31 Rules for Doing Drugs Without Being a Dick

From sharing the bag to (not) haggling with dealers, here's how to get high and keep your friends.
Katie Way
Brooklyn, US
Jamie Clifton
London, GB
proper drug etiquette for smoking

The world is a confusing place, and nothing is more confusing to a beginner than than the world of recreational drug-taking. There is no Miss Manners for psychedelics, no Ask Polly column for weed smokers. The group etiquette surrounding a newly acquired bag of ket can be confusing – and it only gets more confusing once you’re fucked-up.


Fear not, we’ve got your back. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned party pro, we’ve compiled a list of good manners that apply to most social situations involving drugs, from festivals and clubs to the apartment of some random called Kev. Here’s how to behave like a polite, normal, and reasonable person – even and especially when you’re getting high.  

1. Stand by your man

Do not abandon your too-high friend just because you want to keep partying.

2. Resist the urge to text your dealer every 15 minutes asking where they are 

This isn’t UberEats, babe. They’ll get to you when they get to you.

3. Don’t peer pressure anyone into becoming the designated drug mule 

If you want to smuggle anything into a festival or venue, be an adult and do it yourself.

4. Never bill your friends  

When you’re out, don’t tally up every key bump you pass your friends’ way. At most, let them buy you a drink. That’s what friends are for.

5. Give as well as take 

But if your friend is constantly sharing their stash, be a decent person and offer them money or something in return. And always follow through – I see you, insincere offerers.

6. Don’t bring the party home without giving your roomates a heads up  

There’s nothing worse than having to face the silent treatment the day after some nameless woman in a K-hole has vomited all over your rental sofa. 

7. And always be a good house guest

If someone’s done you a solid by letting you go back to theirs for the afterparty, don’t drink them dry and hoover up all their drugs. If you notice them start intently looking at the time on their phone or exchanging glances with their roomie, it’s time to call an Uber.     

8. Venmo discreetly

You might think it’s funny to write “molly” as the description when you’re buying molly, and it is! But digital surveillance is real, and no bit is worth getting suspended from the ‘mo.

9. Never do drugs you’ve found on the floor 

You’re not that desperate. (Ideally, you’d be testing your drugs before heading out.)

10. Try not to hog the bathroom if there’s a line outside

Some people need to pee! Some of us have IBS! Also: You are asking to get busted.

11. Put the toilet seat down when you flush 

Messy drug shits are a thing, and also, have you seen those videos showing how much poop gets ejected into the air? 

12. Be nice if you do get busted

Just give up the goods and calmly allow yourself to be ejected from the venue. Arguing makes you sound like an asshole, and it ruins a security guard or toilet attendant’s night. 


13. Don’t shark around your friends looking for drugs

“Oh, what’s that you’ve got there?” You know what it is, and they’ll give you some if they actually want to. 

14. Having said that – do share your gum.     

Golden rule, really.

15. “Accidentally” doing two lines because you “weren’t paying attention” isn’t fooling anybody

Neither is racking up a huge line for yourself and tiny lines for others out of someone else’s stash.

16. Don’t haggle with dealers 

They’re already committing a crime for you – you don’t also need a fractionally better price on an eighth of weed.

17. Buy your own drugs

You’re a perfectly capable adult. Don’t beg your friend to pick up for you because you’re scared. Look, we even wrote you a guide.

18. And the buyer in the group should get the best deal

If one friend did do everyone a solid by picking up, don’t argue about the chipping-in price you previously agreed to because you’re “pretty sure you hardly had any” – the one who organized it should be the last to be out of pocket. 

19. Never run off with the bag

Oh, it all “fell out,” did it? It magically fell out and up your nose, did it?? 

20. Don’t take photos or videos of people looking super high or doing drugs

Even if you think it’s funny. And definitely do not post it on social media – yes, your Close Friends list still counts. This is narc behavior, plain and simple.

21. If you spot a stranger on the dancefloor hitting on a friend who is probably too high to consent, intervene

Inserting yourself between them or dragging your pal off with a simple, “Hey, let’s get some water” will suffice. 

22. Don’t guilt-trip your friend if you had to take care of them on a night out

They already feel bad enough. 

23. Don’t be the guy forcing shots on everyone while they’re high

 Mixing drugs and booze is not a good idea. It’s science!

24. There’s no shame in ending a night when you’ve had enough 

Getting trapped at an afters that drags on for too long should be considered one of the seven circles of Hell.

Does Cocaine Suck Now? A VICE News Investigation.


25. Never secretly give your friend a huge dose just “for a laugh”

Trust us, nobody will be laughing.    

26. When everybody’s tripping, it’s nice to sometimes just babysit

Especially if there are newbies, having a sober friend around can be a huge help if the trip goes bad.

27. Don’t be one of those people who deletes their dealer numbers every Saturday morning, only to text the group chat for a link the next Friday night

It’s annoying. 

28. Only weed nerds care about the strain you’re smoking

If you’re smoking with weed nerds, feel free to wax lyrical about your ounce of Cheetah Piss. If you’re not, kindly refrain.

29. You don’t have to make conversation with every fucked-up person in the bathroom, but you can be polite 

“Are you having a good night?” is the universally accepted small talk of the club or festival. 

30. Around someone doing drugs for the first time? Be nice

Remember the first time you got way too stoned and thought you were dying? And that nice lady got you some water and told you that it was going to be alright? Be that nice lady for someone else. 

31. If a friend says no, take the hint

You don’t know what’s going on in their private life. Maybe they were already partying last night. Maybe they’re dealing with a lot right now, and that gummy will send them under. Maybe drugs just aren’t their thing. Either way, they don’t need to give you a reason, and you don’t need to pressure them.