Current nomenclature for marijuana

Since this question is about illegal drugs, I asked SamClem for permission to post (and was given said permission. Thanks Sam!)

I am writing a story and some of it involves buying pot. As I’m old and out of the loop I have no idea if the terminology has changed. Back in my day, my college roommates might buy a nickel or dime bag of pot.

What would currently be the phrase used? Would I still ask for a dime bag?
In today’s money how much would one spend for X ounces?

You could still buy a dime bag. It will be $10 worth, and the quantity of pot you get for that will change depending on the market value of the strain, but it will be under a gram. Generally people buy an eighth or a quarter, which is an eighth or a quarter ounce, respectively. An eighth usually goes for $40-60 depending on the quality of the pot and part of the country in which you’re purchasing it. A quarter will usually run between $70 and $120, with some people providing quantity discounts and others not. This information applies to mid-grade weed. You can (and likely will) pay more for specialty strains, which is often referred to generically as “dank” but which you usually request by the name of the strain itself. Strains vary by market, but a google search will net you a good idea of what’s out there. You can also get low-grade weed, referred to as “schwag,” often for about $40 a quarter, but the smoke is harsh, the flavor is bad, and it usually leaves you with a headache, so nobody really wants it. Hope that helps.

Here’s a Midwestern perspective, I’m sure marijuana culture and economics vary greatly across the country. Talking to potheads in my travels, I’ve found that weed tends to get cheaper and higher quality as one moves away from the Midwest and towards more populated areas on the coasts.

Nickel and dime are somewhat outdated terms around here, just because nobody buys $5-10 worth of weed anymore, unless you’re selling to 13 year olds or something. Plus the prices are a lot cheaper than Althea’s for the stuff I’m familiar with. I’d say some common prices for average pot around here are 20-25 an eighth, 40-50 a quarter, 70-80 for a half, and anywhere from 100-150 per ounce.

These prices can double or even triple for “kind bud”, which is the high quality stuff, but it is hard to tell beforehand if it is high quality and isn’t too common around here anyway. Sticky, fluffy, smelly green buds are a good indicator of quality, but you can’t tell the THC content for sure unless you smoke it, and I’ve definitely gotten fooled before.

Around here quality is none too consistent. You could pay $20 for a eighth bag that knocks you on your ass, and next week spend $40 bucks for one that is barely worth smoking. Also, among the few dealers I know, there are plenty of dry spells throughout the year where you either can’t find weed at all if you want it, or can only find overpriced, low quality bags.

Pardon my absolute ignorance of the matter but what is a quarter? A quarter ounce, I know but in practical terms. A “serving”? How much would the average pot head use in one sitting?

I am pretty sure it’s “kine” bud aka KB.

But more Googling shows it called both - I’ve only ever heard kine, so YMMV

A joint is something like a fourth of an eighth of an ounce, and a joint is a large dose for a single person. More likely, a joint (or the equivalent amount of weed smoked out of a pipe) would be passed around between 3-4 friends. A quarter either lasts quite a while or else gets a lot of people high.

Of course, there is always tolerance and high volume smokers to take into account. The same way a six pack of beer might get one person sloppy drunk, while it is just a start for somebody else.

Most potheads I know use one hitters for solo smoking. If their weed is good it only takes a few hits off of one to feel pretty good. I am not sure what that amount would look like though because you store one hitter weed in a dugout and I have no first hand experience there.

So $20 can get 4 people high?

Agreed, nickel and dime bags have gone by the wayside. Now it’s just about measurement.

Eighth is about as small as you can get. 1/8th ounce.
Quarter is probably the most “normal” sized purchase. 1/4 ounce. Maybe from $30 for cheap stuff up to infinity, depending on quantity.

Anything larger than that would be a pretty serious purchase. An ounce of weed is quite a lot.

This friend I have tells me he could make an 8th last for 3-4 months by grinding it and smoking 2-3 times a week, using a pipe. My friend also tells me that the amount of weed in a joint is quite a lot for a moderate smoker, and he thinks that they’re more for social gatherings, passing around etc. If it takes you a full joint or more to get where you want to be, your tolerance is very <nopun>high</nopun>.

Indeed, depending on the quality of the pot and the tolerance of the users, that $20 worth could last those same 4 people several days depending on how they smoke it. If they take a bunch of bong hits and get wasted, probably not, but if they just want to smoke a bowl and watch a funny movie, it could last several days.

“Kind bud” is a different term, with a different etymology, from “da kine”: “kind” is just an adjective (meaning sweet, nice, gentle) which has gotten used so consistently in this context that “kind bud” has practically become a compound word on its own right ; “kine” is from the Hawaiian pidgin slang “da kine,” which is a generic term used to refer to any old whatsit (“Ho, bra, you wen see my da kine?” “Wat, you car keys? Yeah, dey stay in da kine basket by da carport door.”), in this case used to lend a “wink wink, nudge nudge” ambiguity to the subject being discussed: “Ho, bra, like go smoke da kine?”.

Prices, nomenclature and idioms vary widely depending on quality, geographical region and demographic in question: giving a better sense of the character background in your story might help avoid you using anything embarrassingly inappropriate (ie urban east coast adolescents trying to score a lid of totally killer matanuska thunderfuck, dude.)

Shit, no wonder they cannot fight it. That’s a lot cheaper than alcohol or any other vice (or legal mainstream entertainment for that matter).

Sorry for the hijack.

Reminds me of this hilarious scene from Walk Hard…

In the old days some states made buying paraphenalia illegal. Is that true in any states today?

Around here smoke shops sell one hitters, dugouts, pipes, bongs etc for “tobacco” smoking and some ban you from even talking about marijuana in the store. Not sure about laws though.

Most states I’ve heard of, paraphernalia is illegal. The head shops just put up signs that say “these products are for tobacco use only!”.

Also, when medical marijuana was allowed here (Michigan) I think that pretty much did in with the no-paraphernalia law.