I've been smoking for 5 years now. I started when I was 21, freshly moved to Colorado, where cannabis use was legal (and still is legal today) for recreation use for adults 21 and over. I openly share my love for cannabis on social media, with strangers, with family and friends. If you know me, you know I smoke pot every day. But sometimes I forget weed is still federally illegal and most people can't be as open about their cannabis use. Some people can't even tell their friends or family in fear of being shunned and seen as a lazy, unmotivated individual. Yet it's okay to openly admit to getting hammered, but say you smoked a joint and everyone loses their minds.
Since I haven't been in the situation of keeping my cannabis use a secret, I decided to do an interview with one of the sweetest secret stoners I know. I wanted to show other secret stoners that they aren't alone.
Danielle is a 32 year old mortgage operations manager in California. California has both recreational and medical marijuana, however, there still remains the stigma of stoners being lazy, unmotivated losers.
I asked Danielle a few questions about her cannabis use and why she has to keep her smoking on the down low and these are her answers.
Is your cannabis use a secret?
I wouldn't call it a secret but I definitely don't advertise it.
How long have you used cannabis?
Since I was 16 years old.
Why do you partake?
To help with anxiety, sleep and joint pain. I love smoking but cigarettes are gross and I love the way it (cannabis) makes me feel.
How do you partake? Favorite way to partake?
I smoke. It's usually a dry bowl but I love joints and water pipes from time to time!
Who do you have to hide it from? Who knows?
I keep it from coworkers and family, but my parents, close friends and husband know.
Why do you have to hide it?
The stigma is still there. You can talk all day to anyone about drinking that bottle of wine or the craft beer you found that's so good. But it's still taboo to talk about the delicious purple punch I had bought or sharing a smoke after work instead of grabbing a beer. I don't get it because cannabis makes so much more sense, especially in times when everyone is so stressed and have so many chronic health issues.
Do you think you'll be able to uncover this secret in the future?
I'd love to change careers and have a more creative presence. My husband and I own a production company that we operated in Nashville. We're working to revive it in California so I can quit my corporate gig and follow the dream of being my highest self (figuratively and literally, haha).
How does it make you feel having to keep your cannabis use a secret?
It's frustrating. I could talk about my love for and the benefits of the entire plant endlessly. I hate that I can't have that conversation openly.
If you could say something to help curb the stigma against cannabis users, what would you say?
Everyone would benefit from using cannabis in some form, whether CBD, topical, edibles, smoking, anything. And if you don't (partake), you'd be a lot cooler if you did!
Is there anything you'd like to add or tell other people who are in a similar situation?
Stay lifted friends. Times are changing.
I agree with Danielle, times are changing. Everyday we are one step closer to legalizing weed nationwide. It's time to show all the nay-sayers what stoners are really like. We are the everyday person. We are married, have kids, work corporate jobs or own our own business. We are the same as our 'sober' counter parts, the only difference is we're high while climbing the ladder to success. Help stop the stigma around stoners!