Gather ’round, my bleary eyed friends. Put down that lighter and clear the smoky haze from in front of your eyes. Or, alternatively, pick up that joint, find some fire, puff away and read on. The weed guru is in.

Hello freshies! I’m betting there are a few of you who haven’t yet had a chance to meet our good friend Lady Jane. You’re in college now – lucky you! Time to explore some new smoke-filled territories. Smoking your first bowl will be an exciting, novel experience. However, things could turn awkward as newbies and veterans alike violate stoner etiquette. Don’t worry, I have the 411 to keep you suave any time you have a date with Mary Jane.

First is how you approach the piece (smoking device). Don’t assault it like you did your high school girlfriend in your first make-out session. No need for mashing or slobbering. Just give the pipe a little kiss and inhale. Remember when hitting a bong that lips go on the inside of the tube. My friends and I have had many a chuckle rehashing stories about girls trying to deep throat bongs. Avoid becoming one of those girls… unless you’re kinky like that.

Now, inhale slowly but steadily and with moderate force. When your lungs are mostly full, clear the chamber by releasing the carb (hole on the side of the pipe) or pulling the bowl if it’s a bong. A coughing fit may follow this step for you stoner virgins out there. Please, do not cough back into the piece, as a grimy geyser of bong water or volcanic explosion of fiery ember is sure to ensue. Avoid coughing and any subsequent bowl morphing by taking the smoke in slow.

I probably should have explained the rotation first. Stoners smoke in a circle so the pipe can be passed round and round, and round and round and round when the situation demands. Sometimes the rhythm gets interrupted if people join and leave the circle. If you are jumping into a rotation, it is not polite to insert yourself right into the next spot in the circle. The only exceptions to this are if the only available seat is the next up in line, or you are going to fill the empty bowl. Otherwise, relax and wait your turn.

Now, for the don’ts and dos of smoking – the don’ts are most important. Don’t EVER smoke out of a can, a bottle, aluminum or unknown metal, or anything plastic including PVC. All of these are potentially or assuredly hazardous to your health.

Don’t bogart the bong. Don’t anxiously rush the person with the piece. Don’t be a scavenger (Read: “Half-Baked”). Don’t break pieces. Don’t EVER buy a non-BIC lighter. Trust me, the cost of having your single crappy lighter fail on you right before the concert starts is much higher then the extra .45 cents you could have spent on a good ol’ faithful BIC. Don’t be a lighter troll.

Don’t pass an ass bowl. Imagine, you have been waiting all week/day/hour/whatever to get high. The bud is sparkling with crystalline brilliance. The sweet, lemony fresh aroma of train wreck is caressing your nostrils, beckoning. Your “friend” finally, passes the pipe, which is raised with the greatest of expectations. Deliverance! No, wait. It’s a big bowl of ash. How does it feel? Bad? Perhaps your hopes have been dashed all over the floor? Don’t be like your friend.

Do smoke out of glass whenever possible. Do puff, puff pass. Do take time to enjoy your rip, just not too much time. Do pack it if you’ve got it. Do use joint paper for rolling. Notebooks are for writing, the Bible is for reading, money is for spending, paper towels are for cleaning, joint paper is for rolling. (Money is also for helping you learn to roll those first few joints.) Do replace any piece you destroyed with one of equal or greater worth. Do professionally repair any bongs you have broken. Do let us know that the bowl is done. Better yet, just pack another and keep up the rotation.

That’s all for today my crazy stoners. Class is out. Don’t forget to study hard!