Where You Smoke with @WhereYouSmoke: Firing Up Joints Over the Icy Landscapes of Alaska
For this week's photo column, we're giving some love to "The Last Frontier" state, which has become exponentially more cannabis-friendly since it legalized recreational weed.
Published on September 5, 2017

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 of our photo column, we're featuring stoners who fired up over the icy landscapes of Alaska. Before we dive into some interviews, @WhereYouSmoke had this anecdote to share:

There is something special about smoking in the cold. The frigid air makes the smoke that much more toasty, and we all love to see billowing plumes floating from our mouths. I've never been to Alaska, unfortunately, but I have had my fair share of ice-cold hiking experiences.

One winter, my family and I went up north to Mammoth Mountain for a ski trip. My sister and brother both came, which was a rarity, and we were all finally old enough to enjoy each other's company as quasi-adults. And given my early adoration for good ol' ganja, I had packed up a good amount of bud for the trip and was eager to share a spliff or two on the slopes.

Unfortunately, on day one my sister had a pretty rough fall on her snowboard, and she had to cut her time on the mountain short. My brother and I accompanied her home, and I suggested a soak in the hot tub to ease her pain a little.

Once we were all in the tub, I revealed the two spliffs I had rolled before leaving the house that morning, and we all laughed. "Of course you did," she said, before happily taking many-a toke. We sat in the hot tub together for hours, laughing, telling stories — my brother doesn't live at home anymore and had recently started a new job; my sister and I went to school together and had countless anecdotes to share as well.

Surrounded by these massive mountains, feeling the cool air around us and watching as it congealed over the hot water... it was a perfect afternoon. Which naturally turned into an equally perfect evening when our parents came home and we all cooked a hefty meal. Sitting by the fire, our parents snickered affectionately at us as we ate, because we were all pretty clearly zooted. After that we played a few rounds of cards, enjoyed a little wine together, and then all snuck off to our rooms.

Well, almost all of us. My sister came back to my room, and we rolled up another spliff, which we enjoyed outside in the cool, darkening winter air. The stars were all totally visible, and the two of us just sat, almost in complete silence, soaking up our winter wonderland.

All interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

Photo Taken in Houston, Alaska — March 2016

@WhereYouSmoke: Where was this photo taken?
This picture was taken at my home in Houston, Alaska. This house had awesome windows so there was a lot of natural light. I had just taken down a 5x5 hydro table of Cataract Kush. That strain always threw giant Kolas with my set-up. I top them early so they each grow four to six main stalks that fill in top-to-bottom, essentially leaving me mostly Kola bud anywhere from 12-to-18 inches tall.

Are there lots of other stoners in Alaska?
Honestly, I only know a few people that don't smoke. Most of my friends are growers, as well, and I am always willing to teach anyone who's interested. I love that it is legal here now, and a few of my close friends have chosen to enter the legal market... it's an exciting time to be in Alaska, believe it or not.

What is it like to blaze in the state's serene, powerful scenery?
Smoking in nature is part of Alaska life. I love to take my blunts and dab rig everywhere, the mountains on quad, the rivers on kayak, etc. A long drive to a beautiful place to burn makes any day perfect. I have smoked by raging waterfalls and the Alaska Pipeline, in the woods and on the beach. I am very proud to be born and raised here.

What have you learned growing in Alaska?
I am a grower and in Alaska most people grow indoors. My house stays warm so my plants do, too. Occasionally we do get cold snaps and people do have problems — my set-up is in my basement with the furnace, so heat was rarely an issue. If it does get too cold, which has happened to me a few times over the past 20 years of growing, the plants just stop growing… they come back around, but it can add several weeks to a grow cycle. And if it happens in bloom, they tend to morph a bit, creating weird-shaped Kolas. Foxtailing and airy bud development are the main issues, as well as less frost and gaps in nug formation.

Photo Taken in in Denali National Park, Alaska — August, 2017

@WhereYouSmoke: Where was this photo taken?
The picture was taken at a small lake outside the hotel I stayed at (Denali Lakeview Inn), but the hotel felt more like an Airbnb because of how homey it was. The day was fairly cloudy with some rain, but we still went hiking and made the most of it.

What's your time in Alaska been like?
I'm in Alaska for a family vacation with my parents, my brother, and his wife. Again, it's been pretty rainy but we've been hiking and exploring the wilderness. I got my bud at a dispensary in Anchorage. We landed in Anchorage because that's where the airport is, but then drove out to the wilderness. I knew I wanted to save my weed for nature, so I got it preemptively to smoke at times like this.

What's it like to blaze out in that natural landscape?
Being high in Alaska is incredible because you never know what animal could come your way. I always love to smoke in nature, but I'm not usually in a place where I could casually see a moose or bear in the distance. I didn't happen to see any animals while smoking the joint in the above photo, but I definitely can't complain about the view that I had. Being completely surrounded by nature while smoking makes the experience that much more unique.

Any advice to fellow stoners-on-the-go?
I don't have too much advice because weed is legal in Alaska, so it was super easy to get. The place I went to was called Alaska Fireweed and the workers were really friendly and helpful, but I'm sure other dispensaries in Alaska are great, too. I smoked with my brother and his wife but no one new (there aren't too many people in this area). I had a great time, though, and absolutely recommend that people come to Alaska for some incredible smoking views and adventures!!

Photo Taken in McHugh Creek in Anchorage, Alaska — May, 2015

@WhereYouSmoke: Where was this photo taken?
This photo was taken at McHugh Creek on the new Seward Highway. I got there by hiking for 45 minutes. It was a beautiful and bright sunny day.

What's your perception of cannabis culture in Alaska?
I was born and raised in Alaska, and the culture around weed is just starting to boom, thanks to its recent change in legality. There are a lot of options for acquiring weed here, as well as a lot of nature, so that means a lot of potheads are around.

What do you love about being out in nature, smoking in the beautiful Alaskan scenery?
Alaska's nature is so amazing because you can drive right out of town, or even stay in town, and find tons of hiking trails. It's also amazing because everywhere you go it's just beautiful and you can breathe fresh air. I love smoking out in Alaskan nature because it's so calm and relaxing. Plus, there's a chance you might see a wild animal which is pretty cool.

For more on @WhereYouSmoke, follow 'em on Instagram

@WhereYouSmoke is an Instagram account and online platform run by an anonymous artist. Visit for more about his photo journeys alongside the herb.
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