I roll joints, though I’m not an expert. So, on a recent Saturday afternoon, I visited Oaky Joe Munson, who has rolled thousands of joints over his lifetime. Joe was home alone, with nothing better to do than show me his 11-step program. I watched the master at work and took notes, which I sent to a cannabis aficionado who wrote back, “Newbies will want to keep this list as a reference.” Maybe so.
Here you go newbies, and veterans, too: the lowdown from Joe.
One, find something organic that’s worth rolling. Only smoke the good stuff.
Two, find someone to smoke with. Don’t smoke alone.
Three, sit down in a comfortable chair with scissors, rolling papers— preferably Zig Zag Blue Slim, my favorite—and a bud.
Four, remove the exterior leaves so you only use the flower and get the full benefit of the flavonoids and the terpenes which help give cannabis its character.
Five, with your fingers or scissors, break the bud into small pieces (as small as oregano for a pizza topping) so the joint burns evenly.
Six, remove a single rolling paper from a pack, fold the bottom third to make “a boat,” hold horizontally and fill with the chopped flower, which should run to the edge and be even.
Seven, hold the joint carefully with one hand, and, using the first finger on the opposite hand, press down lightly on the weed in the boat.
Eight, roll back-and-forth to form a cylindrical shape, press down lightly, tuck the center of the bottom third so it rolls under the top portion. It may take practice to get it right.
Nine, use your lips to wet the sticky part, working from the middle to the ends. Push protruding weed into the joint.
Ten, roll smoothly and evenly.
Eleven, put the joint between your lips, light the end with a BIC, inhale and enjoy.
You could go to a dispensary for curbside service and buy a pack of pre-rolled joints, but that would deprive you of the enjoyment of rolling your own. Some aficionados combine hashish with cannabis flower. In Europe, smokers add tobacco. I take mine straight, puff a little at a time, inhale and monitor the effects. Sometimes the cannabis kicks in quickly, and sometimes not. I’ve found it’s best not to rush, but rather let the weed do its thing. The 2020 harvest is happening, and there’s an abundance of good weed. Get it before it’s gone.
Jonah Raskin is the author of “Dark Past, Dark Future: A Tioga Vignetta Murder Mystery.”