At Thanksgiving dinner a few years back, I took my first step out of the cannabis closet by telling my parents -- my conservative, religious parents -- that I used cannabis. Though cannabis continues to gain mainstream acceptance, understanding, and approval, individual attitudes toward it vary based on a multitude of regional, historical, and cultural factors, and in some cases it can feel a lot like you're turning yourself in.
Yet there's no better way to change people's minds about cannabis than by being a living, breathing counter-example of Reefer Madness stereotypes. In the same way that public demonstrations of support and pride helped fuel the LGBT rights movement, coming out for cannabis also generates momentum as it normalizes and humanizes the issue. If you're a cannabis consumer thinking about making that public proclamation to those closest to you, here are a few tips to help it go as smoothly as possible.
Step 1: Determine the appropriate time and place
With sweaty palms, a racing heart, and a beet-red face, I finally unleashed the secret I'd been keeping locked away in an airtight, smell-proof container the last several years. It was a small Thanksgiving dinner with only my parents and siblings, and as full plates of food turned to crumbs, I knew it was now or never.