Some people don’t really respond to cannabis as a substance, and that’s cool, because we all have certain whistles we can’t hear. Many folks have asked whether they could still enjoy the game without imbibing first, and it depends, actually.
A friend and I have introduced Higher Thought: The Cannabis Game both at a gathering of relatives and at a pub, and found that if players are kind of keyed up, frisky, just got off work, or are filtering family drama, and are not yet relaxed, calm, and capable of listening, then the game can go sideways.
Nothing terrible happens; it’s just that the magic of unfolding whimsy and profundity can stall. People in their competitive mind state will give one-word answers, then wonder if they “got it right.” Of course, cannabis takes this type-A, performance-based edge off of most people, and they come to the game already in an open, allowing, curious and sharing mind state, ready for the journey.
So why not just make a game targeted at already-groovy people who are naturally open to sharing and allowing “What Is”… and leave off the whole marijuana angle? We’ve been asked versions of this, too, mostly I suspect by people who don’t yet grok cannabis’ innocent side.
In inventing the game, both Marc and I felt an intense wish to add a legitimately benign group bonding activity, a focused yet light and fun (and repeatable!) petri dish for cannabis culture, intended to normalize and make communal this natural plant substance that had way too much gritty stoner-druggie identity wrapped up with it already. We’re not ashamed of cannabis, and we wanted to allow pot’s sweet and kind and clever side to emerge.
And, I personally feel somewhat fiercely that experiencing altered consciousness without getting permission first from anybody is an adult human right, so I also savored the subversiveness of including this lovely substance in a game.
If you are someone for whom cannabis isn’t a positive experience … then you probably haven’t tried it more than a couple of times, you haven’t hit your stride, so give it another go in a legal state. Just kidding! Willing consent is essential for this game.
However, if you’d like a most successful experience without toking ahead of time, then remember this is not a game in the typical sense. There are no winners or losers, no right or wrong answers. When you’re high, this makes perfect sense. But if you’re not high, then simply turn up your curiosity, turn down your need to impress or perform. Turn up your listening, and pretend you are a visitor from another planet, as innocent as the dawn. Be in wonder at the stories of these strange and amazing fellow travelers, experiencing everything for the first time. This state of mind, time, and a few other like-minded folks are all you need to enjoy Higher Thought: The Cannabis Game.