As the stigma around cannabis consumption starts to dissolve, some grey areas remain. Social temperatures around this sometimes still highly controversial plant can be hard to figure out in certain settings.
You likely know how your friends and family feel about marijuana. But you may not know how your coworkers, partner’s friends or Airbnb hosts may respond to cannabis consumption. Here are a few pointers on how to navigate marijuana in social situations with grace, now that the plant is legal.
1. When You’re a Houseguest, Ask Your Host What the Rules Are Around Marijuana
Ask your hosts what they prefer regarding cannabis use—is it OK to smoke inside? Or would they prefer you step outside to consume? Are they OK with vaping inside, but not smoking?
Being upfront is just the best option in this scenario, so don’t be afraid to raise the issue and ask as many questions as you need to. The last thing you want is to sneak around and then have your host ask you what that skunk smell is—or worse, kick you out.
And this transparency goes both ways. If you’re hosting guests in your home, let them know what the house rules around cannabis are before they arrive or get settled in.
2. Follow the Marijuana Rules at Work
While some workplaces have created clear policies around consumption post-legalization (and some Canadian provinces are working to develop employee benefits that cover medical cannabis), many have left the topic untouched. These leaves workers completely in the dark when it comes to cannabis work rules.
As with all personal issues in the workplace, this is an area where you should use your best judgment. You understand your company's culture and policies best. Go with your gut instinct.
Still, it’s probably best to follow rule number one on our list at work, too, and be upfront about asking your supervisor what the company rules around cannabis are. This will help you tailor your behaviour to your work’s rules and avoid running the risk of putting your employment in jeopardy.
Just because marijuana is legal, doesn’t mean you can partake at work and not suffer any repercussions. Many companies are treating cannabis like alcohol and are banning it from the workplace.
3. If You’re With Friends Who Don’t Partake, Spare Them the Smoke
Vape pens are a preferred method of cannabis consumption for a few different reasons: One being that they’re so discreet. With a vape pen, there’s no smoke, practically no smell, and you can, for the most part, smoke freely without disturbing anyone around you.
But when it comes to smoking from a pipe or a joint when you’re with others who don’t smoke, spare them the second-hand experience and take it outside.
Even if you’re already outside with your friends, like at a park or backyard barbecue, move further away from your friends if you’re going to smoke. Follow the same etiquette rules as your more considerate friends who smoke tobacco.
4. When You Need to Stock Up on Marijuana, Don’t Drag a Non-Consuming Friend Along
That is, don’t drag a friend to the dispensary who doesn’t partake. Dispensaries can be busy, strongly scented places and may make people who aren’t comfortable with the plant a little nervous.
Your friends don’t need to come along on an errand like this if they don’t offer to join you. Don’t assume it’ll be just another stop on your journey when you’re spending time together. Respect their time and personal space.
5. It’s OK to Talk About Cannabis With Kids & It’s OK to Medicate With Young Adults
Gone are the days of cannabis being off-limits as a discussion topic in the family. It’s good to talk about cannabis with your kids and normalize it as a subject in the home. And it’s OK to medicate with young adults who also medicate (in other words, teens with a medical document who are at least 18—or 19, depending on the province).
What’s not OK is smoking or vaping cannabis around young children—or for that matter young adults who don’t like the smell or the smoke.
6. It’s OK to Medicate With Your Parents, if Cannabis Is a Part of Your Healthy Lifestyle
Just like it’s OK to medicate with young adults in your family who hold medical documents, it’s OK to do the same with your parents. If it’s a part of your life, you may choose to introduce your parents to it. After all, it could help them, too. Don’t be afraid to invite your parents to understand more about this part of your life.
7. You Don’t Have to Talk About Your Relationship With Cannabis at All
When it comes to cannabis, we don’t owe anyone an explanation or justification for why we partake. We’re all adults, and our choices are own. Part of what’s being required of us all, as we step further into the era of legalization, is a willingness to transform our perspectives and release our collective judgment.
The best thing we can do is set an example for how to respond to anyone’s cannabis consumption. If you don’t want to talk about it, you don’t have to. The example you set can provide enough impact on its own.
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