Home automation is the now. With simple voice commands, AI assistants like Alexa and Google Home can play music, read the news and even get you sexually aroused

But that's nothing. Joey Gallagher, a budtender in Denver, Colorado, has realized a new use for his Alexa that will go down as one of its most revolutionary and life-changing; and which is sure to be copied by visionaries the world over. Today, the technology provides him the ultimate service: streamlining his process of getting lifted. 

When he strolls through the door of his house from his job at Native Roots, a dispensary, he sets the tone for the evening with just his voice. 

"Alexa, turn on my motherfucking lights," he says.

See, his lights are plugged into a smart plug, which is a wall outlet that is controlled by Alexa. Gallagher programmed Alexa to call the smart plug with the lights in it the "motherfucking lights." So when he says "Alexa, turn on my motherfucking lights," Alexa flips the smart plug and turns on his lights. 

In a different smart plug, he's plugged his e-nail. An e-nail — as all dedicated cannabis-lovers know — is a machine that has a heated coil you touch to the bowl of a dab rig, so that vaping shatter or wax (concentrated versions of cannabis) becomes possible.

An e-nail needs about two minutes to get hot. Which is a pain.

So, Gallagher says, while he's still in the doorway taking off his shoes, "Alexa, turn on the e-nail." 

And, without him touching it, the e-nail starts to heat up. So by the time he's shed his coat, turned on the TV and sat down on the couch, the e-nail is hot enough for him to touch it to the dab of Sour Diesel shatter live resin and rip it. 

Less waiting. Less wasted time. More time being wasted. 


"It's pretty practical," Gallagher says. 

Alexa and Google Home are getting popular, and folks are learning how to get creative with them. They use them to tell jokes, control their TV, control wall-mounted rubber fishes and even propose to their girlfriends.

Sure, things go wrong. Alexa sometimes tells toddlers about porn.

But the pros outweigh the cons. Gallagher knew as soon as he saw the smart plug that its highest and best use was as part of his marijuana routine. 

And that's not all Alexa can do, weed-wise: Alexa can also order him an Uber if he wants to head out, order him Domino's if he wants to stay in. It can stream Big Lebowski on his flat screen and Alt-J on the stereo. 

Alexa's new slogan: "Built for smart stoners." 

Gallagher hopes someday that Alexa will load the bowl for him.

Until that happens, he'll keep loading bowls himself, and pushing the technology, and himself, higher and higher. 


[Joey Gallagher, smoking the old fashioned, analog way. // originally published August 01, 2017]