Can You Smoke It?

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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, 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.

Get more facts about industrial hemp.

Read about other customers acting weird around my hemp jewelry.

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now my (male) partner and I (a woman) have a travel trailer we can pull with our truck. We have a little piece of property, and when we're not traveling, we park our little camper there. I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

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  1. Pingback: Hemp | Throwing Stories into the Ether

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