Maybe your parents have found that secret stash in your cupboard or an employer has pulled out the little plastic tub for a surprise piss test. Worst case scenario, you could be calling a loved one to come bail you out of jail. One way or another there will be a time in your life when you will need to confess your penchant for Mary Jane , willingly or other wise. This can be a daunting time for not just you, but also for the people who care about you. So we’ve compiled 5 top tips for coming out the Cannabis closet.
1. Start at the beginning
The urge to shove ten tons of studies and documentaries down your loved one’s throat can be super enticing, but isn’t likely to bridge the divide. This isn’t some sort of court room drama where the facts and arguments can be battled out. This is about your relationship with those around you and the emotions at play. So start at the beginning, tell your personal story about why cannabis is a part of your life. Be genuine, be patient and take into account that the stigma of cannabis use is a propaganda driven social dynamic that has been at play for a 100 years; a time during which generations of opinions and drug policy laws were mostly shaped in a landscape devoid of things such as Google and pro-cannabis politicking.
2. Don’t be aggressively defensive
Your first instinct may be to come out guns blazing in defence of why you consume weed. This will however most likely lead to a situation where no one is a winner and irreparable damage could be done, ensuring that it forever remains a touchy topic. So before you even begin to get into the million and one motivations for why you’re not the bad guy, take a deep breath and remember that the person you are coming out to is an important part of your life and that their concern is born from their love for you. The last thing you want is for it all to prematurely conclude in that classic line, “My roof, my rules”.
3. Don’t be a stereotypical stoner
Consider for a moment that there may be other aspects of your life for which cannabis may be a convenient excuse on which others can hang the blame. If you are sitting at home all day doing little more than ripping fat bong hits and jamming Playstation, you stand little chance of convincing anyone that your relationship with cannabis isn’t an unhealthy one. It is impossible to get others to respect you when you don’t respect yourself. Coming out is therefore not something you want to do in your scorch riddled pyjamas while lounging on your tatty couch surrounded by empty Doritos packets. Brush your teeth, comb your hair and empty the damn ashtrays once in a while. Maybe, just maybe, people will then take what you say to heart.
4. Patience is a virtue
There is no instant just add water solution to coming out. Sure, once in while people will surprise you with how open minded and grateful they can be when you are honest with them. But do not bank on this. You’re most likely expecting some potential fallout and hard questioning (or you would not be reading this article). First prize is certainly that you are able to clear the air in one sit down. Chances are that your cannabis use will not be settled in a single cathartic chat. Be open to talking about it and soothing the consciences of those who are worried about you. You will be dealing with longstanding opinions and can’t realistically expect to satiate them in one foul swoop.
5. There’s a time and a place
Try not to wait for a critical moment or plan your coming out for maximum dramatic impact. Be sensible, sit down somewhere private and give a gentle introduction on why you feel it is necessary to discuss your partaking in the herb. If you’ve been caught on the wrong foot and are unexpectedly confronted, be very clear that you want to talk about it, but not in a manner that encompasses threats and shouting. Take or make the time to have an as reasonable as possible discussion and remind your loved one that you value them or you would not be willing to talk to them about this very personal subject.
We hope that these tips will help you and ask that you share any of your personal tips or suggestions for coming out of the Cannabis closet in the comments section below.