Stoner Etiquette: High House Guest

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Staying at a chalet with a group of friends for the week? Visiting home for a younger sibling's graduation? Doing the summer rounds with the kids to visit all of your extended family? The best way to limit your weed-related stress? Just be honest (if you can be).

 

If at all possible, speak to the homeowner directly, in advance.

Hopefully, your host is someone that already knows of, or will be open to, your cannabis use. Make sure to remind them of it ("Just a reminder that I'm a medical cannabis patient/recreational cannabis user...") well in advance, and be upfront about it if you recognise any potential issues that may arise from this ("I know you're worried about your teen being around cannabis...", "Since your lease says no smoking...", "Knowing that Bob is in recovery from alcoholism...") and what you are prepared to do in order to alleviate these issues ("So I can make sure to keep my medication locked up or safely stored...", "I can stick to using edible doses or a vaporiser on the balcony...", "I can be sure to schedule my use for when I'm not on the property...").
Be open to their response, and be willing to make further concessions in order to maintain your hosts comfort. Even if you don't necessarily understand or agree with the source of their discomfort, be willing to accept it as valid, and find a way of medicating that works for everyone.

 

Don't try to hide it, you're grown and it really invalidates anything you say after you're caught.

Just don't. If you're going to use cannabis while you are staying with someone, tell them. You are (presumably) an adult who has the ability to both make and defend their own decisions. Honesty, even in the face of potential conflict, is the most direct path you can take towards removing the stoner stigma. Be honest, respectful, and empathetic when you bring it up, and be confident in the fact that you are doing the grown up thing, because you are a grown up who does the thing even when the thing is hard. And also because, if you don't and you get caught, there is no way of repainting it so that you look like a grown up who can do grown up things. Just do it right the first time. 

 

Know when to ride it out, and when to stand your ground. 

If you are a recreational smoker who prefers a joint over a glass of wine, it makes little sense for you to forgo your preference because of someone else's irrational discomfort. However, should the person double down in their desire to see you abstain completely during your time together, it would probably be in everyone's best interest if you just took a break for the duration of your stay. 
On the other hand, if you are a medical patient who needs to adhere to a dosing schedule in order to be at your best, you have every right to push a little further for your needs to be considered and accommodated. Always with empathy, always with the clear willingness to work around their comfort, but you have the right to have your medical needs met. You have the right to politely decline and choose another option (if there is one), should you be unable to come to agreeable terms. There is no shame in maintaining clear boundaries and viewing your cannabis as necessity, if it is. 

 

Give respect to get respect.

The stoner stigma is very much based on laziness, ambivalence, and complete unawareness of the people around them. Cannabis users have been painted as criminals or comedians, without much room for the reality of you or me in between. Show respect and stick to the rules set out for you during your stay, and hope to be respected as an adult with their own decision making capabilities in return.