Lizzie Post, the great-great-granddaughter of Emily, the legendary matriarch of manners, recently published Higher Etiquette: A Guide to the World of Cannabis, from Dispensaries to Dinner Parties. It has raised eyebrows, coming from a family that has served as decorum’s dictators for the last 95 years. Lizzie, who gets high daily, admits that her great-great-grandma abhorred smoke and didn’t drink, but she points out Emily did oppose Prohibition (of liquor) and was a champion for citizens’ rights.
“Whether you’re a part of cannabis culture or not, once it’s legal everyone has to learn to deal with it as part of society,” Lizzie explains, “so for the same reasons, we did a book on digital manners it was time to highlight the etiquette of cannabis.
Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind, whether you’re puffing, nibbling, or absorbing cannabis. This is where your cannabis high meets high society.
➔ Don’t yuk someone else’s yum: In other words, never disparage what another person enjoys or how they enjoy it. Just as you wouldn’t chastise a dinner companion for ordering his steak very well done or putting ice in her red wine, don’t denigrate someone for their cannabis choices, however lowbrow. “Let’s just say: No judgment on personal preferences,” says Lizzie.
➔ Do leave everyone some fresh green: When smoking with friends, don’t lawn mow the whole bowl. Instead, touch the flame to the edge of the bowl so as not to engage the entire surface. This guarantees fresh bud for your buds as the pipe is passed.
➔ Don’t assume you can toke up anywhere: Just because cannabis is legal where you live, don’t act as if everyone is into it. “Before consuming at someone’s house, always ask if they’re okay with it, or if there are any house rules you need to be aware of,” says Lizzie. “That’s just common courtesy.”
➔ Do respect the privacy of medicinal users: Just as you wouldn’t broadcast that someone is taking antidepressants, never relay info about someone’s medical marijuana use. There is still a stigma attached to cannabis that could negatively affect a person’s reputation. It’s also a violation of their privacy. If you’re tempted to introduce someone who’s considering cannabis for a particular ailment to someone who’s already using it for that, ask permission first.
➔ Don’t drink from the joint-rolling bowl: Previous generations were bedeviled by the finger bowl. Drink from it? Dip for a quick refresher? Dump it on a rude neighbor? Modern-day hosts and hostesses may provide a bowl of water for weed rollers to use instead of saliva to seal a joint. Sticking your tongue out remains gauche, and will your neighbor want to inhale your saliva? Dip, dab, and roll instead.
➔ Do place the vape pen just so: When incorporating a vape in a table setting, it goes above the plate, or to the right, next to the spoon.
➔ Don’t forget to label your contributions: When you bring weed or edibles to a party, clearly identify three things: 1) the cannabinoids and terpenes they contain; 2) their potency; and 3) their expected effects. This will allow everyone to make better-informed choices, have an enjoyable evening and, of course, practice proper etiquette.