As we ease into the new world of legalization in California, it’s time for all cannabis enthusiasts to come out of the cannabis closet. What if there was a commercial that encouraged a discussion about cannabis? How would that go down?

For me, I’m completely out of the cannabis closet, I’ll talk cannabis with just about anyone and I wear loud cannabis t-shirts to the gym. Are you open with your friends and family about your choice to use cannabis? You may be reading this now and wondering whether to come out of the cannabis closet with your adult family members.  How will they respond? The results could be surprising, it’s all in the approach and education. One big thing that can come from coming out about being a cannabis enhanced being is building more acceptance and understanding; you may even turn a family member into a patient or consumer. It’s been known to happen. Over the years, I’ve gradually converted close family, grandmothers, grandfathers, including in-laws – now they’re all pro-cannabis supporters and many use cannabis often.

Talking about cannabis is an adult conversation, so family gatherings may not be the time or place. There are a lot of associations that are given with cannabis use and its users. The “lazy stoner” perception is something that many are trying to avoid. It never fails; it’s always that one family member that ruined it for everyone. Now is your chance to show them that cannabis is much more and that the stereotype is not you. Getting people to think beyond their own experiences and changing their perception is difficult, but it can be done.

Again, not everyone needs to know, (you should know who those people are) so use your own discretion. The idea is to change the perception and educate about why we medicate with this plant and all of the positive benefits it can and does provide. If you’re thinking about coming out of the cannabis closet, now is a great time! Recent polls show an all-time high for support of legalization nationwide and it’s now legal in California, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts and Washington DC. Americans are getting it, they know that this is a harmless plant and that no one should go to jail for it.

Whether you are strictly for medical cannabis, adult use or both – maybe it’s time to have the talk once and for all. Start with a trusted family member or friend, then walk your way out the door and admit that you are a responsible cannabis enthusiast and proud of it. Living life without shame or stigma is a great place to be. In my experience, even the toughest grandma in the world, may eventually be okay with it. In fact, with enough education; she may want to know how it could help her arthritis.

We recommend visiting websites of organizations that can provide talking points for having the talk. Check out:  Americans for safe access, NORML, MPP, or students for sensible drug policy. Sources like these can ease you into the realm of becoming an accidental activist, which can only lead to building a circle of supporters around you. Each of us can make a difference in how this wonderful plant and the people that choose to use it are perceived. Getting past the negative stigma is priority one. No one should live with the “lazy stoner” stamp on their head; but it’s up to you to show people otherwise.  I am looking forward to seeing the talking about cannabis commercial on TV, here’s how I imagine it. Fade in, nice professional person: “Yes, I am a responsible, hardworking, productive person that pays taxes, and I use cannabis as medicine.” (BOOM! drop microphone.)