The cannabis closet is a way of talking about keeping marijuana consumption a secret. This was necessary for so many for so long due to prohibition and propaganda. The need to consume in secret is changing in the face of legalization. Plus, breaking down myths and stereotypes shows how normal it is to use cannabis. Living openly offers the chance to remove the pressure and shame secrecy enforces. Coming out of the cannabis closet offers the chance to invite people in. It might even help someone else.
Sharing that you consume is about moving from secrecy to discretion and openness. It is a personal choice informed by what keeps you safe and makes you happy. So how do you figure out when it’s safe to come out? Or who is safe to tell? What’s the best way to do it? We have some ideas for you.
When Is The Right Time?
So many times may be the right time. And the complex truth is that coming out is a never-ending process. There’s always some new person or situation that opens up the possibility of opening up. However, there are a few milestone moments you might encounter.
One could be if you’re interested in medical marijuana as a treatment option. This might be a conversation you start with your family, caregiver, or doctor. Express curiosity, keep an open mind as you learn. And be proud that you’re advocating for your needs by exploring all your options. Whatever choice you ultimately make, there’s no shame in asking questions about medicine.
Another could be becoming a medical marijuana patient or moving to a state with legal adult use. There’s risk to illegal consumption that pushes many towards secrecy. Moving to a legal market as a consumer or patient takes those risks away—and the medicine is more reliable and helpful, too. It becomes safer to talk about openly. But that doesn’t always translate to feeling emotionally safe.
Who Should You Tell?
Figuring out who to tell starts with the relationship you share with the person you want to tell. A conversation with your mom will be different from a conversation with your child, a friend, or a co-worker. The more comfortable you feel with the person you plan to tell, the easier it is to talk about. Even so, fear of rejection and judgment are powerful forces. Reducing those fears will help you feel safe enough to come out.
Gauge how a person might react by asking their opinion on medical marijuana. Focus on listening to what they have to say and thank them for sharing. If they responded with positive opinions or curiosity, you have a great opportunity to share that you consume cannabis.
How Do You Come Out Of The Cannabis Closet?
Family comes up over and over again as the people folks are most scared of telling. You know them best, so choose a time that makes the most sense for your family. That might mean a relaxed family dinner when everyone is together or a quiet moment one-on-one. Start a conversation about marijuana. Share the benefits you experience, like relief from pain and stress. Acknowledge the risks and explain how you consume responsibly.
Be prepared for a range of reactions. A recent study found that one-third of US adults have smoked marijuana, so don’t be too surprised if you learn you aren’t the only person in the conversation who has tried it. Questions might come up. It’s great to meet that curiosity with your experiences. You don’t have to know everything or speak for everyone.
If you’re still met with rejection or judgment, it can really hurt. As much as possible, remember that there are decades of propaganda against marijuana behind negative opinions. Changing minds can take longer than one conversation. Remain understanding towards detractors, but don’t worry about convincing them. Living your life in a way that makes you happy and well speaks volumes.
Here at Flora Farms we know the medical benefits of cannabis crosses the span of ages from children to adults. However, a good rule of thumb when talking to your kids about marijuana is to emphasize to them that it is a medicine for grown-ups, unless a child is under very specific instructions from a doctor. Only you will know when and how to engage your children on the topic of marijuana. Reach out and join communities of other parents and learn and grow together. We love the advice from Shannon Chiarenza at Weed Mama about cannabis safety and kids.
Continue To Live Openly
The more people who share that they consume cannabis, the more normal it becomes. You can be part of that change by telling others about your experience. These conversations often become so second-nature to you that you stop thinking of it as a big moment. Yet each one is a chance to invite people into your life. Cannabis consumers come from all walks of life. By answering questions, consuming responsibly, and living your life openly, you help model that diversity. You could be the person that opens someone’s mind to all marijuana has to offer.