There's a new card game designed specifically for the stoner set, with the worthy and admirable goal of getting players to get high and talk to one another. For some of you, that sentence sends shudders down your spine and activates sweaty palms, but take a deep breath and stay with me.

The Portland team behind the game, Higher Thoughts: The Cannabis Game, describe it as "the Conversation You've Been Waiting for All Your Life." That conversation isn't the one between you and a lawyer who explains that a recently deceased distant relative has left you millions of dollars. Instead, it's a collection of what the makers describe as "100 open-ended questions and 25 marijuana-themed trivia cards that encourage wild and provocative insights, bringing friends and strangers closer, one stoned conversation at a time."

This is extremely optimistic of them, as I have had some stoned conversations with strangers that did not draw us closer, but then again, I'm not Mr. Congeniality. The makers of Higher Thoughts say the questions were carefully crafted to encourage a good experience for all users, having been pared down from 1000 in a "conversation laboratory": "Our intention was to be wild and provocative without making people squirm, or pushing for self-disclosures they might regret later. We wanted to go deep without causing anybody to feel overexposed."

The website goes into the thought processes behind the game and its development, and has some refreshingly straightforward encouragement of cannabis consumption during gameplay. "Like a pajama party for introverts, this non-competitive card game for 2 to 10 adults is designed to be played under the influence of pot." It also explores the concern regarding paranoia from cannabis use, and even how cannabis can be used as a tool to understand and relieve that same paranoia. It's a thoughtful piece, and underscores the game's creators relationship with, and appreciation of, cannabis.

The game is reasonably priced at $24.95, with a 30-day refund policy. You can even download a mini deck from the website (you have to provide an email), presumably so you can practice with your cat or dog before engaging face-to-face with other human people. Baby steps...