Disciples of the Emily Post Institute’s timeless canon on American manners may be clutching their pearls over its most recent tome: “Higher Etiquette: A Guide to the World of Cannabis, from Dispensaries to Dinner Parties” (Ten Speed Press), written by Emily’s great-great-granddaughter Lizzie Post.
“I’ve been really impressed with our readership,” says Post, who also serves as co-president of the Emily Post Institute and co-authored the 18th and 19th editions of Emily Post’s “Etiquette.”
“People are realizing that the type of person who consumes cannabis … isn’t necessarily the [stereotypical] image that they’ve had,” the author tells The Post, declaring the pro-cannabis community “this land of consideration and respect” — qualities that Emily Post herself espoused.
“It’s why I’m comfortable coming out with my own consumption. A lot of people say to me, ‘Wow, I never would have expected this from you.’ And my thought is: ‘Why not!?’ ”
“Higher Etiquette” is a kind of “Cannabis 101,” says Post, in hopes it will be a comprehensive introduction for the “canna-curious,” as well as a timeless reference for seasoned cannabis users. And with legalization afoot, many are preparing for more than a few awkward conversations at work, home or even on first dates. We asked Post to give us some pointers on how and when (if ever) to talk pot.
At a company event:
“If I’m even questioning the idea that my boss might not be OK with this … I’m not going to partake,” says a cautious Post. If legalized, though, she encourages employees to talk to their managers about the company’s policy.
“Everyone is really excited about legalization, but it’s important to remember that it’s not an overnight acceptance.”
On a first date:
This is a toughie, says Post, who has mistakenly assumed a date was more, err, chill:
“I was chatting someone up at a concert one night, and we were all set to hang out, go for a big hike together,” she recalls. But when Post told him about her research for “Higher Etiquette,” she says, “It was like a record-scratch! I never heard from him again.”
If cannabis is a “huge part of your life,” she says, “I think it’s pretty important to bring up” sooner rather than later. But your own privacy matters: “If it’s your medicine, you don’t have to tell anybody.”
With a family member:
The key to talking to a loved one about cannabis is understanding and communicating your personal reasons for using it.
“When you are really confident about why you consume cannabis, you are more likely to have a positive interaction,” says Post. “If the other person can’t understand or accept you for it, that becomes on them.”
With a neighbor:
Post wouldn’t recommend you introduce yourself to new neighbors with a plate of pot-laced brownies. Rather, she says, “less is more, until it’s a problem.” Certainly try to keep second-hand smoke from wafting into their home, but (provided it’s legal) it’s okay to mind your own business until they come to you with an issue.
“You want to be mindful of who your neighbors are, and which way the wind blows!”
At a party:
A major tenet of the cannabis community is generosity — which is why Post “will usually carry a joint just in case the occasion calls for it,” such as a party. But gauging the host is critical. You wouldn’t go to a party and decide to change the music. Similarly, she says, you should always defer to the host, because cannabis use “can change the vibe.”
And definitely don’t be tempted to just sneak around them as it could create a very embarrassing, public situation if caught. On the other hand, says Post, you could come off as greedy when your host asks, “Why didn’t you tell us? We all would have joined in!”
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