As legalization for Canada approaches, cannabis is the topic of conversation in most social circles. Of course there are the people who will never try it, those thinking about it, and those already living openly with their cannabis use. Outside these groups are those who use cannabis frequently but are in the 'cannabis closet', keeping their habit under lock and key. These secret stoners like to hide in plain sight, preferring to keep their cannabis use on the down low. For many, divulging to their friends and family that they use cannabis can be an anxious situation.
I have told many white lies in my day, to avoid the risk of judgment. You see, every cannabis user has a story, how they came to use 'drugs' despite being a teacher, a mom, a lawyer, a doctor, etc. Being open about cannabis use comes with so much stigma and those assumptions can be damaging to our lives. A typical stoner stereotype has brought many laughs, think how much you love Cheech and Chong! Unfortunately those stereotypes also leave us vulnerable to criticism about our ability to hold jobs, be good parents, be productive and ambitious human beings causing apprehension.
"Be the ambitious, intelligent, and empowered cannabis user the world doesn't think exists"
You might be in the Cannabis Closet if you:
- Swap Smoking for Drinking: My favourite go to was swapping 'weed' for 'wine' in all of my stories to friends. It's perfectly acceptable to be day drunk on Chardonnay, but another entirely when you spark up outside of party situations.
- Always have Supplies in your Purse/Bag: The holy trifecta of seeming sober - breath mints, hand sanitizer, and eye drops. While these items can also just be good hygiene, if your reaching for them constantly to mask any chance people will know, you might still be in cannabis closet.
- Low-Ball How Much and How Often: Sometimes, a secret stoner will stick their toe outside of the closet and flirt around with sharing their cannabis use. You find yourself testing the water by low-balling days you wake and bake and how many grams you go through a week.
- Go on Walks before Large Dinners: I've had so many excuses to go for a walk before Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner. It helps with anxiety, it helps settle my stomach, it just helps - all real by the way. The truth of the matter is your sister, daughter, aunt, friend is sneaking out to get high and take this meal to the next level.
- Are Always the One Carrying: For years I was always the 'girl at the party who smoked', people always asking to steal a puff because it was available. People just assume that's normal, but what 75% of them fail to realize is - hell, you're always just carrying.
If this sounds familiar and fear is preventing you from being open about being a cannabis consumer, I promise there are more of us than you think! I am taken aback at how many intelligent, fiercely driven, and talented people are partake in cannabis on a daily basis. There are amazing things happening in the cannabis industry, allowing us to shatter stereotypes and lead by example. In a legalized world it is finally possible to be more authentic in our social circles, undoubtedly in a year or two ordering a THC beverage will have no more stigma to it than drinking a beer. Cannabis isn't a lifestyle in itself, it is a part of a holistic approach to wellness, a recreational treat, a medical miracle, and so much more to many! I invite you, secret stoner, to join us in ending the stigma and venture in to a new world.