The High Road
6166 El Cajon Boulevard,
1463 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach
Everybody smokes those Marlboro reds and GPC longs, but you want to stand out from the smoky clouds surrounding the common crowd. How about a filterless ciggie? The High Road Psychedelic Shop has them. Seven bucks will buy a thin glass tube with a wad of tobacco stuffed up against a wire screen (so the burning ball of leaf doesn't get sucked into your lungs). Packs of pre-rolled micro-brand ciggies cost about the same as the namebrands, but specialty smokes like Native Spirit contain (according to the label) only natural-leaf tobacco and no chemicals. The pipe selection ranges from pocket-sized porcelain ($3 to $15) up through bodacious bongs ($10 and up) and, for those who hate to smoke alone, humongous hookahs with multiple hoses so that pulling a puff requires group participation. Do-it-yourself types will find rolling papers in all sizes, including several with a built-in wire that serves as a cigarette holder (a.k.a. roach clip). Some of the heavy metal, double-barrel fuel-injected lighters lined up behind the counter (from $1 to $10) look as if they could double as welding torches.