October 17th, 2018 is the day that recreational cannabis will be legal in Canada. Someday you will share the customs of this historic day to your grandchildren.
For weeks now, I have been getting media requests to share the dos and don’ts of toking Canadian style; how to pot politely.
As a modern manners’ maven, who first observes, researches, validates and then teaches about customs, with tongue in cheek, I have put together The seven commandments of cannabis consumption for polite Canadian parties, from coast to coast.
1) You shall show up sober.
Just like you don’t arrive drunk at a party, don’t show up stone, especially not on a first date.
2) You shall not assume you can smoke.
Although cannabis is legal in all of Canada, you must still ask your host. Respect even the subtlest of nos. Don’t go for a walk or take the party to the park.
3) You shall respect the space and the snacks even at a BYOW (Bring Your Own Weed) party.
Let your host take the lead or ask permission to light up and where you can smoke. Don’t hoard the finger foods. Bring your favourites. Suggest ordering a midnight snack.
4) Remember host gift rules; your offering is not for you.
Just like the bottle of wine that you offer to your host, the weed that you bring as a host gift is for your host’s consumption and not for you to use. Don’t forget to add a note to your gift. “Looking forward to making memories in your beautiful home.” Foremost make sure that your gift will be appreciated by your host.
5) Honour pot protocol and be inclusive.
You may be amongst adults in an acceptable marijuana smoking space, but those present may not want to participate. Don’t peer pressure. Ask before pass, and never insist. If it’s yes, share. Puff twice and pass to the left, just as Beyoncé sings in Irreplaceable. Don’t talk and toke. Don’t blow smoke in people’s faces. Don’t slobber. If you are sick, abstain. This is no time for screen time.
6) You shall keep your stash secure.
Away from curious children and tempted teens.
7) Don’t drive high.
Make safe ride arrangements ahead.
Sticky situation: If I am hosting a party and I don’t want my guests to toke?
Solution: Let them know ahead of time in the invitation. “This will be a toke free party.”
Sticky situation: If my balcony neighbour’s pot party smoke and smell is coming into my space?
Solution: Don’t confront during his consumption. Wait until the next day or for a more convenient time. Factually present what is affecting you: the odour, the sounds from the partys or the smoke. Mention the building and/or municipal regulations. Add that if it happens again that you will call the authorities, the security officer or even the police.
Sticky situation: Amongst business collaborators; to toke or not to toke?
Solution:It is always a professional choice, that should be in line with the reputation that you want to have in a business world.
Canadians are amongst the world’s most polite people, I am confident that your partys will continue to be full of happy memories and that our landscape will not be a smoke scene à la Cheech and Chong routine. As Wayne and Garth may say: “Pot on politely Canada!”.