Every stoner should follow these rules around sober friends

Published Nov 16, 2020 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Cannabis enthusiasts tend to be quite proud of their choice to utilize nature, and it's such a deep love and culture that we've got a whole list of stoner etiquette rules that the majority follow. Still, it's not often that we talk about our sober friends. For some of us, these folks can be a bit harder to connect with, as we like to use the green as a conversation piece to break up uncomfortable silences among friends, and we aren't quite certain where it is that sober people set their boundaries.

Do we avoid talking about weed at all, or perhaps a slow leaning into the topic will do the trick? Should we pretend to be interested in whatever they like, or do our best to convince them to join us in our love for the green? These are common questions that most stoners struggle to answer at some point or another, but with the help of these simple rules, you should be able to figure out precisely what it is that you need to do, based on your current situation.

What we mean by sober friends

Sober friends aren't necessarily people who avoid drugs or even cannabis entirely, though they certainly could be. In some cases, sober friends could be actively working as buddy guards, protecting their friends as they enjoy themselves. In others, they might just be avoiding the green for personal reasons, like an upcoming job, financial constraints, or addiction. For this article, the term sober friends reference pretty much anyone who you might be around who isn't up for getting high.

Show some respect

Everyone has a slightly different opinion of cannabis, and it is essential to recognize that when you're hanging out with sober friends. Some like to enjoy it as an occasional treat, and others might feel deadset against it, and that's ok. Whatever your sober friend's opinion may be, you must use it as a guide for how to conduct yourself moving forward. If they hate the idea, then you might want to tread carefully when bringing up weed, but if they're more open, then it may just be the perfect opportunity to start a discussion.

Set a good example

If you're around a friend who is abstaining from cannabis for one reason or another, it can be aggravating for them when it's rubbed in their face, which is why it's a great idea to set a good example. Consume enough to feel good, but with some distance between you, and keep the stereotypical stoner references to a minimum. For those who are against the idea, you'll have an even higher bar to hit because the end goal will likely always be to try to convince them otherwise, and to do that, you don't want to be acting in some crazy way that might scare them away.

Do not apply pressure in inappropriate situations

Sobriety is a rare thing these days, with most of the population relying on some form of substance relief to get through each week. However, those who manage to live a good quality of life without the aid of drugs are lucky, not unfortunate, as so many stoners typically view them. Though you might feel like you're coming from a good place, it's best not to try to convince someone who is staying away from cannabis for a good reason to reconsider their choices. Otherwise, you might end up losing a really good friend after making them feel uncomfortable.

Never assume that it's easy to stay sober

Not everyone who is sober wants to be that way, as some struggle with things like addiction, and it is essential to recognize the sheer amount of will power that it takes to avoid all of the exotic substances that are so widely available today. Regardless of your sober friend's reason for staying that way, the very best thing you can do is offer support. In most cases, these people aren't going to benefit from hearing your sales pitch for cannabis, but they will be grateful for your presence if you're encouraging them on their journey.


Ask the important questions before you act

We talk about sober friends as if they all fit into one narrow group. Still, every individual's boundaries, expectations, and comfort abilities will vary significantly from on to the next, which is why you must have a conversation that makes this clear before you spend too much time together. Not everyone is going to be 100%  comfortable around big clouds of cannabis smoke. Others might not feel at home in the middle of a stoner party even if the toking stays far away from them, so it's best to know now so that you can act and plan accordingly.

Be honest

One of the most uncomfortable moments for most stoners with sober friends typically arrives when the craving for big fat blunt hits and they aren't sure whether or not they should light up. Some chose to hide their cannabis use, but ignoring this significant fact isn't going to help anyone. Even if your friend isn't 100% comfortable with weed, the best thing that you can do is be honest about your personal use. This way, they aren't shocked when you need to take a break, or so you aren't left uncomfortable and generally unhappy from avoiding the thing that makes you feel good.

Come to terms with the fact that cannabis doesn't work for everyone

We all have that one sober friend who is adamant that cannabis does not work for them, and this is an excellent opportunity to discuss the reasons that this less than desirable result might happen. Still, all green enthusiasts need to recognize the fact that not everyone responds the same way to cannabinoids. Some people experience adverse effects like migraines or nausea every single time they use it, and there isn't a whole lot that anyone can do to change that. Though you can certainly talk up cannabis, just in case, it is just as important to validate their personal opinion based on experience.

Look for other cannabis-related topics to bond over

All cannabis friendly folks want to convince the world that society as a whole is far better off with access to this incredible plant, but if you've got sober friends, then you're going to need to find something more relatable to connect with them though. They might not want to talk about your fascination with weed continually. Still, these skills are transferrable, so instead, you could discuss growing or cloning techniques, social interactions, and more cannabis-related topics plus there's a whole world out there filled with other cool things to do. Every relationship that is established over a common ground will be stronger for it.

These tips and tricks are not foolproof, and in many cases, they err on the side of caution, but that's because when it comes to combining social etiquette with cannabis, we don't have well-established guidelines to follow. However, due to it's stigmatized reputation, it's just better for the cause as a whole if modern stoners tread these unchartered waters carefully.

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