Need Etiquette Tips for Cannabis? For Starters, Don’t Call It ‘Marijuana’ or ‘Weed.’

Don’t slobber on the pipe. Don’t take too many hits at once. (“We all know that dude.”) Try not to dreamily repeat “I’m so high” over and over again. Don’t go robotic and mindlessly scarf all the munchies. Don’t assume we want to hear your theory of existence, at least not right now.

It’s easy to imagine this book’s genial tone applied to an etiquette book about, say, orgies. (“If you see a participant who seems lonely and unattended to, it would be good manners to attend to them,” one line might go.) If this book’s prose had a tail, it would always be wagging.

Post considers pot and table settings, a brave new world for sure. About vape pens, she writes, in a passage that would make certain hosts and hostesses of my acquaintance have instant Fred Sanford-style heart attacks, “they may be placed to the right of the setting or across the top of the setting either between the place card and dessertware or behind the place card.”

“Higher Etiquette” argues that it’s time for cannabis to move, in the public imagination, away from its surfer and “Cheech and Chong” image. To that end, Post is interested in language. Avoid the stigmatizing term “pothead,” she advises. Mostly avoid “marijuana,” too. It has a slew of undeserved negative connotations and, anyway, it isn’t a scientific term. The term “weed,” to some, is totally disrespectful of the noble plant.

“Cannabis” is the preferred word, even if using it can make you sound like a stuffed owl. Among the conversation starters Post suggests is this abysmal one, which will make you sound like Colonel Mustard in the kitchen with a wrench: “What’s your cannabis preference?” (What’s your preference for how quickly I sprint away from you?)

Post suggests you find yourself a good “budtender,” and tip well because he or she probably makes minimum wage. She’s fun to read on good strains, the way Auberon Waugh used to be fun to read on good wine. Waugh once wrote that the only wine that paired well with pot was Deinhart’s Hochheimer Konigin Victoria Beng Riesling Kabinett, which I thought was a joke tipple until I looked it up.

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