A lot of cannabis consumers are still in the closet. Approximately 75 percent according to Civilized’s second annual Cannabis Culture Poll. The poll revealed that this is especially the case for wealthier consumers. And it also showed us that a lot of people are still hiding it from spouses.
It’s easy to speculate on why this might be the case. Even though an all-time high of 61 percent of Americans think cannabis should be legalized, we still find ourselves in environments where it’s seemingly better to keep it on the down low.
It’s easier just to not talk about it rather than risking your career or your reputation.
And yet engaging the right people in dialogue and sharing cannabis truth is essential to legitimizing this plant. How are we supposed to change minds and hearts if we don’t talk about it?
Turn it into an ongoing dialogue
Whether your intent is to encourage somebody to give medical cannabis a try or to simply share this part of your life with somebody you love, set the tone for an ongoing dialogue.
You could follow up with new articles or developments in the cannabis movement, or even new anecdotes about how cannabis helped you in some way.
The one thing you want to avoid is forcing somebody to try cannabis. Yeah, maybe you really want your spouse to have a vapor session with you, but if they feel uncomfortable about it, don’t push.
Instead, simply be a good example of mindful cannabis use in action.
Pique their curiosity to learn
In this case, let’s assume that grandpa’s views are still shaped from a lifetime of prohibition and misinformation. When he expresses as much, you can set the stage with follow-up questions like:
- Have you ever thought about where you got your information about cannabis?
- Do you think it might be possible this information is outdated?
- Would you be willing to hear new information?
- This approach is a great way to spark a dialogue into full flame because you are essentially creating a space for open-minded communication.
At this point you can start sharing some of the information you’ve found, eliciting the other person’s opinion, and handling any questions they might have. And if they ask a question you can’t answer, don’t be afraid to look it up and find the answer together. Or at least follow up after you had a chance to do a bit more research.
Spark the dialogue with questions
The right questions and sincere curiosity are important for open-minded conversations. Asking questions and showing a sense of curiosity is a great way to open up almost any conversation.
Because cannabis is such a hot topic now it’s easy to spark a conversation about it in a very neutral way.
“Hey, grandpa, did you see that Pennsylvania just legalized medical cannabis? What do you think about that? What are your views on cannabis?”
Be ready for any answer here (grandpa might already be on cannabis!) and be ready to follow up with even more questions…
Come out green or don’t
It is entirely possible to have deep, productive conversations about cannabis without ever revealing your own use of the plant.
If you follow steps 1-4, the conversation might be going well enough that you come out of the cannabis closet without having planned to (this happened to me with both of my grandmothers, and it really helped persuade them).
When you do share your cannabis experience with others, when you share how it has impacted your life in a positive way, this takes your dialogue to a whole new level. You can share all the articles and studies you want to, but nothing makes an impact like a personal story. Suddenly this whole cannabis thing is much more real.
Might the other person react negatively if they find out you’re a consumer? Even after hearing all this new info about the science and the lives being saved and how cannabis prohibition was built on a mountain of lies?
And if you already are a boss or a well-respected, high-profile figure who gains value from cannabis, imagine how many hearts you will change – how many lives you could save – by coming out green.
No more stigma, no more misinformation – only truth.
If they decide to give cannabis a try…
One of the golden rules for cannabis: start small. Be very careful not to let the other person take too much otherwise they might have an unpleasant experience and never want to try cannabis again!
I’ve had friends who told me cannabis wasn’t really for them, that it made them anxious and uncomfortable. When asked if they’d ever thought about micro-dosing – taking just one puff – they were surprised. Just one puff? The thought had never occurred to them.
The importance of honest and open dialogues about cannabis cannot be overstated. Keeping it a secret is harmful to relationships and to society as a whole as the world struggles to understand the truth about how cannabis can enhance our lives when used mindfully and with intent.
- Let’s spark the conversation into a roaring furnace that our elected officials hear loud and clear.