Cannabis is still a taboo topic at many family gatherings

Published Oct 31, 2020 11:00 a.m. ET
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As we gather around the family dinner table this holiday season, many of us will get through the awkward and stressful occasions with the help of a little green. It’s a fact that was recently revealed in a Maru/Blue survey, where an incredibly 36% of respondents admitted that they’d be getting high on the holidays. Unfortunately, 35% of those surveyed also said that they’d be partaking as discreetly as possible, which points to a glaring issue with the highly stigmatized plant.

Is your family gathering 420 friendly?

Some of us are lucky enough to have a parent, sister, brother, cousin, grandparents, or some other extended family member who shares our love for the green, and that can help to ensure we don’t feel so secluded during the holiday season. However, the majority still feel uncomfortable with the idea of merely bringing up the subject around family. One study from FIGR showed that only 39% of cannabis consumers are confident enough to talk about the green with their parents, and only 14% had these talks with grandparents.

Family gatherings should be a safe place to be yourself

Hanging out with family members can be stressful enough without having to worry about hiding who you are or what you prefer to use for some comfort, as you watch everyone else partake in other intoxicating substances like alcohol. It seems almost cruel to deny yourself the pleasure of comfortably indulging right along with everyone else. Although, for many, this is a reality they can live with if they don’t need to be faced with the harsh consequences of these difficult conversations.

How to get rid of the stigma

Sadly, we as a society have endured nearly a century of prohibition, and it resulted in several generations with tarnished opinions on cannabis, thanks to propaganda laden campaigns in the so-called war on drugs. 100 years worth of myths, lies, and deceit aren’t going to wash away overnight. Still, suppose we want all cannabis enthusiasts to be able to express themselves during the holiday season at family gatherings freely. In that case, we’ll need to do everything we can to remove the stigma that remains.

  1. Talk about it – Sure, it’s sort of a strange thing to contemplate. However, simple conversations can do a world of good when it comes to making people feel more comfortable about the topic, which will eventually hopefully lead to them being more receptive when they converse or hang out with others who benefit from cannabis. To start, you’ll want to pick a subject that you know a lot about so that you can be convincing, and one that will resonate with whomever you’re trying to warm up to the idea, but it can be done.

  2. Set a good example – Most of the bad rap that cannabis lovers are still weighed down by is due to a long history of terrible examples. Granted, many of them were merely harmful stereotypes played out on the big screen, as we saw with Cheech and Chong. Still, regardless, most people think of weed and envision people who don’t truly represent cannabis consumers as a whole. This is why we need to set a good example going forward, and you might be surprised by how much this alone will help to smash the stigma that remains.

  3. Be respectful of others opinions – It’s important to talk about cannabis with those who we are close to, even if it’s just to get an idea of how they feel about it. Though most of us set out to convince non-believers about the many benefits, you must recognize and respect when some folks just think you’re right. You can keep trying while remaining gentle and respectful throughout, and in the end, this tone will be much more likely to get them on your side.

  4. Bring facts to the table – If you want to convince your family that cannabis isn’t worth stressing over, then you’re going to want to come into the conversation with all of the tools and information that you could need at your disposal. Research real facts along with trustworthy sources that you can supply if they happen to show an interest in what you have to say, and do your very best to stay as factual a possible so that what you have to say is both believable and verifiable.

  5. Be 100% honest – In the end, you can be brave, set a good example, stay respectful, and come to the table armed to the teeth with facts, but what will indeed win over those who love you is raw 100% honesty. Don’t exaggerate the benefits or effects, and try not to sensationalize what the plant and it’s many elements are capable of because when you’re trying to convince someone who isn’t 420 friendly, to begin with, it is vital to start on a level field of mutual trust and respect.

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