Gifts for the Actively Relaxed Stoner


In a piece towards which I felt all the traditional stages of love—surprise, attraction, anger, denial, tentativeness, renewal and then commitment—Mattathias Schwartz, for the New York Times Magazine, wrote a Letter of Recommendation for a vape.

Marijuana, I found, is a fine office drug. Not only is it more healthful than the ubiquitous conference-­table bottle of Knob Creek, it’s also a sharper creative spur. It makes work feel more like a rapturous Frisbee game, less like an assembly line. Solo brainstorms take on an almost yeast-like generativity.

Substitute “anywhere” for “office” and “anything” for “work,” and the sentence is a proposition that my life so far has proved, at least internally. Weed’s great for everything! But, we live in America and I will work all day and all night till I retire, probably, so Schwartz is right that weed’s most magical quality is its work-applicability to stoners of a certain neurological temperament. Rare and valuable is the recreational drug that can steady (not spike) you as you work. So, despite already smoking let’s say more than your average bear, every fortnight I end up asking myself sincerely: Why I don’t just actually smoke weed every day? And start early?

Well, I don’t, because the bad conversations would be unbearable, and it would be a waste of a good time to answer emails. And, more importantly, I don’t want to just smoke weed for motherfucking optimization.As Schwartz said:

Who knows, matters may even loosen up to the point where a marijuana afternoon, like a martini lunch, doesn’t have to justify itself on the basis of additional productive insights obtained per hour. We might come to see life as something more than a swirl of obligations topped with a few sprinkles of meaning.

So here are some gifts for a marijuana afternoon, the kind where you are not checking email, the kind where you are Free.

Kandy Pen Waxxy vape:

Vapes lose you the whiff of actual marijuana and add a whiff of respectability politics, as well as a bottom note of recognizing why (and perhaps this is the Texan in me) some forms of propriety make a lot of sense. I have a throat of steel and haven’t done cardio in approximately seven years—plus I’m very lazy—so I still smoke regular weed out of a regular bowl almost all the time. But it can’t be denied that vapes are pretty tight when discretion is what you’re looking for, and they’re wonderful when you’re both in public and on the move. This one looks like a lipstick, and people are drawn to it like kids (or people) to an iPhone set to selfie. If you use it on a crowded roof or a bar courtyard somewhere, you will make, willingly or not, a friend. (Kandy Pen, $39.95)

Luxurious pouch for necessities

I wouldn’t go so far as to assume that the typical state of my work bag, a black leather smallish backpack, is the (utterly garbagey) state of yours. But the thing about a luxurious internal pouch for Weed Necessities is that it’s as useful for the anal-retentive stoner as it is for the messy one. You can put eye drops, chapstick, mints, wax for the vape and a lighter in here: maybe some spare gummies too. (Barneys New York, $115)

Museum of Natural History membership

Go see the whale and the gems and the dioramas! Let your heart sparkle, be awestruck, be forgettable, and then be forgot. (Museum of Natural History, $400)

Picnic backpack

Or—if you’re doing this in the spring, or if you live someplace where the ground isn’t crackling with frost already—go have a picnic. This bag’s got a blanket, four wine glasses, a corkscrew, a thing to hold your wine bottle, silverware, and most importantly, a cutting board for your cheese needs and a knife to cut dat cheese. (REI, $87.93)

Portable speakers

Portable speakers are an essential—the essential—object for the actively relaxed stoner. Normally I keep mine in the bathroom, but here you’re going to finish your snacks and want to lie down for a minute. Pull out the jambox as well as the vape, and listen to some picnic music: Tame Impala, Jamie xx, Tribe Called Quest, etc. (ChatandVision, $182.24)

Nike Flash Shoes

Okay, now it’s time to go for a nice long walk, preferably with your nice big dog. One of the best things a person can do while stoned is walk around for an hour, in my opinion, and a good motivator to do so is to have cute shoes that bump around in your periphery. I think stoners in particular tend to be a little totemistic about their objects—favorite keychains, lucky jackets, objects that function as a friendly little handshake with the self—why not have a friendly relationship to shoes that make you feel like you’re flying over the North Pole? (Nike, $115)

The best earbuds in the world

For a good walk, you’ve also really got to have your aural situation set to transport you mentally, and I will say without reservation that these earbuds are the most important things I own. Nothing compares to them. It’s true that these earbuds are approximately seven million dollars per pair, but you’ll hang onto them. Like, I lose everything—I have lost, I’d say, seven pairs of sunglasses and six unlimited subway cards since moving to New York 13 months ago—and I have not lost these earbuds. They’re like Frye boots or Canada Goose or a guy that knows that sex isn’t over till it’s over, if you know what I mean—a lifetime investment. (Bose, $99 and up)

Rose colored sunglasses:

Oh, yeah, these. If you have ever been stoned outdoors in public, you don’t need me to tell you how drastically your YIKES quotient can be decreased by a pair of shades. Put these on and stare at leaves, butts, and curious building facades with impunity. (Nasty Gal, $40)

Ombre nail kit

Now you’re done with your walk: time to wind down with something that is stupid, vaguely productive, and nominally creative all at once. I like to paint my nails while I’m stoned and watching Shark Tank. I imagine that an “infinite ombre” situation, in my case, would be more fun in execution than good to look at in result, but either way it sounds like the move. (Sephora, $29.50)

Stupid paint by numbers

Elsewhere in the realm of “stupid, vaguely productive and nominally creative”: I gather that there has been an “adult color” phenomenon surfacing slowly like a childish monster in the oily seas of Brooklynalia. If the name were not so embarrassing, I would have partaken, but it is tremendously embarrassing, so here is a substitute. I’m bringing a paint by numbers with me next time I’m on vacation. (Hobbylinc, $6.29)

Contact the author at [email protected].

Images via their respective vendors, Illustration by Gawker Media’s art team.

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