Growing up, my mother was (and still is) a big stoner, so I’ve never been concerned with getting caught green-handed at home. However, throughout the years I’ve exercised discretion while getting high in hotels and dorms, at the Waffle House, during concerts, in the middle of the disco, at the company holiday party, in the basement of my friend’s house paranoid on acid, in the stairwell of a music studio in midtown Manhattan, in the hot tub of the Ritz-Carlton at 2 a.m. before being escorted out by security…I could go on for days. Needless to say, learning to be a stealthy stoner is a bright idea. Pay attention while I dish you some tips.
Anticipate Your Needs
When toking on the down low, you want easy access to everything you could possibly need. I recommend putting together a stash bag, like one from the AnnaBís collection, full of essentials: breath mints, gum, eye drops, fragrance oil, miniature air freshener, moist toilettes, lighter, matches, poker or paper clip, pipe cleaners, one-hitter, cannabis, etc.
Choose a Method
Whatever you do, don’t smoke a blunt or a joint because the smoke is uncontrollable and you will get busted. Instead, use a bowl with a lid like the Proto Pipe or a one-hitter. Or skip combustion all together and vaporize your cannabis. CO2 vape oil pens and portable dry leaf vaporizers like the PAX 2 are super discreet, extremely convenient and easy to hide. Plus, the vapors emitted are much tamer and the odor is subtle. Just be sure to keep your bud in an air-tight jar. It’ll give off more aroma than your plumes of vapor.
Banish the Smell
The sweet and pungent aroma of cheeba is easily recognizable. You’ll want to mask or eliminate the odor the best you can. First, close all vents and block the draft under your door. You can use a towel for the door, but I prefer a draft stopper because it looks less sketchy. Consider investing in an air purifier. They’re spendy, but well worth the investment. Scented candles, incense, and air sanitizers are helpful, too. In college, I perfected the art of smoking through a spoof and never got caught. Make your own by taking an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll and taping a folded drier sheet on one end. Simply, exhale into the open end for fresh-laundry-scented smoke. Or, you can buy one of these handy personal smoke filters: Smoke Buddy, Sploofy or Snubbz. Also, next time you’re in a head shop, look for a tiny spoof disguised as chapstick. It makes a handy addition to your stash bag.
Eliminate the Smoke
Open a window and place a box fan facing outside in the sill. Turn it on high. After you take a hit, cover the top of your bowl or one hitter. Then, exhale slowly into the back of the fan. If you have another fan in the room, allow it to oscillate.
Hide the Noise
You may cough or get a case of the giggles. Not to mention, the click of your lighter may tip someone off. Do yourself a favor and play some background music. Electric fans will help create ambient noise as well. You could turn on the TV, but it’s generally a buzzkill. If you’re in the bathroom, run the shower or faucet. Keep a pillow or hoodie close by to muffle uncontrollable fits of laughter and the like.
Survey the Scene
Is the smoke alarm disarmed? Are the doors locked? Are the vents closed? Is the window open? Is the draft under the door blocked? Is the air purifier turned on? Is music playing? Is your 420-fearing roommate around? Are your parents home? Are your kids home? Where’s your stash bag? Before your judgement gets a little hazy, take note of your surroundings, make sure you have everything you need, and take any last minute precautions to avoid unexpected encounters.
Devise an Emergency Backup Plan
Accidents happen. Maybe, after a few drinks, you think it’s a good idea to hot box the apartment. Perhaps, you’re smoking up with inexperienced tokers and someone knocks over the bong, allowing the stench and smoke to escape. You may forget to towel the door. One of your friends may start squealing like a pig. Stay cool, spray air sanitizer, open a window, hide your stash, and take a walk. What happens if a neurotic roommate or asshole neighbor stops by to complain? Apologize and send them on their way. What happens if the police come knocking at your door? Stay cool and know your 4th Amendment rights.
Stealthy Stoner Bonus Tips:
Smoke up in the bathroom. It’s the one place you can get away with spending extended periods of time without someone barging in.
Cover your fire alarm with a plastic shower cap to keep it from going off while you’re blazing.
Keep an empty beer bottle around. If someone calls you out for acting silly, blame it on the malty beverage.
Explore the discrete world of medicated edibles, tinctures, and patches. No smell, no smoke, no problems.