Tell me stories about responsible adult marajuana use
May 11, 2020 5:43 PM   Subscribe

Marijuana is now legal in Michigan, but I don't know how to feel about consumption habits, in my social circals or personally. I've heard lots of extreme stories and benign stories, but I'm looking for rules of thumb to help set expectations. More questions inside!

are you somebody who has a professional career and also smokes? If so, how hard do you work to keep those things separate? In companies that don't random test white-collar workers, do you still feel pressure to keep it a secret?

Rule of thumb questions:
How many hours long is a reasonable length to be completely blazed? Medicine says 3-4 drinks a week is excessive - are there similar rules for smoking? Are there similar expectations like with drinking to not smoke before noon or before 5pm? How unreasonable is it to smoke in public - is it more like smoking a cigarette, having an open container, or public urination? If someone smokes weed, should they tell their insurance company that they "are a smoker" (which I think means cigarettes)? Does smoking weed cause lung cancer like cigarettes do? Will smoking make someone's voice change - like a smoker's voice? What's a price for an OZ you would not pay? Should you buy a whole Oz at a time, or get fresher, smaller batches? How come some smokers stink like weed an others do not?
posted by rebent to Society & Culture (22 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
If so, how hard do you work to keep those things separate? In companies that don't random test white-collar workers, do you still feel pressure to keep it a secret?
If I knew what you were talking about, I don't think I'd feel pressure to keep it secret but I also don't think it's anyone's business or an appropriate topic of conversation for work. It doesn't help anything in any way to discuss it in public, but that goes for a lot of things. Same thing with telling your insurance company. It's none of their business.

Just do it after dinner after everything else is done, at least to start off with, until you learn more about how it effects you & if you like it.

Smoking in public should be avoided because the smoke is very obnoxious to a lot of people.
posted by bleep at 6:13 PM on May 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

I've smoked weed for 22 year pretty much daily. I work in an artistic field so it's much more normalized than a corporate environment. I never smoke before work. I expect everyone who works for me to not smoke before work. I rarely, until recently, smoke before noon. I'm smoking a lot more now while staying at home. Smoking in public is sketchy and closer to urinating in public than cigarettes though cigarettes are getting closer to public urination than open containers in my estimation. I don't know about cancers. I always thought it took many cigarettes to really affect one's voice, and I inhale much less smoke than when I smoked cigarettes. I always buy an 1/8 of sativa and an 1/8 of indica because I use the difference to help adjust my sleep schedule for work. I normally pay $45 per 1/8 with tax here in California. I smoked cigarettes for 20 years as well so my sense of people's smell is dampened but weed smoke can have the same funky notes of a skipped shower so maybe they combine forces?
posted by Uncle at 6:15 PM on May 11, 2020 [3 favorites]

I work in a white collar job and smoke weed 2-3 times a week (at least before quarantine). It doesn’t affect my work at all. I always smoke in the evening (or late afternoon on the weekends) and am 100% sober by the next morning. During quarantine I’ve been smoking weed every evening and it still doesn’t affect me during the day at all. I get “really blazed” maybe once or twice a month, and all of this is acceptable in my social circle. I can’t speak to social norms more generally because I live in Canada where it’s legal, so I imagine it’s a lot more socially acceptable than in places where it’s illegal or recently legalized.

When people or insurance ask “are you a smoker” they mean cigarettes unless otherwise specified. Marijuana smoke is much less harmful than cigarette smoke but does have some negative effects in the long term.
posted by mekily at 6:27 PM on May 11, 2020 [8 favorites]

I don't smoke, but I do take tinctures, either pure THC or THC/CBD mix. (Also occasionally an edible, but I am usually ready to not be high well before edibles are done with.) I'm a white-collar professional in a state with a pretty hardcore pro-pot culture.

I don't discuss it at work, but that's largely because it would be an incredibly boring (and perhaps boorish) topic of conversation, but I don't exactly work to keep it hidden or anything. Like, if one of my co-workers asked about tinctures or whatever, I'd be fine chatting with them about it. I also find talking about getting drunk very dull, so.

Oh, and a bit different from other answers -- I do start my day with a small dose of a THC/CBD mix, but that's to help with anxiety and help me focus. I don't ever feel high; maybe a little happier, but that also might be, you know, the absence of throat-clenching anxiety :) It would be quite frowned-upon to get high before/while at work in white-collar jobs here. Rather like, again, getting drunk before or at work. If I want to actually get high, I do it after work or on weekends.

Smoking in public should be avoided because the smoke is very obnoxious to a lot of people.

Just want to second this. I mean, that has never stopped anyone in the history of the world, but it can be a little annoying. Nicer bud smells way better than ditchweed, though, so if you're buying very high-end stuff it'd probably be less awful. But honestly, just don't, if you can help it.
posted by kalimac at 6:33 PM on May 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

Speaking from a Canadian perspective, it's kind of socially acceptable but still not to the same extent as alcohol, which makes it advisable to hide at work. Some people I know have professional careers and, uh, partake. In my experience working somewhere kind of conservative*, it's not something you'd casually discuss in mixed company. There was no shortage of boomer-aged senior management types openly joking about getting high or discussing what it's like to buy pot for the first time since university, but they're allowed to joke about those things openly without needing to be concerned about their professional image.

When you know peers well at work and have a good sense of who they are outside of work, sometimes it comes up, but again, not in mixed company because it's not really an appropriate work topic. On the other hand, it's something one goes out of their way to hide from the kinds of people who you already know lean socially conservative (or sheltered) and probably only associate with similar people. It just makes sense from an image management and relatability perspective.

I live in a place where it's been legal for a couple years, but the public perception of its regular use is still pretty different from alcohol. I've worked with people who talk so much about their craft beer or fancy spirit tasting excursions that you pretty quickly infer that they spend every weekend drinking a fair amount. Even so, that's far more acceptable in white-collar settings than even referencing cannabis use.

Most white-collar professionals I know aren't getting straight-up blazed on any regular basis; they're mostly microdosing or incorporating a bit into their after-dinner routine. People will talk about getting actual high while on vacations without kids, but it's not a regular thing, especially for the non-childfree set. I'd guess that no one is waking and baking recreationally, and virtually every workplace around here has a zero-tolerance policy for using drugs at work. Smoking in public would be a faux pas; most people I know do it in their homes or at least where the smoke wouldn't be bothering a ton of people. Even though the effects would probably wear off by the morning, I don't think anyone in my circles would admit to using cannabis on a daily or near-daily basis.

*conservative to the point that white collar professionals who smoked tobacco went out of their way to hide it, so YMMV if you work in a more chill industry.
posted by blerghamot at 6:44 PM on May 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

I smoke occasionally. At parties if someone is passing a joint around. (That's like, once every couple of months). At home if I have friends over who like to smoke, we might share a joint (like once every couple of weeks). I'll smoke by myself to relax if I've got nothing else planned on a nice weekend day and I feel like lying around being relaxed all day. That's like, maybe once every couple of weeks. So on average I probably smoke once a week. Sometimes I'll go a month or so without, and won't even notice.

If I'm on my own, I'll use probably only about half a joint, or eat half a cookie. That will get me high for about two to three hours. At a party I'd only have a couple of puffs, and it will only be a noticeable high for about 20 minutes.

I feel like that's pretty responsible? It's definitely less than I use alcohol, and I notice that alcohol has a worse effect on me (not terrible, but like, with alcohol, I'll make stupid decisions sometimes, and I'll often drink enough of it that I feel a bit sick. With cannabis I'll just end up lying on a beanbag enjoying music.)
posted by lollusc at 6:47 PM on May 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh and as for keeping it secret, I work in a field that's pretty international, and before COVID-19 I travelled a lot. So although cannabis is not yet legal where I live (although it's not highly criminalised either), I spend a fair bit of time professionally in places where it's legal. Colleagues in these places usually ask me if I partake and have arranged for me to visit a dispensary during my visit, or have given me some cannabis to use while I'm there. And I've been at work meetings or conferences in Amsterdam where everyone heads off to a coffee shop together at the end of the day, just like you'd go to a pub together elsewhere. There doesn't seem to be any stigma at all. I don't think this would be the norm in every career though - I'm an academic and I think everyone is more relaxed about these things than in the corporate world.

I definitely know colleagues who disapprove, and I wouldn't talk about it around them, but you get a good sense of who that's likely to be based on their general conservativism, and their opinions about other drugs and alcohol too.

As for how much to buy at a time, I buy more because it's a pain to get hold of here. But when I am somewhere with dispensaries that I'd pass by regularly anyway, I'd only be buying enough for a couple of weeks at a time. It's nicer when fresh, and that way you can try out more varieties.
posted by lollusc at 6:55 PM on May 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Me and my partner both have different approaches here. I am an "edibles to sleep" person (in a state where it's legal but there's no stores yet) who never does it at any other time and my partner is a "would smoke every day if he could" guy (in a pot's legal state with good stores) who smokes about every other day (he has a vaporizer which is a little different from smoking). The amount that basically gets me sleepy doesn't even register with him. Edibles are really interesting from that angle, 1.5 mg makes me all O_O whereas for him it might be 10-15x as much because he has a tolerance. Start small.

Neither of us ever smoke outside in public and I'm not sure it's legal to do that the same way you can't walk around with an open container of alcohol. He's comfy getting high before work mainly because he's got ADHD and it actually calms him down and helps him focus. I think he's honest with his doctor about his use and I am with mine (my therapist suggested it for sleep issues).

He's a stoner from way before it was legal so he's more circumspect talking about it. I am not. I mostly work for myself so I try to be pretty open about it just to help destigmatize it because it's low risk for me to do so. As retail starts to open up in Vermont, I'd really like it to go well and so I've been talking to folks locally about how to push for a local dispensary. And with it becoming legal, getting good books about weed into the local libraries is a good idea.

In terms of health, smoking weed hasn't been studied as much as tobacco. You can read what the American lung association has to say about it.

If you're new to it, try some stuff, a lot of it has very different effects. Many retail outlets will just sell you a few joints to try it out and there's not, I haven't noticed, a HUGE difference between smaller and larger amounts. In Massachusetts so many of the dispensaries in bigger cities have "new customer deals" that it's often good to go to a few places and get some stuff for cheap.
posted by jessamyn at 6:59 PM on May 11, 2020 [6 favorites]

Lizzie Post, a relative of etiquette guru Emily Post, has written a book about cannabis etiquette that may answer some of your questions.
posted by matildaben at 7:37 PM on May 11, 2020

I've been living in legal states for a few years now (and with medical legalization for a long time before that); work in a mostly white-collar environment. In what I've seen, people are sort of medium-open about it, but with an awareness of how conservative the setting is. Lots of people disapprove strongly, and that's not the discussion you want to be having in a work setting. People with kids seem to have a wide range of openness about it and I think that is a more complicated situation (where, for example, some people would be very judgmental towards a parent they knew was using). Doctors and therapists vary a lot in their attitudes, too.

Medicine says 3-4 drinks a week is excessive - are there similar rules for smoking? Are there similar expectations like with drinking to not smoke before noon or before 5pm?

In most work settings, there is an expectation that you aren't high (or drunk). On your free time, it's sort of your own business, but just like you might give the side eye to someone who you knew was getting fall-over, blackout drunk several times a week, people might be concerned if you were smoking to that extent. With people I know who use, it's more the equivalent of having a beer or two after work, with getting totally stoned reserved for much rarer situations (like vacation without the kids).

How unreasonable is it to smoke in public - is it more like smoking a cigarette, having an open container, or public urination?

Around here, that's frowned on, but plenty of people still do it. It's definitely more like walking along drinking openly out of a vodka bottle than it is smoking a cig, in terms of how people look at it. But this will vary a lot by your social milieu, your neighborhood, etc., there are settings where that is more accepted.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:48 PM on May 11, 2020

How come some smokers stink like weed an others do not?

If you smoke in your car the smell gets into your seats/vents and then transfers to you even if you haven't partook that day. I've had this happen to me in a friends car and ended up smelling like weed for hours even though I don't smoke. The same probably is true of homes of regular smokers. Smoking in a well ventilated area will mitigate this source of smell.

Some people don't shower between smoking and going to work. The same for clothes especially things like jackets that don't get washed regularly. Those things will be malodorous even if the person doesn't smell.

And some weed smells worse than others.
posted by Mitheral at 7:55 PM on May 11, 2020

How come some smokers stink like weed an others do not?

Because a lot of cannabis users don't primarily smoke it. The people who generally have to be careful about people knowing are probably using oils and tinctures and edibles, as well as dry herb vapes if they're buying actual flower.
posted by blerghamot at 8:14 PM on May 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

The people who smell of it may also be growing their own. A small hydro setup in the basement can, with the wrong strain growing, permeate the entire house, even if the growers aren't smoking inside.

I know this because my father-in-law had a legal prescription before weed was legal recreationally in our area, and so was forced (and allowed by law) to grow his own because there was no other way to get it. He has about ten plants and has kept them after legalization because they have a cat with an anxiety disorder who calms down significantly around the grow setup. No one in the house has ever smoked the stuff as such-- edibles and tinctures only. Their entire house smells like a skunk attending a frat house, at all times. So do the people, faintly, when they leave it. Their household doesn't even notice the smell anymore.

My experience with the etiquette is that having someone around who ingests daily for health reasons means it comes up in discussion slightly more often than any other prescription meds anyone else is on, mostly because he is always asking if anyone wants to take home his extra crop. Those of us who do treat it about like alcohol-- don't drive, don't mix it with other substances, have it at a party or in the evening/weekend, those who want to geek out about strains and so on can do that and the rest of us don't really, and always clearly label anything containing weed so people know what they're getting. I have some every few months, usually an edible.

Our son is growing up thinking of weed as that boring thing his grandparents are so heavily into, which I find actively hilarious, honestly.
posted by Rush-That-Speaks at 8:34 PM on May 11, 2020 [14 favorites]

I'm 30, work a white-collar management job and have been a daily user for the past six years or so (vaped dry herb in case the specifics matter).

I struggled for a long time with feelings of guilt and shame based on stereotypes of users and use - that People Like Me weren't supposed to do That. Fear that I would inevitably become low-functioning, low-motivated and not care at all about anything other than weed and video games if I carried on using regularly.

None of that has been true. In the time I've been a regular user, I've received around three promotions at work and have written a ton of fiction in my spare time (which is as important to me as paid work, if not more so). My motivation to strive and succeed in these domains is undiminished, despite the stereotypes that people who use as regularly as I do inevitably lose all motivation to do anything. I mean I do still play a lot of video games, but that was true before I was a regular user.

I have some PTSD-related issues from a lousy childhood, and have always been a high-conscientiousness, high-internal-sense-of-personal-responsibility type of person. Weed helps dull the worst of the teeth and claws inside my brain. I can think about my problems more creatively after vaping. It reduces the type-A feeling-like-everything-is-work-all-the-time kind of feelings I experience when sober, and my life is better for that. Weirdly, it improves my sense of intonation; I can tune a guitar by ear much more effectively when I'm high compared to sober. It's easier to relax and not just feel constantly uptight and tense and anxious all the time, which is my default state otherwise. It's been a godsend in terms of falling asleep quickly, and I've had very few nights where I still couldn't sleep properly after using in the time that I've been doing this.

In terms of responsibility, I have some principles: I never drive under the influence, I don't have any kids or pets so there are no concerns about exposing those populations to the substance or the way that I am under the influence, I'm confident in the ethics of my supply chain, etc. My partner and I use the same amount and do it together, so there are no issues around one or the other of us being less present in the relationship. I like to have at least some clear-headed time each day and have never been into waking & baking, so on weekdays vape time usually starts whenever I am done with work (clearer distinction due to commuting during the non-pandemic-WFH era, usually around 4-5pm in the current WFH era), very occasionally earlier in the afternoon at weekends. No issues with smell from vaping, and the smell from the product itself can be prevented with decent storage.

On the whole my life is much better as a regular user (more pleasant and lower stress) than it was when I didn't use regularly. I don't tolerate alcohol at all well these days and it's nice to have an alternative wind-down ritual and way of gently altering my mind.
posted by terretu at 3:02 AM on May 12, 2020 [11 favorites]

Never in public, never before work or driving for me. I'm in a medical-only state where it is still not 100% socially acceptable (based on comments I've seen/heard in legalization discussions). In my circle of friends it's normal and acceptable (it definitely comes out at parties), but generally not talked about much. There is still a lot of caginess due to the murky status and old-school fears of narcs (to be clear, we're all middle-aged white folk and probably not at risk of being "caught" due to being gainfully employed and on the boring side to look at - "normie" if you will. We are homeowners, some are parents, and some work in healthcare, some in mental health).

My practice is personal and probably falls mostly under the category of self-medicating for anxiety, depression, and sciatica relief (and a bit for fun). I came to chime in with terretu's comment that cannabis helps me think my own thoughts rather than being drowned out by the negative thinking patterns childhood PTSD installed. That relief is a godsend and has enhanced my ability to write and think creatively. I do smoke alone ( or use tinctures/edibles) mostly in the evenings, and have no trouble functioning the next day. I don't work for an employer who tests for cannabis so this hasn't been an issue. I don't talk about it at work; it's just for me.

I sort of enjoy knowing that I'm doing something that nobody knows about. I missed out on doing it when I was younger (never smoked much before I was 40) and to me it feels like a tiny rebellion to go to my home office and smoke up and spend some time journaling or making artwork.

My partner is supportive of my use and, I think, a bit jealous - they've been abstaining for some time as they have been thinking about looking for a new job.

I used to drink quite a bit (would kill a bottle of wine by myself nightly), mainly to avoid social anxiety. I quit entirely a little over a year ago (or it quit me - I didn't like how drinking felt anymore), lost 75 pounds, and haven't looked back. The change in me has been to become more of who I am. I'd call that worth the risk.
posted by Otter_Handler at 3:59 AM on May 12, 2020 [6 favorites]

People I know:
* Tech worker with an advanced degree in a leadership role with a lot of responsibility - they vape at night to manage pain from a chronic condition, and to fall asleep. Doesn't disclose to employer.
* Finance worker with several clients, well-respected - smokes to manage stress - doesn't disclose to employer.
* Finance worker in a conservative environment - uses edibles to manage insomnia. Doesn't disclose to employer.
* Part-time dispensary worker - vapes and uses edibles to manage emotional issues either due to lack of access to mental health care or toxic masculinity which prevents them from seeking therapy (or a lack of awareness that therapy and medication are an option). Probably discloses to employer.

These are people I either know well or who are very open about their use among friends and social groups.
posted by bunderful at 5:36 AM on May 12, 2020

are you somebody who has a professional career and also smokes? If so, how hard do you work to keep those things separate? In companies that don't random test white-collar workers, do you still feel pressure to keep it a secret?

I am a professional person in a white-collar job and I've been a daily user ever since I finished college, which I think is the opposite of what is supposed to happen. I was even able to complete all the actuarial exams (of course I could never study high, that would be useless). I'm as successful in my career as I want to be, I even managed to snag an international assignment from my company and now live overseas.

Very few people at work know. I have never lived where it is legal and it is not something that is talked about seriously at work (people may make jokes). I don't know if it would be detrimental to my career if I did, but people have such weird ideas about it that no one knows unless I become friends with them outside the office. It's not really that hard to keep secret since it's not a regular topic of conversation at work.

How many hours long is a reasonable length to be completely blazed?
Depends on how much you use. Smoking is much shorter than eating. Eating will last quite a few hours, whereas smoking would last 1-2 depending on how much you smoke.

Medicine says 3-4 drinks a week is excessive - are there similar rules for smoking? Not really but everyday use would probably qualify you as a pothead. I partake completely for recreational purposes as I don't have any underlying stress or anxiety disorders so I consider myself a pothead for sure.

Are there similar expectations like with drinking to not smoke before noon or before 5pm? Maybe for some people, but I love to wake & bake (it extends that just woken up relaxed feeling for a few more hours). Essentially, if I'm not working, I'm most likely high to some degree.

How unreasonable is it to smoke in public - is it more like smoking a cigarette, having an open container, or public urination?

This is a new question for me as I have never lived anywhere it is legal. I have visited places and I think other people appreciate the vaping more than the actual joint as the smell can be quite pungent, but I also smoke cigarettes and because of the shame I learned growing up in the US I am a very polite smoker and would make sure to move away from people before I lit up. One good rule of thumb is to just pay attention to the people around you. Are non-asshole seeming people smoking in public? Then it's probably ok there. If not, I would not be the one to start smoking and instead would find a more appropriate area or move to a place I wouldn't bother people.

If someone smokes weed, should they tell their insurance company that they "are a smoker" (which I think means cigarettes)? If your insurance company does not specifically ask for about marijuana, then no. As more states legalize, I imagine that will become a question that gets asked. I know some life insurance companies would rate you as a smoker if you tested positive (life insurance, so there's usually blood and urine analysis).

Does smoking weed cause lung cancer like cigarettes do? Will smoking make someone's voice change - like a smoker's voice? Again, depends on the amount you smoke and the method. Most people don't smoke as much weed as they would cigarettes but if you did, I imagine it would cause similar damage. It is hot smoke in your lungs after all.

What's a price for an OZ you would not pay? Should you buy a whole Oz at a time, or get fresher, smaller batches?
For street prices, I wouldn't pay more than $250 for an oz, depending on the quality. An oz is a lot. As a regular heavy user, it would take me a month to go through an oz at least (since I don't smoke when I'm sleeping or working). Freshness is an issue when you are storing weed for extended periods of time.

How come some smokers stink like weed an others do not?
Depends on alot of factors, but I think airflow is probably the biggest factor. If you only smoke in your car or another small enclosed space, its going to stick. If you can open a window and let some fresh air in, it won't linger. Even a large space with closed windows won't cause you to smell. Especially in the summer and winter, when I don't open the windows and waste my heating/cooling, the weed smell in the house didn't linger. Its not like cigarette smoke that just stays and doesn't seem to dissipate on its own.

And now my own advice:
If this is your first time smoking, either go with 1-2 grams of a few different kinds, or buy some pre-rolled joints. If you go with the grams, (I'm assuming you don't know how to roll joints) you'll want some kind of pipe or bong to smoke from. When smoking, you feel the effects within 10-20 minutes so its easier to take it slow. You probably will cough. If this keeps happening, take smaller hits. It's also a myth that you need to hold the smoke in. Just breathe in and out normally.

For eating, you should take it slow. It takes 1-1.5 hours to kick in and maybe 2-2.5 to peak. Eat some and wait. It's best if you have an experienced user with you that has maybe tried that particular edible already and can give you good advice. For example, I would eat an entire 10mg candy no problem, but I would tell my friends who don't smoke to only eat maybe a quarter of it.

I recommend trying this out with someone who is experienced. They can hold your hand through the whole thing. If you begin to feel uncomfortable (sweating, high pulse, dizziness, etc.) I recommend doing one of two things: 1) go for a walk or get up an move (this is a short term solution) or 2) do nothing and sit with a glass of water until it passes. This can happen when you smoke too much and still happens to me sometimes too. It makes it hard to be in a setting where I need to pay attention but stay sitting. Like I need my whole body moving so I dont feel the dizziness or I need to sit and focus on like one spot in the wall until it passes. I was in a restuarant at dinner when it hit once and I just couldn't handle it and had to go out to the parking lot and pace for a bit.

Anyways, welcome to a whole new world. I hope you can chill and stay safe!
posted by LizBoBiz at 6:51 AM on May 12, 2020 [3 favorites]

Hi Bro

I've noticed that our family has a bit of an adherence to addiction. Dad struggles with various addictions, and so do I. I don't know your exact relationship with pot, but it does sound like you use it pretty frequently. If I were to go back and try to get myself to be less addicted to certain things that aren't like, nicotine addictions, I would try to use them less than once a week. I would try to take one week off a month as often as possible. Eventually, my social structure has built around addictions like reddit (I'm a mod and stuff) so much that it feels extremely hard to stop for a brief period.

I don't smoke pot, but here's some of my thoughts.

How many hours long is a reasonable length to be completely blazed?
Well, how many hours would you like to be productive in another way that day? Is smoking in any way reducing that time?

Medicine says 3-4 drinks a week is excessive - are there similar rules for smoking?
It actually says "men should not exceed 4 drinks per day or a total of 14 per week". In this case I would think the medical info is more about physical effects than mental effects. But, they are basically saying "don't get drunk every night without a break". That seems healthy.

How unreasonable is it to smoke in public - is it more like smoking a cigarette, having an open container, or public urination?
Same as open container, but by a bum who smells like booze? But, I'd say a dab pen is the same as smoking a cigarette.

If someone smokes weed, should they tell their insurance company that they "are a smoker" (which I think means cigarettes)?

Does smoking weed cause lung cancer like cigarettes do?
Probably not, if you are worried about it though, it's the tar in cigarettes that builds up in lungs. Tar comes from smoke, not nicotine, so you could look at how much tar comes from the amount you are smoking with other people's research or with a paper towel test. I imagine you could use a dab pen instead?

How come some smokers stink like weed an others do not?
I think this is usually from hot boxing in a car plus really rank week, and the smoke setting on their clothes, kind of like working at a Coney Island. You and your smoke room have always smelled fine.
posted by bbqturtle at 7:05 AM on May 12, 2020

As another Michigander I'll note that public consumption is technically illegal under the recreational marijuana laws. I have not seen it enforced at all, but I do know folks have been ticketed over the possession limits (2.5 ounces away from home, vs 10 ounces at home). Some localities may care more about public consumption than others.

I do know a few people who have been arrested for "driving under the influence" which involves getting taken in for a blood test and ends up costing A LOT of money. So while the cops may not care about consumption in public, they could follow you to your car.

As a tech worker at a company that doesn't regularly test, I'd say it's not something most of my colleagues keep super secret. I think people are just selective about who they share this information with. My employee agreement talks about not "being impaired at work" which leaves open the possibility of testing if folks suspect. Might be worth understanding if your employer has a similar guideline. Also for most places, if you are in an accident at work a drug test would be given. Your employer would want to if possible get out from any liability. If you test positive, there goes your workers comp claim.
posted by thatquietgirl at 9:15 AM on May 12, 2020

Just wanted to add that I don't mention my weed use at work, not because I feel pressure to hide it but just because it feels like a bit of an immature and inappropriate thing to discuss with my colleagues; I don't talk about clubbing at work either, for example. Work/life separation and all that. If the subject came up in an informal setting like a work happy hour I might discuss it briefly but I definitely wouldn't make a big deal out of it.
posted by mekily at 10:41 AM on May 12, 2020

I've been a daily smoker since my twenties, in Canada where it's now legal and the social stigma has been nonexistent (at least for white middle class professionals) for decades. I don't drink much and don't like any other drugs, but I do feel that weed helps me be functional with my various mental quirks (ADHD, insomnia, social anxiety). Many of my friends have similar habits and we're all performing well at a high level in our respective spheres, so the stereotypes of the unmotivated toking losers don't reflect our reality. And my voice hasn't changed :)
I wouldn't reveal I smoke to my insurer or landlord, but I would to my doctor. Friends and family know I smoke because I go out of my way to normalize it in social situation - I'd offer it to you like a drink if you came to visit, we had a smoking section with monogrammed joints at our wedding, etc. But in professional contexts, I handle it just like alcohol. I work from home, I'm not gonna say I'm 100% sober during all business hours always, but I avoid it if I'll be dealing with clients or anything requiring a higher level of attention to detail. That said, I've smoked with colleagues and bosses in social-work situations with no negative repercussions in almost every workplace I've had.
I don't usually smoke in the street, that's obnoxious, I follow regular smoking rules and etiquette. if I'm in public I tend to use a PAX (a vaporizer that burns plant but makes no smell), at home I have a few blown glass pipes I like. It's legal here but I don't love the stores, so I order online an ounce at a time (~$200 CAD). "Freshness" is tough to qualify and doesn't have as much to do with when it was harvested as how it was cured and packed. You're looking for buds that are well cured, not wet but still kinda sticky, not too dense or so dry they crumble to powder. When we find something we like, we stock up and keep it in mason jars (airtight, no smell) with little silica packets that control the moisture.
The smell is totally manageable, it doesn't seem to linger like cigarettes. We have two people smoking weed in my apartment daily and you could not tell by smell, but my husband smokes one cigarette and I can smell him a block away. Some strains have more of that skunk stank than others, and joints emit way more than any other smoking method. I think the stoners who smell often are those who have to hide in like a closet or hotbox in their car, and that can definitely make you reek. Seriously, don't keep weed in your car. Open windows, clean your bong and don't smoke joints in closed spaces, and you should be fine.
posted by Freyja at 8:05 AM on May 13, 2020

I've been a daily smoker since my twenties, in Canada where it's now legal and the social stigma has been nonexistent (at least for white middle class professionals) for decades.

In my experience, people who went to school here (particularly as teens or very young adults), regardless of ethnicity, aren't particularly uncomfortable with cannabis use even if they don't use it themselves. It's a lot more hit-and-miss with people who immigrated here well into their twenties, though, and I say this as a person of colour. If you're around people who spent much of their lives in countries with a very different recent history of cannabis use, you might want to tread carefully.

In a professional context, a lot of the dancing around potential stigma has to do with working with people who are really shocked that a peer would use drugs because it Wasn't Done in their country of origin and subsequently Isn't Done within their diasporic communities here in Canada. This article talks a bit about outreach work with more conservative Asian and South Asian communities. None of this is to stereotype, all of it is to say that you may need to manage stigma more or less carefully depending on the diversity of the circles you run in, even as a middle-class white-collar professional.
posted by blerghamot at 12:50 PM on May 13, 2020

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