Gone are the days of Reefer Madness mentality. For most people a new attitude about the nearly unlimited benefits of cannabis lifestyle is upon us. No matter your age or background, cannabis use has become much more mainstream and socially acceptable. As more countries take time to research the medical, both physical and psychological benefits of cannabis, the once negative stigma will evaporate, much like the smoke after a seriously good bong hit. Changes are taking place on a global as well as local levels however changing people’s viewpoint on an individual level may just be the most challenging aspect of bringing cannabis use out into the open. Talking to your friends and family about your own cannabis lifestyle use or even cannabis use in general can still be tricky, depending on their life experiences and values. Some good strategies are discussed below so you can educate without offending people in your life about cannabis.
Start with Facts
Your opinion about cannabis is important but as with any potentially controversial topic, when a person feels strongly about something, emotions can cloud an otherwise good point. If you decide to talk with your parents about marijuana use, understand they already have an opinion and it likely is an opinion they have held for many years so getting emotional will usually lead to everyone, including you, becoming defensive. Beginning the conversation from a less personal and emotional place is a smart strategy. Use a recent news story or governmental action to get the conversation going. “Hey mom, did you hear that Congress is going to vote to decriminalize cannabis next month?” It’s a good neutral way to introduce the topic and you may be surprised at the reactions you get. People’s opinions are changing about cannabis and you will not know if your family’s opinion has changed unless you find a way to bring it up, or you catch your dad rolling a blunt. What an amazingly fun conversation will follow! With friends the strategy is really the same but you can be a bit more direct with friends and certainly expect less judgment for your cannabis use from friends. The key is to start from a neutral rather than emotional place.
Ask Questions and Listen to the Answers
It seems like a “well duh” type of statement but knowing how to ask good questions and be a truly great listener are skills. Not everyone excels at one or both and if you really want to explore the topic of cannabis with family and friends, asking open ended questions as opposed to questions that only require a yes or no response will do wonders towards creating an open dialogue. The difference between “Hey Mary have you ever gotten high” and “Hey Mary what do you think about using cannabis to help your back pain” is enormous. Be prepared to listen to some negative opinions and understand that by listening before you respond with either scientific facts or even your own experiences with cannabis can make a world of difference. If your family member or friend feels like you respect their views, well in a perfect world, they will respect yours. You have done the most important part though, started the conversation.
As a cannabis lifestyle connoisseur, it would be fantastic if friends or family come to you for advice about the growing world of cannabis use. You could recommend a strain for your dad’s sciatica and talk to your younger cousin about the differences between a vape and pipe high. Friends would ask you to help them choose a bong, is glass always best. All amazing ways to share your love and knowledge about cannabis use. What is never amazing are sentences that begin with “you know what you should do” otherwise known as unsolicited advice. It’s rare that anyone really wants or appreciates unsolicited advice. You don’t want to become that person in your family or social circle that is known for only one thing, cannabis. It gets old and no one will listen to you so the best advice comes when it is asked for not forced on someone. If you keep the lines of communication open and ask good questions. Eventually most of the people if your life will come around and when they do, be ready to share your wealth of knowledge about cannabis, and maybe a few edibles too!