How Our Game Came to Be
Shortly after Oregon legalized recreational marijuana, HTG co-founder Marc read about a “cannabis café” in Portland. Having never smoked pot in public legally, Marc went to check it out but was disappointed by the colorless ambiance and gritty “stoner” vibe.
It occurred to him that a more tastefully conceived “marijuana speakeasy” would be a nice thing, especially in the fertile transition period when society adapted to legal weed. The speakeasy could feature facilitated group discussions about cannabis use, as well as games, spoken word performances and possibly music. And maybe there could be little piles of cards on each of the tables to stimulate discussion—cards that contained tantalizing questions about the ways people use cannabis, for what purposes they use cannabis, how cannabis has impacted their lives, and cannabis-related stories.
Marc ran this idea by his friend Jill, who has experience with plant shamanism. Jill agreed that cannabis has a sacred function and, if used intentionally, can heighten awareness, clarify values, strengthen community, and ease the conversational path to soulful connection. After hearing Marc’s “speakeasy” idea, she suggested that perhaps it would be best to simply start by creating the cards. And, she pointed out, the questions on the cards did not have to pertain exclusively to cannabis. They could also simply pose questions that would be fun to contemplate while stoned.
Jill noted that one of the stereotypical drawbacks of pot use is that it can be isolating. Many “potheads” turn on to feel less alone. Or, sadder still, because cannabis can draw attention so compellingly to inner space, people who get high together may simply “zone out” and watch TV.
So might there be a way to direct the power of cannabis as a means of encouraging, rather than suppressing, social bonding? The obvious answer: Get stoned together and explore deep questions.
Several months later, after generating what they felt was a strong body of intriguing questions for the game, Jill and Marc invited Susan, a pragmatic, web-savvy, kind and soulful friend, to join the enterprise as Project Manager. Thus the core Higher Thought team was complete.