All photos courtesy of @WhereYouSmoke
@WhereYouSmoke sprouted in a moment shared between a spliff and the great outdoors. Run by an anonymous artist who grew up in LA, the Instagram account and online platform celebrates cannabis lovers who like to light up alongside Mother Nature.
Each week, we’ve asked @WhereYouSmoke to share a few favorite Instagram uploads with MERRY JANE, and so far it’s been nothing but picturesque snaps and chill-ass stories to boot. For this week’s edition, we wanted to share the stories of smokers who live in big cities and refuse to blaze indoors. It can be a challenge for city slickers to sesh alongside Mother Nature, but these stoners will go out of their way to catch some fresh air with a side of THC-laden smoke no matter what. To start things off, @WhereYouSmoke sent us this anecdote about smoking in sprawled-ass Los Angeles:
Growing up in LA, even the most scenic sesh spots were still a part of a major metropolis. It might be easier to escape into nature in LA than, say, New York, but even here the urban sprawl is so enormous that it's nearly impossible to shut it all out. One of my favorite places to blaze was in the Pacific Palisades, in the Bluffs. One street in particular — a long, flat pavement with nothing but a downhill field on one side — had the most epic view of the pacific and the winding highway to Malibu.
I used to gather with my friends and drive over to this spot, and one day we pulled up just as the sun was setting. There was another car there, filled with other kids clearly about to light up, and we pulled up behind them. Turning up the music, we began to roll our spliffs. About two minutes in, another car rolled up behind us, and now there were three groups of stoners all about to light up at sunset.
One of my friends suggested we get out of the car to blaze, and when we did, the other two groups were quick to follow. We all said hey, laughed at our inadvertent planning, and decided to all sesh together as one big group. Sometimes smoking in a city can feel stressful or rushed, but this moment was a perfect example of why I love LA — the sereneness, the physical beauty of truly multi-dimensional landscapes, and the possibility of making new friends in the most stunning locations.
All interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
Photo Taken at the Las Vegas Strip in Summer 2014
@Whereyousmoke: Where was this photo taken?
@itsrealllyb: So the photo was taken on the 32nd floor of the Cosmo Hotel in Las Vegas. I was actually there celebrating my cousin’s 21st birthday; he got a dope suite that was perfect for the turn up.
Were you nervous at all to be smoking in Vegas? Was it easy to blaze there?
Hell no, I wasn't nervous! It’s Vegas and what happens there stays there. Weed’s about to be legal there, so it’s all good. Super easy to blaze anywhere, as long as you’re not stupid and doing it where you really shouldn’t. We blazed hella on the strip. I brought my own weed because I was actually working for a dispensary at the time. Plus, my cousin was out from Cali and had some dank, too.
Have you found any differences between smoking in a city vs. somewhere out in nature?
Honestly, there were no challenges smoking in the city. Obviously there are cops on every corner and whatnot, but they're pretty chill. Compared to smoking in a less populated area/city, it’s a lot easier. People in less populated places are there for a reason, so they wanna know why you’re there and what you're doing, so it makes it extremely difficult to smoke. I got family in a really small place like that where pretty much all you can do is eat edibles.
What did you do in Vegas once you were nice and faded?
After we smoked in the suite and set off some smoke detectors, we hit the strip and gambled a bit, lost some money for sure. We hit some clubs and smoked there, as well. It was a really good time. Not everyone we were with was 21 at the time, including my younger cousin and girlfriend, so they had fake IDs they were using to get into the clubs. Me and my girl made it with them to a few, but when we got to one club — I believe it was LIGHT — we had to wait for our VIP hook-up. We were all so stoned waiting, and when the dude came to get us we were all good. As we walked in the club, everyone ended up getting carded again which we weren't expecting and my girl and younger cousin ended up getting kicked out because they couldn't remember all the info on their ID. Next thing I know, we were in the club and I turned around and they weren't with us. DJ Mustard was playing that night and I ended up missing it to go find them… SHIT! Nothin' ended up happening, they just got kicked out and we ended up going and gambling and smoking some more, so no big deal! Not the best story but we were lit and it was hilarious because they made it in everywhere else, except the one spot we really wanted to sneak into.
Photo Taken in Denver, CO in March 2017
@Whereyousmoke: Where was this photo taken?
@travelandcannabis: Actually, this shot was taken from my balcony in Denver. I’ve always enjoyed outdoor space, so a balcony was a must when I moved. We could have been celebrating our first outdoor seed popping in this pic, or it could have just been a day I was heading out to sesh with friends. I shoot from this view so often, it’s hard to remember. But, that’s what I love about Denver. There’s such a plethora of activities that are cannabis-friendly and plenty that are within walking distance!
What’s smoking in Denver like, now that it’s totally legal?
I have lived in Denver for a little over a year. I visited over and over before I actually made the move. When I first moved downtown, I would take a joint or a bowl with me everywhere I went. I’d be sure to pick up some new top-notch, fresh bud or concentrates when I’d visit my friends. I’d attend every cannabis-related event there was, which was like every night. I would even puff on my bowl as I walked down the 16th Street pedestrian mall, and I wasn’t alone — quite a few people smoke in public down there. It was all so novel to me.
Smoking in Denver, and Colorado in general, is a DREAM COME TRUE. But, a little over a year into this move, I have settled down quite a bit. Mostly because I am so busy these days. But also, because I feel more at home and less like a tourist, desperately trying to take it all in and dealing with a serious case of FOMO!
Your Insta handle is travel and cannabis — what have you learned while smoking in Colorado vs. some other places?
Well, there are fines if you get caught smoking in public in Denver (as well as every other legalized city in the U.S.). In Denver, the fine I last got was $100 or 2 days of community service for public consumption. I always say I’ll take the community service. Other challenges include staying awake past 10PM. Rolling joints with long nails. Rolling too many joints/blunts and running out of flower, therefore super thankful for the new late hours at Denver dispensaries. Deciding on late night munchies since Go Puff delivers 24/7. Keeping all the glass clean. But seriously, some of the real challenges in Denver are about public consumption. We are currently fighting to keep the right to smoke on our front porches, as well as a limit on the number of people who can smoke in one dwelling.
I also love going to the mountains to adventure high. I ski and just started learning how to snowboard, so it was important for me to know what is federal land. This means the police could haul my ass off to jail for smoking. I still smoke on the mountains, though. Everyone does. Even on the slopes in Utah, where everything is illegal, I smoke when I go hiking and camping. I am really all about discretion, and I understand when it’s appropriate to smoke and when it isn’t. Be respectful with your smoke.
Any words of wisdom for fellow smokers and travelers?
For tourists coming to legal states, smoking in your hotel can be a challenge. I personally do consume in some form or another while I am staying at a hotel. (Check out my blog travelandcannabis.com for tips on this and reviews on cannabis-friendly hotels!) Some hotels don’t say anything if you do smoke in them. Others will fine you up to $500. Do your research before making a reservation. In Denver, we have two cannabis clubs that I know of: IBake Denver and Studio 420. These places allow for consumption for those who are 21 and up, and you must bring your own cannabis. Many bars and restaurants are absolutely OK with people sipping on their vape pens too.
My biggest advice for those in illegal states? One of two things: If cannabis legalization is on the forefront in your state, get involved. Do everything you can to be part of the process of getting legalization finalized in your state. Join NORML. Talk to your representatives. Volunteer your time. On the other hand, if your state is not on the road to legalization, then create a solid plan and move! I do not think cannabis will be legalized everywhere. I think it’ll be like the turnaround of alcohol prohibition. We still have dry counties in the U.S.; places you cannot purchase (or consume) alcohol. I believe it will be somewhat like this for cannabis normalization. This is what I believed was going to happen with Texas, so I moved.
As a medical cannabis patient, I can say my anxiety has gone down by 90% since I moved to a legal state. I used to detest sativas. After a few months in Denver, my anxiety was in such control that I could use sativas when I wanted to do some physical activity. Now I use a variety of sativa strains for a boost, but I also use them for creativity and even appetite control.
Photo taken in downtown Toronto in April 2017
@WhereYouSmoke: Where was this photo taken?
@tweedledoob: This photo was taken at a friend's condo in downtown Toronto — we got together just for a sesh cuz it was a nice sunny day!
What’s the weed culture in Toronto like?
The weed culture in Toronto is pretty incredible. There is a strong community here in the truest sense of the word. I'm from Alberta, and the culture there is nearly non-existent… yet! I think part of what facilitates Toronto's culture are the cannabis lounges — any day of the week there's somewhere to go smoke and meet like-minded people. It's also very common to see (and smell) people toking in public all the time. It's a beautiful thing. Toronto is such a weed-friendly city, and there are generally not too many challenges. People don't really bother you as long as you're respectful.
What do you think about Trudeau’s new bill regarding recreational marijuana in Canada?
I think the ability to carry an ounce and grow four plants each is a good start, but some of the regulations are outrageous. A person shouldn't do more jail time for passing a joint to a 14 year old than if they had raped them.. So there's still work to be done!
What’s it like being a well-known stoner?
It's awesome! I feel so blessed to be known for something I am so passionate about! Cannabis has improved my physical and mental health, and the community here in Toronto and on Instagram has made me feel like I found my place!
If you like to photograph your outdoor smoking adventures, check out the submission page at www.whereyousmoke.com. And follow @WhereYouSmoke on Instagram.