Christmas is almost here. What are you going to get that special stoner in your life?
The best thing to give a pot lover is pot, but since we can't tell you where to find it and the first medical marijuana dispensary won't be open in Arizona until the spring, here are a few other gift suggestions that will keep your heads high for the holidays.
1. A Zong Bong
These hand-blown, Pyrex water pipes are available at most head shops, and they hit like a dream. The zig-zag design of the stem momentarily traps smoke in its curves, allowing an even (and really long) hit. Zong Bongs are sturdy, easy to clean, and available in a wide range of colors and custom designs. Prices vary by store, but a 12-to-16-inch Zong Bong usually runs anywhere from $75 to $100. You can find them locally at the Graffiti Shop, 414 S. Mill Avenue in Tempe, suite B102. 480-921-8821.
2. Humboldt Brown Hemp Ale
This dark brown ale was brewed with hemp, a diverse soft fiber which also comes from the cannabis plant but doesn't get people high. But now, it could help get them drunk. Each 12-ounce bottle of Humboldt Brown is 5.7 percent alcohol, which is more than most domestic beers, and the bottles proclaim the ale is "all natural." It's a richly flavored beer with a heady hops and dark malt taste, nutty overtones, and a slightly creamy finish. Around $8.99 per six pack. Pick up a pack locally at DJ's Smoke Shop, 1840 W. Southern Avenue in Mesa. 480-461-9174.
3. Hot Box Vaporizer
For the "health conscious" stoner. Instead of inhaling smoke directly from a joint or pipe, they can put their pot in this ceramic tile box, which uses a heating element to burn it and releases a filtered vapor. They then smoke the vapor through a glass tube protruding from the box. It's supposed to be easier on the lungs than inhaling a burning weed, and allegedly provides a more cerebral high because "vaping" conserves more THC. A top of the line vaporizer could set you back as much as $700, but the Hot Box is one of lower-priced vaporizers on the market, and comes in a variety of colors (they do custom paint designs, too). $160 to $170. You can order one online at www.hotboxvapors.com.
4. The Marijuana Chef Cookbook
Cooking with cannabis usually makes people just want to eat more, but epicurean stoners can make lots of "special" food with this tome, published by Green Candy Press and written under the pen name S.T. Oner (probably a friend of I.P. Standing). There are recipes here for infusing pasta, pizza, chicken, cookies, and chocolate with weed, along with drink recipes and sections on health and the history of cooking with pot (you can also check out a few marijuana-infused recipes on our food blog, Chow Bella). Since cannabis must be cooked to extract the THC, the key ingredient in many of the recipes here is marijuana butter, and there's a recipe here for that, too. $13 at Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 S. McClintock Drive in Tempe. 480-730-0205.
5. Can Safe Stash Box
These have been around for years, and your pot lover may already have one. If not, maybe they can use one. These small stash boxes are hidden inside brand name cans of soda and cleaners, so to the casual observer, it just looks like a can of RC Cola or a bottle of Ajax. It's marketed as a safe for cash, keys, etc., but as they say, "You could put your weed in that." $14 to $30. You can find a variety of can safes at Spy Headquarters, 1235 E. Northern Avenue. 602-371-0988.
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And if you have friends who'd prefer something besides paraphernalia, check out our other gift guides: