritual in which three candles are lit from one. Mimicking this with a match and three smokeables is said to bring misfortune.

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