I turn 24 tomorrow and one of my very close weed-smoking friends is turning 20. The two of us share a lot of friends so we have a kickback organized for tomorrow. We’re both twenty-something’s so we’re not trying to break the bank – we’ll have food we both like and two ounces to smoke out our friends. I’ll be bringing the micro brews while he supplies the barbecue and soulfood – simple and centered around “good weed and good eats.”
I have been to some great “smoke-outs” and some awful ones. I have been to some smoke-outs that are small-scale and some that are big – regardless of what size of event you’re trying to setup, these tips will be helpful when you’re planning.
Think of the people you’re inviting and why they’re all going. If you’re friends from college, you should be near that campus. If you’re neighborhood friends, then you should be close to your old stomping ground. The point is that when you’re setting up the event you need to pinpoint how the people that are attending know each other. If you’re all friends with Steve, and half of you used to smoke at Steve’s house during lunch in school while the other half used to smoke there after practice – you should all meet up at Steve’s. Even if that means you all meet up at a fast food joint that you all worked at “way back when” – going to that location will stir up old memories and definitely help with conversation. Find a special place and if you can’t smoke there for the event, at the very least visit it. Take a cab, bike there, or walk. “Going somewhere” is usually a nice change of pace after everyone smokes together before the fun really starts.
Have a huge variety of things to eat. Drinks, snacks, sushi rolls. Whatever you’re funding, just make sure you get “variety packs” and “assorted flavors” – high people love options. If you’re on a bigger budget this is a category that I would add additional funds to. If you’re all high-school aged kids, maybe steer clear of the caviar and toast points. Make your event coincide with a restaurant special or a snack special if you can’t afford to spend lots of money in the culinary department. That could mean you all hit a buffet or a happy hour – find something frugal. I have been to some awesome college aged-events that coincided with 7-Eleven’s “Unlimited Slurpee” day. They cost nothing and people loved them. Everyone brings a container to the smokeout – half are used in a DIY “build-a-bong competition” and the other half are rewarded to the “winning team” after some smoking version of a drinking game is played. Everyone takes a field trip to the 7-Eleven and the victors fill their large containers with free slush.
Media is always a choice that people get easily worked up over. “I don’t care how much Janet loves the Kinks… I’m not playing Better Days at the smoke out!” – Just relax and remember that it’s a smoke out with friends and not a U.N. meeting. Its your call what’s getting played and the only time you should have to lay down the law is when you see Janet pulling out the AUX cable out of your iPod to get her Ray Davies fix. Pretty much no matter what you play, someone will have a “better” suggestion – it doesn’t hurt to let him or her play that every now and again. Video can be fun – a projector with an old movie that the group liked. Maybe a playlist of music videos from an artist everyone enjoyed. As long as its funny or a shared interest, video is easy to pinpoint. Play it without audio and project across a backyard at the lawn and fence, or the wall behind the dishes to pass. Its funny to see the one stoned person staring at the silent film playing across the lawn eating appetizers as they ask if anyone else has been watching the episode of Sesame Street playing in the grass. Make it colorful or funny and make it silent. Any stoner film, or nature documentary will make the crowd laugh.
Cannabis options always sound way more intimidating than they really are. This is the easiest choice and it just requires one person to call the shots. One of my annual smoke-outs that I attend has a Facebook Page where it polls the attendees on what they want. One year there was a heavy emphasis on a dab bar (multiple torches, multiple rigs, shatter, wax, oil, and crumble) and one year there was a heavy emphasis on “how many pizzas can we have delivered?” If you want to get a better understanding of what they people will want – take a poll. If you all have a love for edibles this event might take some planning in the sense that you should have a lot of medicated butter ready so you can make a variety of baked goods. If you all smoke blunts, then you might want to buy a “case” of cigars or wraps and pre-roll a bunch of them beforehand – there’s nothing classier than a well-dressed host walking around with a humidor asking guests if they would like a grape blunt. Make a variety of ways to get high that will appeal to the group as a whole.
Activities are a fun one that can really sound easy. I went to a smoke out that was centered on everyone smoking and then playing paintball. Half of the group (the half with faster reflexes) loved this – they got high and shot their friends with paintballs. The other half said “never again” and “ouch” – their take was that they “chipped in money to get high and get shot with things that hurt.” I loved the event, but I also loved that take on it. Just because I had fun doesn’t mean it was a success. Try a nature walk or a trip to the zoo or the aquarium – a concert or movie premier is always a classic. One of my favorite activities at a smoking session was a dab session followed by a leisurely tube down a river (very calm rapids less than a meter deep anywhere) to a bar on the creek where we had breakfast for dinner and drank beer. The key to this is that the activity was explorative but not dangerous. Nobody was mountain climbing or shooting clays. Even the most stoned of twenty something’s could keep their cool and ride an inflatable dolphin down a trickling creek. Think “equal parts fun and safe” and enjoy your session!