Lizzie Post, the great-great granddaughter of etiquette expert Emily Post, shares how to correctly and politely socialize with the pot. Her tips will help you feel confident, respectful, and generous – now, and when we can all be social again!
Featuring Lizzie Post, co-president of the Emily Post Institute, author of Higher Etiquette: A Guide to the World of Cannabis, from Dispensaries to Dinner Parties, and co-host of the Awesome Etiquette podcast.
After listening to this episode you will have a better understanding of…
Lizzie Post: If you are going to be bringing edibles to any kind of gathering, you are labeling and making it incredibly, incredibly easy for anyone to tell that what you are serving has pot in it.
April Pride: Welcome to our High Five mini series, where we give you practical tips for how to do the pot. I’m your host, April Pride.
April Pride: Do you know how to do the pot properly, like if your grandmother were watching to make sure you’re minding your manners? If not, it’s not your fault. How do we teach the specifics of a behavior that’s been forbidden? Our guest this week has lots of credit to help us correctly socialize and her relationship with cannabis might surprise you. I’ll give you a hint. For five generations, her family has been the go-to source for etiquette in the US.
Lizzie Post: Hi, I’m Lizzie Post, and I co-run The Emily Post Institute.
April Pride: Lizzie is the great-great-granddaughter of etiquette expert, Emily Post, and the author of Higher Etiquette: A Guide to the World of Cannabis, from Dispensaries to Dinner Parties. And Lizzie is here to help us today on this High Five mini episode.
Lizzie Post: Cannabis culture has such a extensive etiquette to itself already that it was not only a really fun thing to dive into because it already existed, but really fun to explore it in terms of the idea of legalization and how is this culture different when it’s allowed to participate with its product openly.
April Pride: That’s what we’re going to discuss today, on today’s High Five. You lay out four principles in your book, Higher Etiquette, respect, generosity, gratitude, sharing. The first high five that we should talk about is personal confidence. Where did you find your personal confidence when it came to speaking openly about cannabis?
Lizzie Post: I never thought of myself as a shy cannabis consumer. I was always really proud to smoke pot. I knew because it wasn’t always legalized that I needed to be careful about who I chose to share that information with. I had better interactions when I was confident, when I was the one who is in control of the story I was telling about my own cannabis consumption. And when I told that story positively, which it should be because cannabis is a positive thing in my life. I’ve found that people gave me a lot of respect for that, even if they were folks who were shocked that I consumed cannabis. It starts with the people that you do trust in your life that you know whether they consume or not are people who are going to accept you and accept the fact that you are a smart, capable person who can make decisions for themselves. So think about why you consume cannabis. Think about what you would say to someone who isn’t comfortable with you consuming cannabis. Think about what you gain out of it so that when you talk to people, you’re just a little bit more prepared.
April Pride: High five number two, respect. Talk to us about what respect means for you.
Lizzie Post: We are recognizing that the other people in a given situation are human beings who deserve to be considered. When it comes to someone else’s consumption, you want to be as discreet as possible. You really want to watch your language, watch what you’re talking about. When you’re in a group of three people, and you know that you’ve smoked pot with all three of them and a fourth person joins the conversation, that’s the point where you resist the urge to tell that story about the time you all smoked that joint together. If you’re unsure, just don’t go there. It’s a great rule to follow.
April Pride: Can you talk a little bit about options that you would recommend for indoor and public consumption with others who maybe are not consuming?
Lizzie Post: Is this smoke going to bother anyone? And if it is then the people who are smoking should really take the smoke to a place where it’s not going to bother someone. And it is why we lean on the advice of offer to go somewhere else, offer to open that window, offer to turn on that fan, as opposed to making the person who’s not consuming, leaving the group. We try to be inclusive as much as possible. Let’s make sure that choosing to consume doesn’t alienate anyone else.
April Pride: And that attitude of inclusion and awareness, that brings us to number three, generosity.
Lizzie Post: People are just so willing to be generous, whether it’s with their information or it’s their actual product, or with their consideration when it comes to cannabis. That’s been such a huge part of the community. And that comes from this place of prohibition that we’ve been in for the 100 years. And to me, it’s really special. It’s people helping people. It’s recognizing that this plant does a lot of good for a lot of people and making sure that they have access to it, whether it’s that classic shared joint at a concert, whether it’s helping out your buddy or whether it’s providing medicine for people. One of the things that I really love is that this community is so based on generosity.
April Pride: And that brings us to number four, gratitude. I’m always super, super grateful when I’m gifted cannabis. How do you re-gift cannabis in a way that doesn’t dismiss your gratitude for the gift in the first place?
Lizzie Post: Focus on the fact that someone gave you something that they thought you would like, and that you’re appreciative of just that level of generosity. It might not be a strain you can consume, or it might not be a method or product that you can consume, but you can say, “Oh my gosh, this is incredibly thoughtful of you. Thank you so much.” You can leave your thank you at that or you might say, “Oh, is it okay with you if I save this for… When my grandma visits, she loves this strain.” I like this method because it both gives you a chance to say thank you for the gift, but it also lets you show how you might be excited to use it and incorporate it in your life even if it isn’t to roll a joint right now and smoke it.
Lizzie Post: If you’re bringing a joint to share with a friend, you don’t want to present that joint as a gift. You want to present that as a contribution or as a party favor or something we can all do together. When you are giving it as a gift, you really want to make sure you’re clear that it’s gift and this is something I’m giving to you and it is yours to do with as you wish.
April Pride: Okay. The gift of the joint to the party that is intended to be consumed at the party brings us to number five, which is sharing, because the first question I have is who lights that joint?
Lizzie Post: That is such a tough call. I think it definitely does depend. More often than not, I see hosts being the one to either spark a joint that they’ve purchased or roll themselves. But oftentimes, if it’s not sort of a hosting situation, whoever’s done the rolling of a joint typically sparks that joint, or at least determines who should spark that joint. For me, I tend to lean toward my host. So even if I’ve rolled the joint and even if it’s my weed, I’ll often say, “Hey, who should spark this tonight?” And it gives a nod towards that etiquette that places the control and the direction of a gathering in the hands of a host.
April Pride: I bring the joint to the party. I give it to the hostess. She says, “Why don’t you get it started?” And she has now decided that I will be the person that lights it or can I also choose to pass it to someone else and they light it?
Lizzie Post: I think you could you either at that point. You’ve been given the go ahead by the host. What you don’t want to do is run around the whole party asking each person if they would like to be the one to light it. Just get the thing going. Everybody wants to get high.
April Pride: We always pass to the left.
Lizzie Post: Typically, yeah, but not all joints end up in circles. You know what I mean? And so it is important to recognize when a joint is just freely being passed around a party. If you see it going a direction, that’s not towards you, it’s okay for you to go run and join where it is or to say, “Hey, send it back over here.” Or, “Wait, let me get ahead of that.” It’s perfectly fine to call that sav-out.
April Pride: Sometimes people bring edibles to a party. You have to educate people at the party if they’re not accustomed to consuming edibles?
Lizzie Post: You are labeling and making it incredibly, incredibly easy for anyone to tell that what you are serving has pot in it, whether that is making things pot-leaf shaped, whether it is having signage, whether it is having completely separate tables of food for infused foods versus non-infused foods. Let’s say you’re bringing the classic plate of brownies. Maybe it’s that you are keeping those brownies, jokingly, under locking key, and you’re the one actually passing them out or distributing them once dessert comes so that you really do have some kind of control over it. But you need to be aware of how potent your product is. That’s really hard to do when we’re talking about homemade infused goods. It’s a really good idea if you live in a state where you can get your hands on edibles that you can purchase, you can count on the fact that this is 2.5 milligrams, five milligrams, 10 milligrams, whatever it is. That’s going to really help people understand what they’re consuming and how much they can consume.
April Pride: Here’s a quick recap of Lizzie’s high five for socializing with cannabis.
April Pride: Number one, personal confidence. Get clear on why you consume and consider how you would express that to others.
April Pride: Number two, respect, use discretion.
April Pride: Number three, generosity of information and attitude towards others’ decisions.
April Pride: Number four, gratitude. Any gifted weed should be appreciated and without guilt re-gifted.
April Pride: Number five, sharing. When the hostess gives you the go, light it up and pass it to the left.
April Pride: Share with us the most simple or elaborate way you interact with the plant. Email us a voice memo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
April Pride: To hear more from Lizzie, check out her podcast, Awesome Etiquette. And of course, her book, Higher Etiquette. Thanks to my co-founder, Ellen Scanlon, Betsy Kabaker, and Madi Fair, as well as our producers, Eliza Lambert and Taylor Dankovich for Pod People. If you like the show, please share it with someone. Rate and review us on Apple Podcast, and visit us at dothepot.com for more information about our guest and of course, more High Five tips.
So you must be legal, too. Age 21+ invited to continue.