Van der Pop

Mixing Merry Makers

ADVICEApril Pride

Dear Vandy,
My friend openly
smokes pot at parties where others are not. It may be legal and others may be downing liquor but the situation feeds my discomfort. Is there proper etiquette for mixing the winos and the stoners?

Mixing Merry Makers

Dear M.M.M.,

I can't tell from the question if you're wanting to smoke with your friend but don't know if it's proper etiquette to smoke openly or how to approach your friend to abstain from smoking pot in a room full of drunks. 

Either way a party isn't quite a party unless there's alcohol involved—that just makes it a gathering, or a book club—and where there's alcohol, there's drunkards. And where there's drunkards, there's less inhibition to care what they or anyone else around them is doing so long as there's 1) enough alcohol to last the night, 2) no harm being done, and 3) everyone is having a good time and enjoying themselves. 

What is it that's making you so uncomfortable, and how is getting high any different from getting inebriated? Both are mind-altering substances and can make an event (and people, for that matter) more enjoyable. I think the taboo and social stigma of being stoned can make people uncomfortable, but you can't please everybody. 

You wouldn't ask someone who wants a swig of wine to step outside because it makes those not drinking at the party uncomfortable, would you? It's only after the wino starts hogging all of your finest reds and whites, getting rambunctious with your guests you should feel compelled to cut them off for the night and hand them a glass of water. Same goes for your pot-smoking friend. 

And besides, if the host is cool with a little of this and some of that, the other party goers can claim no fouls. 

Highest regards,

Van der Pop does not endorse or condone the illegal consumption of cannabis.


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