In theory, these should be three simple words to say. They certainly are very short words, and you could get them out in the space of a second, though the people you talk to may ask you to repeat them a few times so they know they heard correctly. Seems for many stoners, the partaking of cannabis is something enjoyed in private. How many of us have sealed jars of buds tucked away in a closet or other hidey-hole, places we know our parents, friends, co-workers, and even spouses won’t know to look? One would think there’s nothing wrong with being open about what you enjoy, but when it comes to smoking pot it’s a different ball game.
Of course, unless you have a card that permits you to buy from a dispensary or you live in an area where weed is legal, if you toke you are probably breaking the law. If word gets out about your favorite vice, you may risk losing your job, and the chances of being branded negatively increase. Smoking weed for leisure rather than medicinal purposes often comes tied to the stigma that stoners are shiftless, lazy, and just plain dumb. Yet, many of us might be quick to point out that a business executive’s nightly cocktail does more physical and mental damage to a body, though who’s going to listen to a dumb pothead?
Is it a good idea to come out to friends and family as a smoker? This largely depends on your situation. As a responsible adult able to hold down a job and handle daily expenses, you probably feel your vice is no more harmful than smoking cigarettes and drinking beer after a hard day. In truth, it isn’t, but if you’re surrounded by people who cringe at Harold and Kumar and feel justice is served when a celebrity is busted for possession, you may feel safe in a smoke-filled closet.
If you gauge that friends and family may be more liberal-minded, your decision to literally air out your preferences should be handled carefully and gently. Shock value probably won’t win you points – you don’t want to sit down in the living room while everybody is watching TV, light up a joint, and start puffing. Just as you want people to respect your decisions and opinions, it goes both ways. When you engage in conversation about marijuana, listen to your loved one’s concerns. If you are so inclined, ease in what you know of cannabis and the benefits, and assure everyone that weed is not a gateway to truly damaging drugs.
You may be asked about your smoking habits – how often you toke and where you do it. If people are more accepting of your choices, they may be more concerned about the legality of your activities, especially when it comes to where you get your weed. While you probably do not want to go too much into detail about that, you want to let friends and family know that you have a good handle on your smoking, that you are discreet and don’t push weed on others, and that you definitely continue to function well.
Coming out to friends and family about smoking pot can be a scary proposition, and this might not be a good time to talk openly about it. Look for the right cues when with friends and family, and decide for yourself if they should know at all. Most importantly, don’t feel shame either way.