Cannabis Etiquette – Lessons Learned

As a long time cannabis smoker, I’ve learned a few things.

First of all, not everybody likes cannabis. We used to call it, “pot” or “weed” or “green” – now, that marijuana is becoming a legit industry, we are encouraged to use cannabis. I once was interviewing a CEO of a farm here in Oregon and he said (and I’m paraphrasing), “You can say weed, just don’t put it in print.” Duly noted.

You would think living in the Pacific Northwest, in the one of the first states to legalize, it would be a major free-for-all out here. In some ways it is – you can buy cannabis everywhere (dispensaries are practically on every street corner), there are socials and parties where you can not only toke up and consume but check out different brands and delivery methods (aka edibles, vaporizers, drinks, pre-rolls, etc.), and there are conferences galore so you can explore and learn all that is going on in this industry. It’s clear – cannabis isn’t just for old school stoners anymore. It’s getting sophisticated – and fast!

But, while PDX is certainly a bubble, I’ve also run into people here (many on dating apps) who are completely anti-cannabis for whatever reason. I never ran into this in NYC or Brooklyn, or Maine for that matter. So, I guess with legalization, comes more personal choice.

Cannabis is a part of my life – and while I know it makes some uncomfortable, it’s important that I work through the taboos, stereotypes and judgment attached to this herb. For me, cannabis downshifts my anxiety, helps me focus and enhances my creativity. I always feel better when I toke.

I’ve had people stop following me on Instagram because I post about cannabis (usually I am trying to promote a story I wrote, but yes, there have been times I like to puff into the camera for dramatic effect). I’ve had people tell me they are not interested in dating because of the “cannabis thing.” And I’ve had people close to me say they don’t want to be around me when I consume (full disclosure, that was years ago, not a recent thing, but still.)

Dramatic effect.

But perhaps one of my biggest lessons was recently when I unknowingly brought a person allergic to cannabis to a stoner party. I mean, I just did not put it together until it was too late. I brought an acquaintance (we didn’t know each other well and hadn’t seen each other for a while) to a queer party, hosted by a weed-smoking writer teacher friend and her beau, and quickly realized I had made a grave mistake. G-d bless conscious queers, because everyone was very gracious about the faux pas, but the partaking quickly made its way to the bedroom (aka the entire party, which at that point was under 10 people). I was in the living room with my friend/acquaintance squirming in my seat, neck deep in codependency. Do I go into the bedroom? Do I leave this person here to fend for themselves? Do I say we leave? THIS WAS SATURDAY NIGHT AND I WAS SCHEDULED TO HAVE FUN.

Needless to say, it was mortifying. We ended up staying, which I regret. In retrospect, we should have left.

Instead, I messaged all parties involved the next day and apologized. It was awkward and difficult and a huge lesson – check yourself before you wreck yourself. Going to a cannabis-friendly party, where people will be lighting up? Make sure the guest you are bringing is down. Like, seriously, ask. Otherwise, you will watch the fun drain out of your good time. Hosting a party where there will be cannabis? Put it in the invite, yo!

And then sometimes people surprise you. My uncle recently showed up to our family seder with a vape pen in hand, so excited to show me because cannabis was finally legal in his state. I always think he’s so conservative and strait-laced because of his profession but he’s really not. It was the best thing ever. (So was the toke I had with him!)

One of my favorite memories is when my ex and I were having a party at the house we just bought together. Our place was full of hot babes getting indulgent and one of my friends and colleagues rolls in with a plate full of pot brownies. FUCK YES FOR THE WIN! It was a hopping party before but now, the vibe was next level groovy goodness. My lesson here: know how to WOW your hosts. Bringing a gift of cannabis can leave a lasting impression. Just make sure you label, so that consumption is consentual!

What are some of your favorite cannabis etiquette stories? Or better yet, lessons learned? Tell me, I wanna know!

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