This year has led more people than ever to buy and support legal marijuana, which in turn brought us a bevy of fun, weird Ask a Stoner questions by curious potheads. Some of these questions reflect the times, like asking about the risks of sharing joints during the pandemic, or how marijuana industry workers are treated during economic recessions. Others are more out of left field, such as inquiries about THC-infused bath products, or getting weed back from an Uber driver.
Here are our ten favorite Ask a Stoner questions of 2020:
Ask a Stoner: Why Not Tell the Cops My Joints Are Hemp?
Hemp's federal legalization in 2018 has led to confusion among local law enforcement agencies around the country, which struggle to differentiate hemp from THC-heavy marijuana. Believe it or not, some readers view this as an opportunity to smoke more weed in public.
Ask a Stoner: Do THC Bath Products Really Get You High?
Although not the most efficient method of consumption, cannabis bath products will eventually enter your bloodstream if the oils in the bath products are concentrated enough. These products are intended for self-care, but if used long enough and in large enough amounts, the high comes on gradually.
Ask a Stoner: Should COVID-19 Stop People From Smoking Together?
Coronavirus worries aside, it's always safe to smoke out of your own piece or clean shared smoking paraphernalia. Amid a pandemic, that rule is infinitely more important.
Ask a Stoner: How Does Weed Mix With Other Medications?
Research is limited, but scientists have figured out that marijuana is generally metabolized and eliminated by enzymes in the liver, known as cytochrome enzymes, which are responsible for metabolizing about half of all prescription drugs. This factor can inhibit or delay the effects of certain drugs when taken in conjunction with marijuana use, while other drugs can enhance the effects of THC.
Ask a Stoner: Can Marijuana Workers Receive Unemployment?
The weed industry has been better off than most during the pandemic, but cannabis businesses aren't totally immune to hard economic times, and virtually none of the pot industry can access federal COVID-19 financial aid because of the plant's prohibition. Marijuana workers should qualify for state unemployment programs, even if they receive federal funding. As long as your employer pays unemployment insurance taxes (as all businesses are supposed to), then you should qualify for benefits if laid off.
Ask a Stoner: Will Wildfires Affect the Quality of Legal Weed?
Much of America's western side was burning during the summer and fall — right where the majority of our legal weed grows are located. For cannabis industries that rely heavily on outdoor growing operations in California and Oregon, that could be devastating. For states with more indoor grows, including Colorado, the consequences aren't nearly as bad.
Ask a Stoner: How Much Weed Can I Smoke and Still Legally Drive?
A regular marijuana user says he doesn't feel “high” when smoking a small joint, and wants to know many puffs he can take before driving over the legal THC limit. In Canada, as well as in Colorado and several other states where marijuana is legal, driving with anything more than 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood is considered enough for a weed DUI — but how much is that in terms of tokes?
Ask a Stoner: How Is "Cookies" Weed Not Marketing to Kids?
Cookies, a popular strain breeder and dispensary chain, has become a heavyweight in the legal cannabis industry, but some readers wonder if naming strains after cakes, pies and cookies are marketing toward children. The Cookies company represents a shift in retail cannabis from pretending to be a medically focused business — with words like “wellness,” “holistic” and “health” on storefronts — to a true weed brand with a particular mission: Produce stanky buds, market the hell out of them, and convince people to lay out big bucks. If you didn't like cannabis before legalization, you're probably not going to like this evolution, which will come with its own set of growing pains.
Ask a Stoner: Does Smoking Weed Dehydrate My Vagina?
There's a subtle term for this side effect among those suffering from it, who have dubbed it “cotton vagina.” Like many of pot's side effects, cotton vagina doesn't happen to all women, and some strains cause more severe droughts than others. There are also women who report that cannabis has the opposite effect on them, increasing their desire for sexual activity after smoking.
Ask a Stoner: Getting My Weed Back From an Uber Driver
We've posed several weed hypotheticals to Uber over the years and received no response, but the ride-share service's square policies have shown us what to expect, with company guidelines banning cannabis transport in Uber rides by both the rider and passenger, even in states with legal cannabis. In fact, Uber drivers have even reported riders for smelling like weed or possessing it during a trip, which has led to warnings and bans from the service. That said, I've bought weed (or learned where to get it) from Uber drivers on numerous occasions while traveling, so it all comes down to the driver.