Stoned in Combat: Weed Smokers in the Vietnam War

 The Vietnam War began on the first of November in 1955 and ended on the 30th of April in 1975. War action could be seen in North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Around 1970, the US troops that were in Vietnam fell to 280,000. People started asking questions, especially about the purpose of fighting the battle. No one knew what the result would be.

At that time, there were some good updates. One in particular is that the United States was leaving the combat role. The American troops would just train the soldiers in South Vietnam. From there, they would maintain their major defensive positions.

As a result, it got a little bit boring for the GIs as things slowed down. There were some soldiers who felt down because their role was reduced in the war. However, there were a few things that helped them survive and allowed them to pass the time. Unsurprisingly, marijuana was one of them.

Stoned Soldiers in the Vietnam War

The cannabis plant was not rare in Vietnam where the battle was going on. In fact, it grew rampant, particularly in the wild jungles of the Southeast Asian country. Although getting high by smoking pot was not tolerated at that time, the government was quite lax. There were no preventive measures to stop or prohibit people from consuming or growing the plant.

In addition, Vietnam did not have a central drug agency during the time of the war. With the absence of effort in the government and with authorities, it was quite easy for the GIs to score some weed.

How Did the Soldiers Get Marijuana?

Cannabis plants were almost everywhere in Vietnam during the time of the war. As a result, there were no problems finding marijuana. Some soldiers chose to look for the plants themselves and they would cut them up and dry the weed themselves.

For other soldiers who could not find plants, the locals helped them with the supplies because there was an abundance of cannabis in many areas of the country.

Shotgun Pot

Aside from the use of pot during the Vietnam War, there was one more marijuana-related occurrence that caught many people’s attention. Shotgun, which was also called shotgunning, was the new method of getting stoned at that time.

As the name suggests, smoking pot was done using a shotgun. A group of GI buddies was captured on camera after a documentary crew followed their activities. It was taken on November 13, 1970, which showed that the GIs used the pump first to remove the shells from their shotguns.

When the chamber was empty, the soldier would get a smoking pipe, put it in the shotgun with the stem first, and start blowing into the pipe bowl. It sent a relentless flow of smoke past the barrel. The other soldiers would grab the butt of the barrel and catch the smoke.

Watching the documentary would make stoners recognize this method of smoking since it is still common with blunts today. Some experts believe that the use of marijuana gave the GIs a way to cope with the war and gain a much lighter view on life.