Social Graces: Sharing is caring in the world of marijuana

  • Dec. 30, 2019 3:29 p.m.

Q: More and more states are legalizing recreational marijuana. Can you ask to bum some weed the way you would a cigarette?

A: It’s even easier to ask to share cannabis than it is to “bum” a cigarette because sharing is an integral part of cannabis culture.

Think about a circle of cannabis smokers, passing a joint. When new people come up to the edge of that circle, they don’t all pull in closer and make a wall with their shoulders —they open up the circle, they invite in the newcomer, and that is usually true even if they have never seen that person before. This is because one of the lessons that cannabis teaches us is to be kind, generous, compassionate —and radically inclusive. And because we understand cannabis very differently from alcohol. Cannabis is not a vice that can kill you; it is a medicine that heals you. When seen in that light, not sharing cannabis with somebody who needs it, if you can provide it, turns into a serious moral shortcoming.

The right way to ask is just to be upfront, something like, “Hey man, can I have a hit?” That will usually work.

—Steve DeAngelo, co-founder and chairman emeritus of Harborside, cannabis activist and author of “The Cannabis Manifesto: A New Paradigm for Wellness”

A: Being stingy with cannabis is sacrilegious, and most cannabis users would happily give and share. The act of sharing and the feeling of community are super ingrained in cannabis culture. If you’re at a party, there’s no need to ask —that joint will eventually make its way to you.

It’s actually a faux pas to leave anyone out. And we’ve all been in the situation of being the bummer, so it’s like paying it forward. But —as with everything else in life —please be polite and gracious when doing so.

A tip for weed bummers: If someone is sharing cannabis with you, please remember to pass that joint/bowl around and not keep it hostage while you’re telling a story.

—Christine Yu, owner of Bliss Shop, a female-friendly CBD and accessories shop in Chicago.