You’re a big boy, it’s almost 2016 – hello, legalization! — and it’s time to stop hiding your perfectly acceptable habits from those you love. If the family can have white wine and brown liqueur, you are entitled to green.
Here are our tips for productive cannabis conversations with your non-consuming loved ones.
Be true to your own self
Make sure everything is right in your own home before going green to your family. Are you comfortable with how much marijuana you have consumed and how high you have gotten? If the answer is just “sort of”, you may not be in the best place to be a cannabis advocate. Ignore discussions that can be potentially emotionally taxing (perhaps focus on the inequalities of drug punishment rather than personal habits)…and remember, you can use this trip home to take a break from a fixed diet of gravity bongs.
Choose your moment
Remember when your mom found the zigzag and lighter in your dirty laundry and came at you with (verbal) guns? Let’s not have a dramatic high school throwback. Approach these convos from a place of love, for your goal is communication, not confrontation. Make sure everyone – including yourself! – well rested, seated, calm and fed when you check in. You want everyone to be in a good place to receive the knowledge you’re about to drop.
Appearing informed, not obsessed
Wait, but what are you going to talk about? Positive marijuana news isn’t just for stoners, it’s for anyone who wants to stay on top of what’s happening in world politics. Take a step away from complaining about Trump’s rise and focus on progress: Canada is about to legalize, Mexico just authorized its first medical marijuana patients and recreational users, and in the United States, nearly half of the country legalized medicinal weed. Not to mention the stores in Seattle, Denver and now Portland!
Before you go home, read up on interesting anecdotes about “I’m not a brain-dead stoner” swinging around the house. Bonus points if you use one to cover up the awkward silence after the exhibition of your brother’s ambitious new neck tattoo.
keep you chill
People don’t always agree, and you’re not going to convince everyone of everything. When your uncle starts talking about marijuana killing brain cells, cannabis causing crime, or any other line from Reefer Madness, consider it your advanced zen workout. Take a deep breath when things get tense, and remember that really listening to the other person’s concerns can be more important than discussing all your topics of conversation. Keep in mind that you’re trying to counter a lifetime of mass media anti-marijuana propaganda — and you deserve your post-convo smoke, too.
Be willing to compromise
I don’t care if you hate the thought of pie without weed, it’s someone else’s house, they make the rules and you may not be allowed to light up during dessert. If your fam is so incensed that you can no longer smoke on the property, it might be nice to ask Dad to drive you to the accessible nature or green space nearby. This could be the place you used to drink as a teenager, it could have a view and it could be the best place to talk about how relaxing a nice joint is away from the peanut gallery.
Bonus Round: Bribes
People enjoy presents. Take a page from my friend Martha’s playbook and bring your arthritic grandmother some weed-infused muscle ointment (we love The Original Kind Rub, the 50ml jar is $29 at The Apothecarium, www.apothecariumsf.com). It’s all about showing your love… in the most Machiavellian way possible. And be open and bring enough to share. You may find yourself arguing with your family – which may be its own world of awkwardness, for which you are on your own.
Photo of Dollar Photo Club