How to deal with a pot-intolerant roommate?
March 28, 2012 7:08 AM Subscribe
My roommate is going to try to kick me out of the apartment for breaching one of his rules twice. I am struggling with communicating how sorry I am and how much I would like to stay.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (46 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Background: I'm a 20-something living in a great group apartment the past two years in a wonderful complex where the neighbors are all nice and young and know each other. My living situation is generally awesome and I try to be a great roommate - I am not messy, I do my dishes, I don't fight/argue/act passive aggressive with other roommates, I am extremely quiet, and really strive to be the ideal roommate in every regard as it pertains to not infringing on my other roommates lives. My roommate throws multiple large parties per year that likely violate space/noise violations, though I have no issues with it and even help him prepare/clean up. I have a professional 9-5 job and pay my bills.
Despite this, there is one rule I have broken twice: One of my roommates (who manages the relationship with the landlord) has caught me using marijuana in my bedroom on two occasions, despite a strict no-drugs policy. I use marijuana to help me sleep and ease my anxiety, things that I've struggled with my whole life, and I've recently found self-medicating with it to be far more effective than the multitude of negative side effects that I experience with prescription anxiety and sleeping pills. The first time I was "caught" was a few months ago, and I was stupid about it - I thought that despite using a small portable vaporizer there would be no scent. He came to my bedroom and told me he could smell it and this was my warning. I apologized and told him I'd stop.
That was a lie. The other night after a particularly stressful day and anticipated sleeping problems, I decided I'd take the risk to vaporize again - this time, near the window, towel under the door - every precaution taken to stay out of everyone's way. Apparently this wasn't enough - he came to my room about an hour later to inform me that he knew what was going on, and that he "couldn't breathe" from the smoke (there was no smoke)(he does not have any experience with pot). His eyes were watery and he told me we need to have an important meeting about this next week.
Yeah, it was shitty to lie. I guess I justified it in my head by thinking that because it's such a "party house" otherwise, and because pot is generally so harmless and becoming increasingly socially accepted, it wouldn't be a big deal/I am doing it in the privacy of my room so this doesn't harm anyone. But clearly it is - and my roommate has every right to live in a drug-free environment if that is his wish. I suspect he is going to ask me to move out of the apartment.
I realize the easy answer here is "find another living situation where pot is tolerated" but I would like to tell him I'll stop using drugs in the house and I would like to mean it, and for him to believe me, because I love it here and love my neighborhood, my neighbors, my other roommates, and the easy and affordable living situation that I have. I live in an expensive city and can not afford to live anywhere else in a location as great as I am in. So getting kicked out of here would definitely be like getting kicked out of the garden of eden. But I'm not quite sure how to apologize for breaching his trust and doing something he specifically asked me not to do.
I am just having trouble articulating everything. I went from feeling like a "responsible drug user" to feeling like a piece of shit "druggie" in no time. Do I explain why I used marijuana to begin with (sleep issues/anxiety) and how I justified it or is that worthless to him? I'm just having a really difficult time figuring out how to make him feel at ease about this. This is certainly a situation where he could easily say "you're only sorry because you got caught" and also, why should he believe me if I lied the first time?
I have already considered the fact that because I messed up, it may be time to back up my things and leave. So I am here seeking alternative advice on how to resolve things.