Coming Out Of The Cannabis Closet
For many cannabis consumers, coming out of the “weed shadows” is still an unimaginable occurrence. Unfortunately, the outdated stigma associated with cannabis still haunts both consumer and non consumer. However, I felt compelled to share my “weed coming out” story, so that someone else is inspired to help break the stigma.
“2015 is the year of YOU Nina! You are the MVP of your life. Do everything that YOU want to do this year.” This is my supervisor, Kat’s version of a pep talk. I normally digest pep talks effortlessly, but this time I decided that Kat was right. Thus, I set a few tenacious New Years goals for myself: explore marijuana botany, become proactive in educating the various voting groups, pass my real estate exam, etc. However, I knew I had to come out of the weed shadows if I wanted to actually complete these goals. Thus, I could no longer be a closet smoker, even with a medical card. “Why did I even receive a medicinal card to begin with?” I thought. I had to be ready for this question. “Menstrual cramps and sharp tail bone pain during mother nature’s visit, and of course, my subconscious’s weird obsession with reoccurring dreams.” I answered the question to myself. I’ve learned over time that dreaming is when my anxiety manifests itself the most. However, smoking before bed tremendously relieves the anxiety, the night terrors, and those evil period symptoms. Anyway, considering that I was going for a more aggressive version of myself as another goal of mine, I prefaced the “coming out” talk with my mother by releasing a Bong Rips Youtube video first. I must admit, that wasn’t exactly the most graceful move, but I wanted to be out in the open, before my mom had the chance to influence my decision with her judgement.
“Here goes nothing!” I thought to myself, as I had planned the release of my Bong Rip Youtube video in a very “Miley Cyrus-Wrecking Ball” fashion.
My mom and I use Skype as our primary communication, considering I live in San Diego, and she lives in Atlanta. This time our Skype conversation went a little differently though. I started our chat by sharing some of my New Years resolutions with my mother. “Now that I am an adult, I want us to be closer than ever. I hate not being able to share my true thoughts with you. Do you think that we could work on a different relationship dynamic this year?” I asked her. She agreed, but hesitantly. Most daughters, regardless of age, would never dream of trading secrets with their mothers. However, I figured I’d at least try to build this envious mom/daughter sisterhood that a few of my friends had with their moms. I then told her that in order to do this, I needed her to accept me as an adult, as well as my decisions. She agreed. I then proceeded to light my yellow and blue striped bubbler.
At first sight, I felt my mom’s heart skip a beat. She yelled “Nina!” and began to look away as if I were something she had walked in on. “How disrespectful! I cannot believe you are doing this while on the phone with me! This is so wrong! And you don’t have a medical prescription!” All of that came out in one rant by my Atlantan mother. Meanwhile in San Diego, I had a mouth full of smoke. “Mom, yes, I am a legal cannabis patient, and I promise if you can get through this conversation for one hour with me, you will change your mind about weed.” My mother wasn’t even looking at me. I don’t think she could. All she knew was the stigma. I wanted to let her know that I am more than the stigma.
It took about 10 minutes for my mother to integrate back into a normal Skype conversation with me, as she was extremely perturbed by my smoking. However, once she got over it, we ended up chatting for almost an hour and a half! By the end of our Skype session, my mother had completely forgotten that I was stoned, and she had opened up to me as if I were one of her girlfriends! While my mother’s initial response to my video less than supportive, our Skype conversation taught me a little something about delivery. If we want to turn nonbelievers into believers, we must relay the message in a way that is understood. Delivery is key.
Upon seeing my Youtube video, my mother was prepared to rip my head off via Skype. She even once told me that I would never be able to get a “real job,” nor would she allow me to have any marijuana related conversation with my teenage brother. However, after introducing marijuana to my mother again via Skype, we actually had a full conversation without either of us hanging up on each other! Not only has Marijuana improved my patience and tolerance of others including my mother, but it has clearly improved her tolerance of me as well! She probably won’t be toking it up with me anytime soon (sad face). However, my goal was to plant a seed that maybe cannabis isn’t so bad, and I did just that.
– Guest Contributor Nina Galy