This article was originally published on Goldleaf, and appears here with permission.
When was the last time that you were in a smokers’ circle?
I suspect it’s been a while. You almost certainly haven’t been in one during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the last time you were in a rotation was probably long before last March.
COVID-19 has upended the way that the world operates, replacing old mores with a “new normal.” This holds true within the cannabis community as well. One notable way that the pandemic has created new habits in our space is through the near extinction of smokers’ circles.
The Rationale Behind the Smokers’ Circle
Although its true origins are murky, some have proposed theories about how and why smokers’ circles developed. While the story behind the first instance of a smokers’ circle may be lost to the dustbin of history, we can pinpoint some of the reasons why they became such an integral part of cannabis culture.
Until recently, possession of even small amounts of cannabis was illegal at both the state and federal levels in the U.S., a “crime” often met with punitive sentencing upon conviction. Despite the fact that cannabis remains federally illegal, eleven states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational cannabis, another sixteen states (without legal cannabis) have decriminalized possession, and thirty-three states have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes.
This sea change in legal status has reduced cannabis enthusiasts’ fear of prosecution. Before these incremental leaps forward, aficionados often turned to each other for a sense of “outlaw” camaraderie and protection. However, with cannabis now moving …