Article by Amanda Chicago Lewis, Rolling Stone
Like it or not, using cannabis in 2017 is a political statement. Gone are the days when potheads and party-tokers would puff discreetly on whatever schwag they could get their hands on, with little thought beyond fear of getting caught. Now, all of the assumptions, stereotypes and misinformation of the past are being carefully reconsidered. There are brands and ballot initiatives to consider. Opinions are changing. Pot shops are thriving. Stigmas are shifting. And that means that anyone who spritzes a weed tincture under her tongue before a movie or unwinds with a joint on a Friday night has something of an obligation to represent our kind – the recreational marijuana users of America – in a conscientious way.
Whether you’re livening up a dinner party with some gourmet infused cookies or scoring some unlabeled bud from your dealer for your friend’s mom, it is important to consider how to be a good weed citizen. When it comes to marijuana, very few people trust the information that comes from traditional authority figures – doctors, government, media – because so much of what has been said in the past has been false. As a result, most people get their pot knowledge through word of mouth.
Since I started writing about marijuana four years ago, I’ve spent a hell of a lot of time thinking and talking about how best to live openly as an ethical stoner. So if, like me, you’re the person in your crew who usually has an eighth in a jar somewhere, who always carries your vape pen, who was the first to jump on getting a medical marijuana recommendation for “anxiety” – listen up. Everyone is looking to us for advice, so it’s our responsibility to make sure we keep the neophytes and dabblers safe. We’re at a critical moment, here, and how you choose to explain and offer this stuff is crucial.
A lot of being a good weed citizen just means considering how your behavior affects other people, and how can you better educate those around you. Here, then, are some carefully considered recommendations – the result of years of observations and thousands of conversations with experts, amateurs and my fellow potheads.
Being selfish with your stash is the height of rudeness. Unless you have a limited amount of cannabis that you need for serious medical problems, you should always offer some of whatever you have to the people around you, especially if you’re at a crowded concert or among strangers at a party. Other than being out in public with a dog, sharing your weed is one of the fastest ways to make new friends. You never know who might be gazing wistfully at your pipe.
Thoughtfully introducing your less experienced pals to high quality cannabis products is a great way to help them understand this plant’s incredible capacities. Being a magnanimous and chill pot user also means not walking off with someone else’s blunt or vape pen; not getting angry when someone accidentally pockets your lighter; and trying to leave a portion of any newly-packed bowl green for the next person in the rotation.
And on the flip side, a good weed citizen will never pressure anyone into trying something psychoactive. Just because you like to get high doesn’t mean other people need to.