Modern Party Lessons From An Etiquette Expert — Just In Time For The Holidays
Even though I live in a state where recreational marijuana is legal, I still prefer to not have people use cannabis recreationally in my home. How do I let my guests know that my house is a drug-free zone?
I think when you want to set up a boundary, you can either address the individuals who you know would cross that boundary or address your party as a whole. You might choose when sending out these invites to say, “Hey, just a friendly reminder that you’re welcome to bring your own beer or wine. We do ask that you leave your cannabis at home.” Or you might say, “Happy to have folks bring beer and wine or contributed dish. We know a lot of our friends love to smoke pot, and we just prefer you saved it for another night.” Those are the ways that you would differentiate between what people can bring and what you’d rather they not bring.

The other option is to not address it outwardly, but individually. For instance, if your friend goes out back to toke up, you can just say, “Hey, I know I didn’t mention anything earlier, but I’d actually prefer not to have pot on my property.” Then the question becomes how do you move on from that moment politely? You can say, “I’m happy to go for a walk around the block with you.” You want to try to get yourself moving the conversation forward — that way it’s not just a negative moment hanging in the air. These are the easy or the light social things we should be able to move forward from.

When it comes to cannabis, though, you’re sometimes dealing with someone’s medicinal use, and that, I think, is different. Most medical users have a system for being able to consume their medicine without it interfering with other people, so it’s not a huge concern, but it is something to just remember about this. It is different from alcohol and cigarettes in that way.

We direct people in how to behave in our homes all the time — shoes on, shoes off, bring a dish, don’t bring a dish, smoke inside, smoke outside. We just have to get comfortable doing it around cannabis, too. It’s something we have to communicate with one another about, so we’re going to have to thicken our skins a little bit about people saying yes or no. We want our hosts to feel respected in their homes.