According to the new book Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language & Life, 420 is either a reference to a nonexistent California police radio code, a nod to Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” (12 times 35 is 420) or a term from a group of California high school kids called the Waldos, who spread it on a Grateful Dead tour in the ’80s.
Pot Culture may not know every answer, but it manages to compile all possible theories about anything remotely marijuana-related in a handbook of sorts for stoners and the like.
Beyond defining terms such as “viper,” ’30s and ’40s jazz slang for a marijuana smoker, “nederhash,” the “hash made from Dutch marijuana,” and “the giggles,” the act of “laughing uncontrollably after getting high,” the book also offers celebrity “How To” sections.
Ever wanted to make an apple pipe? Superbad‘s Jonah Hill breaks it down for you, complete with pictures and Hill’s commentary. Most of the sections are instructional – for days when you’re too lazy to Google – such as Redman’s blunt-rolling advice. Redman literally wrote his instructions into song with 1992’s “How to Roll a Blunt.” The blunt – marijuana rolled in cigar paper – is the rapper’s smoking implement of choice, according to the book.
America’s Next Top Model‘s inaugural winner Adrianne Curry likes to get naked in public places. Apparently, she also likes to get stoned and venture out into public. Curry offers a section on “How to Hide That Smell,” recommending Ozium as the perfect way to clear the fumes if a cop pulls you over.
But the book could do without some of the celebrity sections. Does anyone care that Maroon 5’s Adam Levine likes to get stoned and listen to Phish? Way to be stereotypical, Levine.
Pot Culture even gets scientific at points. “Anatomy of a Bong,” which explains how each part of a bong relates to the others, is for the person who wonders why bongs get you high.
Of course, the book also features sections on some of the best strains of marijuana, describing former winners of Amsterdam’s Cannabis Cup such as Sweet Tooth and Jack Herer.
The funniest section may be “Smart Munchies,” which tells you to eat carrots and broccoli with dip instead of nachos.
The last quarter of the book features Pot Culture‘s picks – a guide to stoner movies, music, TV shows and travel destinations. It’s actually an interesting rundown, with histories of genres, songs and quotes. Most of what you’ll find is classic, stereotypical stoner fare, but there are a few obscure picks buried in there. For example, not everybody knows – or remembers – Brewer and Shipley’s 1970 song “One Toke Over The Line.”
Pot Culture is a fairly definitive guide to all things pot-related. It’s a bit corny – relying on “dude” a bit too much – but there are some interesting bits. While most seasoned smokers will scoff at some of the book’s flowery language and overly stereotypical stoner jokes, Pot Culture makes the perfect – and legal – gift for anyone who celebrated 4/20 on Sunday. The book even talks about “Dark Side of the Rainbow,” man.
Rudi Grenberg is a student at the University of Maryland and writes for The Diamondback student newspaper.