Older (55+) white guys love to ask me if they can smoke my hemp jewelry. No, it’s not every older white guy who asks, Can I smoke it? when I tell him (and usually his wife) that all my jewelry is hand made from hemp, but it happens enough that I’m no longer surprised.
I used to laugh nervously when I was asked the question. Then I moved on to two stock answers.
Answer #1: You can smoke it if you want, but it’s not going to get you high, if that’s what you’re looking for. It will probably only make you cough.
Answer #2 (particularly effective when selling in Northern New Mexico): If you’re looking to get high, just go to Colorado. (Sometimes I helpfully point in the direction of Colorado.) Marijuana is legal there.
Since seeing a documentary about industrial hemp called Bringing It Home (http://bringingithomemovie.com/), I now have a new answer.
I matter-of-factly tell the joker that as the documentary explains, marijuana is to hemp as wolves are to poodles–related, but not the same. That usually shuts the old guy up. Typically, old guys shut up when their unfunny jokes are met with coldly stated facts.
If the man (and his wife) seem open to it, I’ll tell them more about industrial hemp. I’ll them them how farmers in China, the UK, and Canada are making money off of hemp that is sent to the U.S. after processing, money that could be earned by struggling U.S. farmers, if only growing hemp weren’t off limits to most of them. I’ll tell them about hempcrete, a nontoxic building material that doesn’t cause sick-building syndrome and actually helps alleviate it by allowing volatile organic compounds to off-gas through the walls. I’ll tell them that it’s cost prohibitive to ship hempcrete to the United States, but that it’s illegal to produce it here.
The $5 I paid to watch Bringing It Home was a wise business decision, if only because now I have an educational answer to a stupid question.
To get more facts about industrial hemp, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/11/19/hemp-2/.
To read about other customers acting weird around my hemp jewelry, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/12/09/selling-hemp-again/.