It’s on TV and magazine covers in grocery store checkout lines. It’s being talked about around kitchen tables and in government policy decisions that will change the course of U.S. states and our country as a whole. As cannabis becomes increasingly legalized and culturally accepted, people are talking about it openly and using it more than ever before.

For some folks, this is old news. These individuals have never made much effort to hide that they are cannabis users. But for others, making their cannabis use known is a very big deal. Out of concern for their careers, social lives, or even their own families, many people have chosen to keep their cannabis use private.

We at Cream of the Crop believe that we can influence this moment in cannabis history by advocating responsible use, which gets us away from unhelpful stereotypes such as “hippy stoner” or “pothead.” 

So, for those who would like to make their legal cannabis use known, or for those who want to be more open than ever about their use, here are some of Cream of the Crop’s suggestions for how to effectively and positively navigate through this momentous time in cannabis history.

Be respectful and patient with differing opinions.

Unfortunately, efforts to push back on cannabis legalization often devolve into scare tactics to convince people that cannabis is just as dangerous as other Schedule I drugs, tobacco, or alcohol. These efforts are still rampant, so don’t assume that everyone is educated; medicinal and recreational legalization are still very new and it will take time for people to get comfortable with these sudden changes.

Be an ambassador. 

At Cream of the Crop, we believe that a cannabis ambassador is someone who chooses to be a model and example for responsible cannabis use. Being an ambassador is not for everyone; we understand if you believe that you don’t need to answer to anybody regarding your cannabis use and that you have the right to use it in whatever way you wish. However, for those who want to have a positive influence on cannabis history as it becomes increasingly destigmatized, we suggest considering how your cannabis use affects other people, not just yourself. Some ways to do this include:

  • Don’t use it around children.

  • Don't expose others to second-hand smoke against their wishes. Research shows that cigarette smoke and ignited cannabis smoke contain similar “known carcinogens and other chemicals implicated in respiratory diseases.” 

  • If you know other people are not comfortable with it, maybe use it elsewhere.

By being an ambassador for cannabis, rather than an antagonist, you can help usher in a deeper cultural acceptance of cannabis and make a true mark in cannabis history.

Be knowledgeable so you can graciously educate others.

Let’s be clear: being gracious means being kind, pleasant, and respectful of differing opinions, as we discussed above. That said, what does a knowledgeable cannabis user look like? For starters, it always helps to know the cannabis laws for whatever state you are in. In addition, it’s good to know the basics of how cannabis affects the human body. Perhaps the most difficult area to be gracious in is knowing how to refute common misconceptions. It can be frustrating to be patient with such egregious misinformation, but this is part of being an ambassador as you come out green.

Be confident that the research is on your side, but there is a lot we still don’t know.

There are plenty of evidence-based reasons to believe that cannabis is highly effective for a variety of medicinal uses, and that it is generally safe and appropriate for responsible recreational use. But, be aware that there are many unanswered questions about cannabis due to a lack of research over the last few decades — this is changing now that cannabis is more available now than ever before.

As always, know that Cream of the Crop is more than a cannabis brand; we are a community of like-minded cannabis users. If you feel misunderstood, judged, or shamed for your cannabis use, we are here to lend a compassionate ear. Being a part of history isn’t always going to be easy or painless. But by following the guidelines above and getting involved in a compassionate cannabis community like Cream of the Crop, the road might be just a bit smoother.