This is as high as you’re going to get.
In order to take a rip from the world’ largest bong, you’re going to need a blowtorch, a flight of stairs, and possibly a spotter. The bong coined the “Bongzilla” was created by artist Jason Harris. Harris created Bongzilla in Seattle and it is now featured in Las Vegas’ marijuana museum, Cannabition.
Harris says the bowl can fit up to a quarter pound of marijuana. Bongzilla is 23 feet high and weighs 800 pounds, even Cheech and Chong would admit “that’s heavy.” It illuminates, mostly green, when under black light.
Bongzilla required 15 people to blow 25 pieces of glass, eights hours a day for four days and required some serious equipment to assemble it, including a crane. The team worked in an almost synchronized dance. They worked in almost complete silence, focused, as each individual knew their role and what was required of them in assembling the world’s largest bong.
This massive piece required extreme heat that turns the glass into a malleable material, a kind of liquid clay. The ovens used by the team top out at 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat stretches the shape of the glass, so one artist goes to work with a blowtorch while others are stationed at the metal clasps on either end. The rest of the artists blow into the mold to stretch it out further; once completed, sections of the bong were carefully placed onto wet newspaper to cool and harden.
The towering bong then needed to be disassembled, packed into special boxes, and transferred through four states where recreational marijuana is legal; Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada.
Harris felt Las Vegas and Cannabition were the perfect place for Bongzilla. He envisions Las Vegas to be the new Amsterdam. “I see it as a big lighthouse and Beacon that says ‘just smoke me,’” he added.
JJ Walker, the founder of Cannabition (which opens September 2018), said it took several days to reassemble the masterpiece and place it in its permanent home next to its own staircase. Cannabition even placed it in front of a backdrop of Tokyo. Tickets are priced at, yup you guessed, it $4.20.
Even though you cannot legally smoke Bongzilla inside Cannabition, Nevada laws prohibit marijuana use in public, Walker and Harris wanted to make sure it worked. You, know just in case a giant lizard terrorizes the town and needs to chill out.
Nevada state Sen. Tick Segerblom who is running for a seat on the Clark County Commission and is a long time advocate for legalizing marijuana was blown away when he first met Bongzilla. Sen Segerblom said the biggest bong he’d ever taken a hit from wasn’t even two feet high.
Harris joked “I got arrested for creating water pieces and now we’re creating the world’s largest water piece.”
Harris, now 47, has an interesting backstory. Back in his 20s, he estimated he sold $4 million in glass bongs per year. In 2003, he was one of many whom were arrested-coincidentally including actor Tommy Chong-during a sting operation known as Operation Pipe Dreams. “I thought my bong maker days were over” proclaimed Harris.
“I make bongs,” he said. “They are my voice to make noise in this world.” We can agree this bong is loud.