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How to Roll a Joint in a Windstorm

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Excerpted from How to Smoke Pot (Properly): A Highbrow Guide to Getting High by David Bienenstock

When it comes to getting high, my focus is always on pragmatic functionality. So if you want to learn how to roll a cross-joint, a windmill, or a tulip, just Google it and go for it, but personally, I only roll two ways: the Danko method detailed above, and a sort-of survivalist technique I learned from a freewheeling cannabis grower  we’ll call “Jerry,” whom I met while engaged in a little field reporting up in Humboldt County.

Although rightly proud of his region’s worldwide reputation for growing amazing cannabis, Jerry wanted to make sure I saw something besides greenhouses and planting sheds during my first visit to the Emerald Triangle, so one morning we left at dawn and drove a few hours from his farm to the beach, stopping along the way to take a series of short hikes, during which time I’d sample one of his favorite strains from last year’s harvest and offer a few tasting notes. He’d carefully planned all the stops in advance, and expertly rolled all the joints in advance, and (I’m guessing) even paired each joint with each stop (Headband x Waterfall Hike) based on some metric I can only imagine.

It was indeed a lovely, lovely day. But then, as we stood on a cliff overlooking a rugged stretch of Pacific-coast shoreline, disaster loomed, when Jerry realized he’d forgotten to roll something up for the grand finale. We were a long way from our vehicle, but between us scrounged up a rolling paper and a nice dank bud of organic, sungrown Blackberry Kush. The wind was blowing strong and steady in our faces, and there was absolutely nothing nearby to duck behind.

What happened next (as they say in those cheesy Facebook posts) amazed me. And I’ve used this same simple hack myself countless times since, in situations ranging from hayrides to softball games.

STEP 1: If right-handed, put a joint’s worth of bud in the palm of your left hand.

STEP 2: Take out a rolling paper and hold it in your mouth until you need it, careful not to get it wet.

STEP 3: Use your free hand to grind up the bud in the palm of your “tray” hand, cupping your “tray” hand slightly so that no bud spills out or blows away.

STEP 4: Arrange the ground-up bud in the palm of your hand into the shape of a joint, then lay the rolling paper over the top of it, glue side down.

STEP 5: Lay your free hand on top of the rolling paper, and then flip both hands over, so that the rolling paper is now below the bud, and ready to roll. Move quickly from there, and you should have no problem putting together a workable (if imperfect) joint.


David Bienenstock is author of How to Smoke Pot (Properly): A Highbrow Guide to Getting High and is a ten-year veteran of HIGH TIMES, including as West Coast Editor for the world’s best-known marijuana brand. He currently co-produces the VICE Munchies show Bong Appetit.

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