Cannabis

An Ode to the Humble Joint

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"Joint, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter of Cannabis Sativa and/or Indica,
We enter fire imbibed,
Heavenly, thy stoney bologna sanctuary."

Today, there’s much ado about vapes, pens, however the hell you smoke dabs, and three-foot-bongs with deluxe ice catchers and chamber stabilizers featuring neon lights that warn you when your mom or landlord is standing outside your door. But consider the joint, my friends. The roach. The doobie (as your mom may call it). This is marijuana the way it was meant to be enjoyed: a communal involvement, best when shared, when passed, and when experienced as a collective consciousness.

Do you know how many world-changing ideas were launched around a hazy circle of sweet-smelling smoke and that little rolled-up muse? The joint is humble. It’s classic. It’s stood the test of time -- even while constantly knocking people on their asses.

With a little help from the late Beethoven/Friedrich Schiller's magnificent "Ode to Joy" (let’s be honest, they’d both probably be very down with all this), I composed a brief, lyrical explanation, attempting to clear the smoke around my audacious cannabis claim.

Look, dude, you don’t have to listen to me. But it’d be much cooler if you did.

"Thy magic reunites those
Whom un-cool life choices has forced them to move to the suburbs and stuff
All men (and ladies!) will become best bros
Under thy gentle burn.

All the world's coolest people
Draw joy from nature's buds;
Both the old and the young
Follow her THC-strewn path."

Whether you are smoking a joint at a concert, outside a bar, or in the back of a bowling-alley maintenance room (don’t ask), the act is perhaps the easiest way to make friends and meet people this side of Internet banner ads on Porn websites.

It transcends generational, financial, and intellectual gaps. It just brings people together. You know that one friend you haven't really talked to since college? It's all awkward questions and heavy pauses, till one of you pulls out a joint. No matter where life has taken you: a joint can bring you right back. Smoking weed, a nostalgic act for so many of us -- bringing us back to our hunger days -- is best served in spliff form, as it is the ultimate throwback.

It’s the one constant that all smokers, from every generation, can understand. People weren’t passing a Pax around the Woodstock lawn, you know. It’s a link to the past, and sure bet to survive into the future.

Ask your Grandpa (trust me... he’s cool).

The joint is insanely portable, only requires one hand, and is the method of choice for real-deal enthusiasts from Rogen to Bob Marley himself, the Patron Saint of Ganja.

Are you seriously going to tell this man how to smoke weed?

"She gave us Sgt. Pepper's and iMacs
A simple, loyal friend unto death;
She gave lust for life to the most bored housewife/teenager,
And the chill you feel afterwards, is uncannily Godlike.

Joyously, as seeds and stems are separated
Finish your glorious Shake Shack take-out order,
Hasten, Bros, be on your way,
For I misplaced my lighter, and really need yours."

The joint’s inspirational pleasure has given us some of the greatest achievements of all time, and is often the way we experience smoking for the first time (ask Tommy Chong, a man who knows a thing or two about indulging).

Its battery will never die. It will never drop and break in your driveway. It will never go out of style or out of vogue. It’s super easy to stomp on it if a security guard comes your way while Radiohead finishes their second encore with “Paranoid Android.”

The new, more complicated (and supposedly sophisticated) ways of inhaling pot are fine. But sometimes, you need an experience that is unfiltered by electronics, peripherals, and add-ons. The joint is a pure, crystalline experience that connects you with your herb of choice. The act of separating, rolling, licking, and lighting is like a violinist changing his strings, or a master carpenter blowing the layer of oak sawdust of his newly prized creation -- it’s making something old, new again. Bringing a new episode to an ancient ritual.

Some say it wastes weed. And I guess if you are trying to ration it, maybe it does. Then again, do you want to be the type of person that feels the need to ration your intoxicants? Do you bring over a bottle of whiskey to a house party, and dole out the contents to your friends in thimbles?

Sharing is caring. And true caring is sharing your stash.

Shutterstock/Atomazul

"Be embraced, Zig-Zags and Ig Bambu, sold for “tobacco use only!”
This joy is like an Amsterdam Coffee shop!
Bros! Put on '
Dark Side of the Moon'
A loving friend would pass the Funyuns.

Do your hands also seem huge, world?
Seek more Funyuns, and please put on Dark Side.
We must talk about the ending of 
Interstellar, but probably later."

The next time you are in Amsterdam, the modern day mecca of all things marijuana, take a look in their coffee shops. The patrons of pot aren’t using tin cans or Volcanos to puff, they are doing it through rolling papers. These coffee shops should be a shining example of light drugs done right; treated like a social experience -- like bars! -- and enjoyed responsibly. The joint makes it easy for you to gauge and (if needed) limit your intake. Passing around any other smoking device just doesn't have the same effortless sang-froid, or practiced reliability. Friendships are forged, bonds are strengthened, and navels are gazed -- all in a good way, of course -- over the joint. 

It's really the perfect smoking device: stripped down, portable, classic, quintessential, sleek, handy, potent, and beautiful. It does exactly what it is designed to do, nothing more, nothing less.

Blessed are the humble joints. They are the warm, welcoming center of the marijuana-verse. May we all aspire to fly as high as they do. 

Joints, beautiful spark of Gods!,
Domain of Willie Nelson and the RZA alike ,
Joints, beautiful spark of Gods!
Hey, where are those Funyons?

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Wil Fulton is a staff writer for Thrillist. He also once wrote a sonnet for a bottle of Rosé. Follow him @wilfulton.