27 Rules for Smoking Weed Without Being a Dick

How to get high without committing a stoner faux pas.
An attendee rolls a blunt during the Mile High 420 Festival in Denver, Colorado
Photo: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

For a plant that’s been around for around 12,000 years, weed doesn’t exactly come with an operating manual.

Roman scholar Pliny the Elder might have noted the curative properties of cannabis root and hemp, but he didn’t write down instructions for his countrymen on how to preserve their stash without coming off like a selfish jerk. 


As we previously noted in 31 Rules for Doing Drugs Without Being a Dick, the conventions around drug consumption can be mystifying – especially if you’re new to the game. That’s where we come in. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or the sort of person who knows what “terpenes” are, we’ve compiled a list of good manners that you can apply to most social situations involving weed, 4/20 or not.

1. Don’t give someone edibles without telling them

Don’t give your friend a weed brownie with ten times the recommended dose and expect them not to hold it against you.

2. Respect rollers’ rights

If they roll it, they get to hit it first. The end. 

3. Don’t share if you’re sick

Don’t be the person admitting that you spent all morning on the toilet with the runs after you pass the joint.

4. Avoid slobbering all over it 

I don’t care if you have “naturally moist” lips – there’s nothing worse than receiving a vape or a blunt covered in someone else’s spit.

5. Don’t hog the blunt

Goes without saying. If you’ve agreed to a three-puff pass due to low supplies, don’t get moody if someone calls you out.

6. Clean your bong

If you’re going to share it with friends, do the right thing and make sure they’re not getting high off moldy water (yes, this happens). If you’ve never cleaned your bong, here’s how to start

7. Don’t ‘guess-timate’ edibles 

If you’re cooking with weed, don’t wing the measurements or forget how much you put in there. This is for your own self-preservation, but is equally important if you’re planning to serve the food to anybody else.  

8. Be kind to anyone whitey-ing or greening out

We’ve all been there. Compassion is key. Do not take this as a chance to scare them or make a joke.

9. Don’t be a weed bore or snob

I can guarantee that people do not want to hear your monologue about the latest Cali strain. Read the room.

10. If you’re shit at rolling, leave it to someone who’s good

Don’t let your ego get into this – think of the greater good.

11. Try to avoid putting on Bob Marley

Genuine lifelong fans can be given exceptions in the privacy of their own homes, but in the park on a sunny day? You’re ruining our rep.

12. Avoid stories that start with ‘this one time in Amsterdam’

Yes, Amsterdam is great, but there’s only so many times you can recycle your anecdote about doing an edible in Dam Square and getting attacked by a pigeon.

13. Do not bring up anything serious when high

Getting deep is fine, but if this is something that the other person is going to have to be really emotionally responsive to, be warned their lack of concentration is nothing personal. If the topic is going to upset them, it will send them spiralling – especially if you’re breaking bad news.

14. Remember that everyone’s tolerance is different

An edible that will just about give you a chill night at home might just as easily turn someone else paralytic. Never assume people have the same tolerance as you, which brings us onto… 

15. No peer pressuring

You’re a grown adult, not 15 and trying to make your friend pass out as a joke. 


16. Never comment on the amount of food someone’s guzzling

This is basically common human decency, but applies especially to the munchies. Let people enjoy their snacks!

17. Don’t rob the lighter

Trying to search for a light while very stoned is not fun.

18. Be respectful when someone wants to quit 

Don’t be a dick about it if someone you know tells you they’re cooling it off with weed. You don’t know what’s going on in their life.

19. Remember this is actual medicine for some people 

And we mean mentally and physically. If someone’s a little uptight over their stash, they might need it for health reasons. Be nice and don’t assume.

20. Don’t blow smoke into your pet’s face

And don’t let Fido accidentally eat a weed brownie off the side table, either – it’s bad for him.

21. If you smoke your mate’s weed every week, pay up

Chuck them a tenner every now and again. People might say it’s fine, but there’s always a tiny bit of resentment two years in.

22. Don’t run off for a shit mid-spliff

I will not wait for you. Plan ahead and empty your bowels beforehand.

23. Be nice to your neighbours

If they respectfully ask you to quit smoking right next to the open bedroom window of their asthmatic child, it’s only neighbourly to agree to cut back a bit.

24. Never assume you can raid your roommate’s stash 

Just because they’re generous enough to let you have some when they’re there, doesn’t mean it’s OK to help yourself when they’re not. Go pick up yourself.

25. Be up for helping

Even if someone else is actually rolling, there are duties that can make their life easier, like rolling the roach, picking weed out of the grinder or tidying up after. Don’t leave it all down to one person.

26. Don’t light up in someone’s house or car without asking


27. Decide on what you’re going to watch beforehand

You know what’s more excruciating than arguing over what to watch for 30 minutes? It’s arguing over what to watch for 30 minutes while stoned, knowing you will just stick on Peep Show for the millionth time. Check out our list of stoner films instead.