Can I Bring Ganja to a Dinner Party?

The etiquette of legalized pot in Philadelphia.

Photo by Shutterstock

Photo by Shutterstock

As the laws restricting marijuana have begun to change, there’s a new pot etiquette to consider. How do you navigate parenting within a legalized state? What do you bring to the neighbor’s potluck? For answers, we spoke with two cannabis connoisseurs from Colorado: Brittany Driver, who writes about parenting and pot for The Cannabist, and Jane West, proprietor of Edible Events Co.

Brittany, you have a two-and-a-half-year-old toddler. How early do you plan on having the “weed talk” with him? And what will that cover?

Driver: I can’t imagine it would be later than fourth or fifth grade, which is when I became aware of marijuana, but it very well might be earlier. When we do educate him on marijuana, we’ll tell him the good along with the bad. I’ll tell him it’s legal where we live but that there are lots of places where people are put in jail for using it or even having it. I’ll tell him how it affects a body and mind and that it’s better for him to wait until he’s older to use it, for lots of reasons. Mostly, marijuana is a distraction that I don’t think a child needs.

Does marijuana help level out the ups and downs of parenting a toddler for you?

Driver: Marijuana can be a great way to relax after a tough day with a two-year-old, I can’t deny that. But I would be just as effective as a parent without it — I’d just be more wound-up, more stressed and more sleep-deprived than I am now. There are a lot of undereducated people who think my cannabis use alone means I’m unfit to parent. This idea is outdated and offensive.

Jane, your company, Edible Events Co., caters cannabis-inclusive events and weddings. There have been scary stories in the news about people who’ve overdosed on edibles. How do you control people’s intake?

West: I definitely do not just put a platter out at a table. We tend to serve the edibles with 10 milligrams on one tray and 20 milligrams on another tray, so people can choose how they want to go. When you take one, you get a little stamp on your hand, so that you can’t get more than two. We just try to dole it out, because it takes a while for edibles to set in.

When you’re the host at a cannabis-friendly party, what items should you provide guests?

West: If you’re planning on offering a vaporizer, you want to be sanitary. There are some companies out there making mouthpieces that you can switch out, and they’re relatively inexpensive, like five cents. In the bathrooms at my events, you get single-use Visine, which you can get at Costco for, like, 10 cents apiece.

If I’m interested in bringing pot to a dinner party, should I ask the host ahead of time?

West: I would ask the host if I were going to bring a plate of deviled eggs, so yes, I don’t think that’s abnormal. If you want to pre-roll joints, that’s always nice to do, because rolling a joint well is a process. Otherwise, it would be like taking 20 minutes to open a bottle of wine.

Originally published as “Dear Abby: Can I Bring Ganja to a Dinner Party?” in the December 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

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