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Coming Out of the Weed Closet as a Person of Color

by Victoria Ashley |

Photo by Mariah Hamilton
In June of 2018, The United Nations World Health Organization officially declared Cannabis as a “relatively safe drug.” Yet many people of color who consume marijuana still find themselves in the weed closet with their parents.
This is a topic of discussion relevant to most, regardless of ethnicity or race. Still, when it comes to POC, many of their parents and mentors take a particularly strict approach. Why? One reason might be that black and brown people are up to eight times more likely to be arrested for weed than their white peers — despite similar rates of consumption. Parents, mentors, and family members are often overly protective of the young people in their communities for fear of them being arrested and thrown into the woes of the criminal justice system.
The good news is that the decriminalization and legalization of medical and recreational cannabis is sweeping the globe. National and global advocacy efforts are pushing us toward a more accepting stance. But most importantly, when we share stories about our healthy relationships with cannabis, we can help put an end to its stigma. The truth is that POC also use cannabis to aid with mental and physical health issues in a positive and healing manner. So here are some tips to help guide you through the awkward yet liberating conversation.
BE HONEST BUT NOT PUSHY
Your parents may be parents, but it’s important to establish as the conversation begins that you’re an adult who makes sound decisions in your life. So long as you are not hurting yourself, anyone else, or your future, marijuana consumption is your choice. You may be using medical marijuana for anxiety, cramps, or simply to relax. Understand that though your parents don’t have to agree with you, they need to respect your decisions.
BE A WEED ADVOCATE
We’re finally reaching a crucial point in modern society where science and medical research has confirmed the countless benefits of the healing herb we know as weed. Educate yourself and your parents, but try not to be condescending or preachy. Read studies. Share accredited articles with your folks. Talk about the facts and show them that knowledge is key.
SET A POSITIVE EXAMPLE OF WHAT IS MEANS TO BE A “STONER”
There are millions of highly successful stoners. There are myriad businesswomen, policy makers, and world leaders who are high achievers — and still get high. Set an example of how a functional person acts. Get promotions, make strong partnerships with people you admire, and maintain a healthy relationship with your family to show them that people who smoke or consume weed can thrive in the many facets of life.
GIVE YOUR PARENTS TIME
Be patient. One important thing to understand is that it’s difficult for someone to change deep-seated views overnight. Telling your folks is great, but give them time to do their research and figure out what it means. Be gentle with them, and be gentle with yourself. Remember that they love you. Besides, they may have been known to have taken an occasional toke after sending you to bed.
IT’S YOUR PREROGATIVE
Being a cannabis user, whether medical or recreational, is your personal choice. Don’t ever feel you have to subscribe to anything or be pigeon-holed into any stereotypes. Maybe you smoke once a month, only CBD, after work, before the gym, or every single day. Figure out what works best for you and your body, and roll with it. The world of weed is yours.
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Article written by   Mennlay Aggrey