Democracy works but it's boring and stressful. Weed can help. Here are tips from experts on weed and politics to help you pair different strains with different kinds of political actions.

Calling congress

On the phone, it's safe to be righteously blazed as you exercise your right to demand things from your elected officials since no one will know you smell like skunk. Also, if you're calling Washington, you most likely won't talk to a real person. But a real person will listen to the phone message, so don't be audibly drooling.

"When you talk about Trump, you need a sativa-dominant hybrid to keep focused, engaged, and creative," says Max Montrose, head of the Trichome Institute, which holds classes teaching budtenders and regular people how to pick the best strains for different purposes. "Be sure to smoke flowers with a looser cola structure that smells like citrus and/or pine and earth."

Why? Buds that smell like citrus have more of a molecule called limonene, which is associated with increased serotonin and dopamine — grease for the wheels of the engine of your brain. That pine smell is pinene, associated with mental energy and focus.

"Cannabis truly helps me be on my A-Game," says Montrose. "Not stoned and stupid — medicated."

Lobbying at the state capitol

Unlike angrily banging away on Facebook, here you'll encounter real people face-to-face. You'll have to stay on their wavelength and engage.

For state capitol lobbying, Jordan Person, Executive Director of Denver NORML, recommends a hybrid strain. She likes one called Headband. "Typically my brain goes a thousand miles a minute, and I have a hard time choosing one thought or task," Person says. "Headband allows me to zone in. The ability to focus on one thing at a time is much needed when analyzing language of a proposed bill."

However, no matter how focused you are, talking to a powerful person can be nerve-wracking.

"If you have never lobbied before, then you may be really stressed out," says Person. "If you know your anxiety is reduced by taking a couple tokes before you leave your house," she says, go for it. 

She continues: "Secondly, I would recommend a heavy indica to consume at the end of the day because politics, especially marijuana politics, is exhausting. A nice heavy indica would induce relaxation."

Swamping town halls

Town halls can be unpredictable and contentious. Your opponents will be just as ramped up as you are. The police might come. Kids will be around. (This is why many congress members are avoiding them.) For you, avoiding anxiety and paranoia is key; otherwise you might freeze, dip early or let your anger or dissatisfaction overwhelm your dipolmacy.

"I recommend staying away from herbs that smell like gas or fuel," says Montrose. "The diesel smell in cannabis is most known for its 'racy high' which is the most responsible for paranoia."

Sour Diesel is the classic example of a high-energy strain you might want to avoid in these situations, unless you know your way around it. Also, don't take a whole spliff to the dome. A puff — even half a puff — of a strain balanced 1:1 with THC and CBD might set you right.

Collecting signatures

Sitting in front of a Wal-Mart gathering petitions for hours can be the most boring democracy of all. Try an edible for this: they last four to six hours and can loosen you up. But only do this if you know your dose. An uncomfortable edible experience can haunt you for months, and you won't get signatures if you're spending all afternoon staring at clouds. 

Sitting and watching the news

Don't do this. Spend the hour you would have wasted with Morning Joe organizing a neighborhood meet-up.

But, if you must ramp yourself up watching CNN, FoxNews or any other kind of reality TV, calm down with a floral-smelling strain. These have linalool, a molecule associated with sedation. Also, pay attention to the CBD content of your strain; CBD calms, medicates and can help you sleep. Cannatonic, Charlotte's Web and Harlequin are typical high-CBD trees; these are more available in med stores than recreational ones.


In conclusion, remember: it's no longer illegal to do democracy a little bit high. Of course, don't drive high, don't sell it, don't bring it anywhere it's not allowed, don't puff and pass to anyone under 21, and don't do anything crazy.

On the other hand, you be you. Be prepared. Be respectful. Be cool. Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes. Democracy depends on you! Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, those old stoners, would be proud.