Anyone Smoking Weed while Designing?


curious question... has anyone smoked weed while  like designing? Since it’s legal now and everything in the North... I’ve been thinking about coming into work alittle high to get the creative juices flowing. Maybe my boss will give me a raise for the extra creativity? Or I get fired not sure which will happen first. So anyways I come from a strict family no drugs or alcholol... and I’ve never smoked weed before... what is it like? Should I eat gummies or smoke during lunch break? 

Oct 17, 18 10:16 pm

a lot of good musicians have done heroin

Oct 17, 18 11:06 pm

Not a practice that I do. 

Oct 17, 18 11:37 pm
Non Sequitur

Going into an office high is the same as going in drunk.  Why not just knock back a few shots while you're at it?  I have nothing against recreational use, but if I'm paying you or you're on my project, you better be 100% sober because I'm not wasting resources on someone so daft as to think they can work effectively under the influence.

Oct 17, 18 11:46 pm

Any use of illicit drugs or other controlled substances under ALL federal, state, county/parish, and municipal laws is not something I would permit in the work place by ANY employee. Marijuana and alcohol is something that I would expect employees to do at home not at work. 

Additionally, Oregon Indoor Clean Air Act and regulation scope of these laws and rules does include marijuana and as such, no smoking within 10 feet of the workplace maybe permitted which would include even e-cigarettes, vapes, and any device used with tobacco, marijuana, and any other illicit drugs and controlled substances. There is some other bodies of laws that basically requires a healthy work environment and place of public accommodation.

I second N.S. in what he said and if I hired people, my workplace would have to be legally compliant which means what I said in the previous paragraph.


That's the same argument as saying 'its bad cuz its illegal'.

It depends on the use case, some folks can actually increase productivity and focus. There are a lot of variables at play - kind of strain, kind of work etc. Enhanced functionality is certainly possible, though not for all.

Just sayin its not so black and white. Sure if its a rando contractor I'd rather he be sober. If its a coworker and we're working on developing a concept then I have personally seen it enhance the work.


Let me make it clear, it would be a shit show of felony charges. Not only those who uses the drugs but also the business establishment (the employer) faces possession charges. If I know they are using these substances and allowed employees to do what you suggested, I could face felony charges that can put me in jail for many years. No thank you. That is how serious the Federal government of the U.S. and even various levels of police is around here. 

You know, they could just listen to some music that gets them into the "zone" so to speak because a matter of productivity is partly in the person getting focused and a dead silent room tends to be unnaturally quiet and people tend to be too unfocused or otherwise falling a sleep due to general boredom and "lack of energy" of the atmosphere of the place. Without the music blaring out too loud that it becomes unproductive, music is a good stimulant that can can be energetic with the right music or even help the creative process. 

Too much attention to what is going on around you is the key distraction that can get in the way of creative productivity and good background music can tone out the distraction. In my experience, it is more effective and also it is not illegal and also a person would not be impaired as it isn't really a drug in the system that can impair your ability to make proper judgment in a professional sense. In the creative part, in a way, let the employee kind of "zone out" into the work and passively observe when you want them to ideate in a free form fashion.

Non Sequitur

Ricky, I suspect the OP is Canadian, hence the “North” reference in the original question and Trudeau word play in the avatar name. Anyways, if that’s the case, recreational use of Cannabis was made 100% legal on Wednesday this week across the entire country. Most jurisdictions do not however permit smoking weed outside in public spaces. Clean air act here is 9m from any building entrance. 10-feet? Ha, what’s the point with that?


Agree with NS
Except for casual Friday lunch beers, because, ya know, its Friday.


I can certainly make a case for working under altered states of's not for everyone sure, I can say that also.

Psychedelics also possess lots of potential as a design aid, having conducted a few sessions where all folks were dosed with an average amount of lsd, focusing on concept development. Lead to some proper unconventional ideas. 

Write high edit sober [user discretion for sure]

It is a tool at the end of the day, that's how I look at it

Oct 18, 18 3:09 am

Maybe you don't get it. I can be arrested and go to prison if I knowingly partake or allow the partaking of such activities of employees or any other person on business premises. It is a shit show I don't think is worth it. If you can't do this without use of LSD or whatever, you are not a creative person. You should be able to do this without doing so.


No one is talking about using these substances in an office setting. More like personal work, competitions etc.


And your last statement showcases your narrow point of view rick. I can be sufficiently creative without these substances. Just wanna ask, have you ever had any experience with these substances in a setting other than with party-bois or folks who just wanna trip? Or at all? Maybe you should do some research about how these things affect the neurochemistry and tie in with perception and cognition. You are an architect after all [?], and it always helps to expand our limited understanding of things, free from dogma and pre-conceived notions


I'm a building designer but LSD is a hallucinogen. I was looking for some nice scientific reports to point out but many of them that are online are behind paywalls of sorts. 

Here is one intended for children level: and here are some others: ; and others.

However, I'm wasn't exclusively referring to LSD. I named it as one of the popular stuff but there are other very dangerous shit that is out there that can outright kill you. Remember, there is a toll on the body for using these drugs that can be long term effects. Especially when they mix the drugs and god only knows the implications of the mixing of the drugs and the long term neurological and physiological side effects that may be persistent long after the discontinuation of the drugs. 

As I am not a doctor, it would be well outside my area of competence to prescribe dosage. It isn't like I know how much to issue as a dose. 


Nope man, it's illegal where I am. Don't wanna get in trouble. Better to just follow the law.

Oct 18, 18 3:15 am

OP, first try it in a non-work environment, at home or somewhere safe and familiar. Different people respond differently to different drugs, I once couldn't stand on my legs after inhaling only once (weed). You wouldn't want that to happen at work, do you? I did play chess once or twice while smoking weed, that went quite alright, never designed high though.

Oct 18, 18 4:44 am

So dumb question... what does if feel like to smoke it? Like... how does it feel? Also can I smoke one before going into work if it’s legal?

Oct 18, 18 7:06 am
Non Sequitur

See my excellent point above.


Dude, if you live in Canada, its legal now. Give it a try. Just not before work / driving / operating heavy machinery / etc.

Non Sequitur

^it almost seems to me that the question was asked while high... or perhaps it's just me reading it using a cheech & chong voice.


In order to get the "get the creative juices flowing" as implied through use of marijuana, you kind of have to be "high as a kit". For most, it is just a pain reliever which can be used to help them focus but then they should have medical prescription and they would have to comply with not smoking inside or near windows, doors or vents that would allow the smoke to enter. The other drugs like LSD and other such drugs are pretty much outright illegal and there is other issues involved.


The OP did say "high".


what are you, in high school? 

Go try it if you’re so curious, like someone else said it’s legal now

Oct 18, 18 9:55 am

It isn't absolutely legal. It is a mix bag. Not all states legalized it. The federal government has not legalized it. Multiple states have partial legalization for medicinal use. Recreational use are kind of a mix bag legally.


Ricky I’m Canadian


My advice go buy some and enjoy. Don’t go to work like that especially if it’s your first time. I’ve found that my productivity increases for irrelevant things, no
t for work. Then again, I’ve always had a short attention span


Justin, it would have been better to have said that in the original post. This is actually news in Canada so it's kind of like how things are like in Oregon. Just remember to not cross national borders with the stuff even if you are going to enter a state in the U.S. that has legalized pot because border patrol and customs works for the federal government of the U.S. where it is against Federal law. So it is a mix bag situation here. In the U.S., the feds are not your friend if you smoke weed. However, it seems to be a better situation for weed smokers now but keep in mind like any work place, they can require you to not smoke marijuana like they can require you to not smoke or drink alcohol while at work for a variety of reasons. In comfort of your home, enjoy yourself for all anyone cares... more or less. However, the work place is where you should not have ANY form of impairment.


when you try it for the first time, you won't be able to talk, hopefully you will control the panic rush - after a couple of years of use, you can function and do other things besides just being "stoned", don't do it if you are under 21 I'd say; maturity and the ability to be aware of your surroundings play a big part in your relationship with weed.

on designing while high, yes - it helps with focus and letting go of your own mental barriers - BUT look at it again when sober and re draw it.

and avoid smoking it, there are other forms less carcinogenic to consume

Oct 18, 18 12:47 pm

Funny how no one commented on the name.

Oct 18, 18 1:27 pm
Non Sequitur

I did... but it was in response to Balkins, so probably got passed by most.


Don't know if smoking weed makes you a better architect, but it helps in learning how to tie a room together.

Oct 18, 18 1:51 pm

Long-time functioning cannabis user here.  Everyone's already said it, don't be dumb.  It's not for office use--it's called 'recreational' for a reason.

That said, pot does have the ability to highten your senses.  It opens the third eye.  While alcohol generally numbs, pot has the ability to bring awareness--sometimes, too much awareness (paranoia).  It can turn mundane activities fun again.  Cooking, cleaning, movies, music, yard work, and yes, design can all be transformed by weed.  

As an architect, I often find myself thinking three steps ahead.  I tend to talk myself out of an idea because I've already thought thru why it won't work.  Psychotropics allow you to power thru that and get it down on paper.  'In the zone' I call it.  And then--as already pointed out above--come back later and edit when sober. 

Oct 18, 18 1:59 pm

Um... I don't know Canadian laws, but I would not recommend it.  Basically, designing impaired, because buildings are regulated and the professionals are licensed and there are legal expectations by the public, if discovered could easily lose you your license. So, the ramifications are much worse than just a drone in a business environment. 

I've known alcoholics and drug users who've lost their certificates, licenses, etc. for extended periods of times.  That doesn't even get into the legal ramifications, loss of insurance coverage, etc.; its like giving everyone but you a get out jail free card to point at the stoned/drunk architect at the helm as irresponsible and negligent.


Oct 18, 18 3:26 pm

The early conceptual part of a project or competition can certainly benefit from a little intoxication now and then, I've worked late nights on deadlines for competitions and projects where everybody had beers.


Agreed... less risky if its just a design exercise and not technical or coordination level stuff. Just remember "reasonable and prudent" is sort of how you'll be judged by peers. So... A bar napkin sketch is the stereotype and easier to explain away. The hard part is convincing your peers pot isn't vastly different than alcohol... society norms come into play here.


I agree with mightyaa but I would add that even unlicensed design professionals can face many of those issues. Those with certification can potentially lose the certifications but courts would generally hole licensed architects and building designers functionally in an equivalent level of capacity to the same customary standard of care of "reasonable and prudent" as you indicated. As you said, much of this applies to all of us who are engaged in a professional capacity in the course of work. While it usually is not an issue that is brought up but as is customary, there is a guiding principle of: "Members (CPBD or any building design professional) shall conduct their professional activities contributing to the health, welfare, and safety of the public and to the..." so in doing so, professional judgment like any judgment must not be impaired in order to meet this guiding principle. If a person is intoxicated that they can not legally drive then they are impaired that they are not legally of capacity to work or do anything that impaired judgment would compromise the professional obligation of conducting professional activities that contributes to safeguarding the health, safety, and welfare of the public. If you aren't contributing to it then you are potentially impairing or otherwise potentially endangering the public health, safety, and welfare. There is universal societal norms and expectations of ANY professional (licensed or not).


Young people always seem to think drugs make them ‘more creative’

Pro tip that’s not true. You’ll only think that while high but immediately after you’ll see it’s just like being on any other intoxicant, you’re slower and not very productive. Likely to make a bunch of dumb mistakes and be incoherent when interacting with sober people.

And yes if your boss finds out you’re high/drunk on the job they will definitely fire you on the spot.
Oct 19, 18 5:12 pm

You seem to speak with authority. Are you reflecting on past experience or just relying on tired stereotypes?  I would argue that much of the music, art, & architecture you've enjoyed over the years was produced by folks that found creativity while intoxicated.  The OP was specifically about design--which inherently dovetails with an expanded mindset.


Let me explain something about designing. When you are a architectural/building design professional, you are thinking from the very moment of conception when you are thinking about spatial form, you are thinking about solids and voids.... you are also thinking of structural design. Broadly.... yes but you are thinking about these things when you are laying down the pattern. The pattern language is also layered with thinking about load path and intervals of load supports and structural spans. 

All these things are happening concurrently from the moment of parti pris (for short... parti) to construction documents. You are thinking about the structure and form from get go. If you don't have a good sense of A) buildability and B) structural design which includes the fundamentals of structural load paths and structural spans, you are not a true design professional. 

At no point should you EVER be impaired when working on any clients project. If you are impaired during ANY part of the project, if you make one single error or omission at any point in the project that is not caught, the client and their attorney has a case of tort and professional malpractice or negligence against you. This can apply to you whether you are licensed or not. It depends on your role in the project. 

If you are an independently practicing building designer or a licensed architect working on a client's project, you are subject to these actions. If you are an unlicensed person working merely as an employee then you would not be subject to these legal actions but your employer would be. I agree with archinine's points.


nine, it sounds like you could use a joint or two :)


It's not just young people. I know a lot of bosses who use. I think people who use tend to be the ones who think it helps. Maybe that's why they do it, maybe it's just a convenient coincidence that supports their decisions... 

Designing high as a student can be fun...Working in an office that way is a recipe for disaster. It’s sometimes helpful to work through a problem nagging at you AFTER you’ve gone home for the day. But more creative? Bullshit. That’s a placebo. Its that breaking down another step in the problem you were already focused on that makes it useful. But certainly not for the whole process. It’s more a tool which one has to learn how to use, and not to abuse. Much like drinking is a social lubricant which can be useful in certain scenarios. But again don’t go crazy and be drunk all day at work...
Oct 20, 18 10:22 am

I smoke weed every day. I work for a general and the environment is fast-paced. When I couldn't keep up at first, my red eyes and smoky aroma were all too obvious. Now that my work is valued around the office, no one seems to mind. Everyone (including myself) blamed marijuana for making me dumb when I was actually just plain ol' fashioned stupid

Oct 20, 18 10:30 am

I've tried before and I didn't finish what I'm designing that time. :) BECAUSE I GOT HIGH, BECAUSE I GOT HIGH :)

Oct 23, 18 11:54 am

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