Lucky Vermonters! Lizzie Post Can Freshen Up Your (Legal!) Cannabis Etiquette
Talking about cannabis is a natural extension of etiquette, according to Lizzie Post, the great-great granddaughter of Emily Post, and co-director of the Emily Post Institute
for etiquette. As more states legalize, she dishes wisdom on cannabis best practices. This isn’t hard for her, because in addition to having inherited the family etiquette business, this queen of courtesy also loves to consume cannabis.
Always speaking in sunny language, Post doesn’t see a difference between talking about the etiquette of sharing a meal or sharing cannabis. “It makes a lot of sense,” she says, “to get to talk about something that is such an inherently social activity with an eye for etiquette.”
As the reigning expert on being nice to people, Post also displays a genuine love for the green. Talking with her about cannabis is a singularly enjoyable experience. She’s as nice and polite as you would expect, even while describing getting baked with her friend over some quality Jack Herer
sativa. “That was one of the most delightful highs,” she says. Far from inducing guilt or shame for getting high, talking with Post makes you feel downright fancy for toking up.
She loves joints because “they’re classic.” Post says, “I love rolling joints, I love smoking joints, I love sharing joints. I think there’s a part of me that idolized ‘70s hippy rock culture when I was a teen and so to me, the joint is the expression of that.”
“There’s something nice about the familiarity of it. Whereas not everybody is familiar with how to hit a bowl or do it well. Even though most of us grew up in a culture where smoking cigarettes is demonized, it’s still a familiar action. It’s easy for people to associate with and understand.”
She does feel guilty sometimes, however, for the smoking aspect of smoking a joint. “I do get angry that it’s a combustion method. You’re not fooling yourself, Lizzie,” she says.
Another Post who would not approve of combustion is the original Emily Post. That said, according to Lizzie, the OG Post “would not have had a problem” with the actual cannabis, because she was an anti-prohibition activist. “She did believe in people’s rights to make decisions for themselves.”
That progressive trait passed to Emily Post’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Post, as well. She covered cannabis etiquette in the “Party Preparations” section of her 1982 Complete Book of Entertaining. Her stance was mild: “If the hostess approves of the practice and is untroubled by the fact that it is illegal, of course she has no problem. But if she does not approve and is concerned about people breaking the law in her home, she should say so firmly.” Then, the passage concludes, she should “get some lively games underway to distract them.”
So thoughtful! “Lively games” are great for high friends.
Lizzie Post strongly believes in the “celebratory” aspect of cannabis, comparing it to alcohol for others. “For me, it’s joints.” She will bring joints of her favorite strains (in addition to Jack Herer, she’s partial to 9 Pound Hammer
) as party favors to occasions like weddings in legal states.
Teaching weed etiquette, Post has enjoyed cannabis culture in states like Oregon, California, and Colorado. She recalls getting high and running through the California redwoods with a friend. “You’re hiking with one of your best friends, you consumed cannabis before your hike, so everything feels great. You get a good, energetic weed in you and it enhances everything you’re experiencing. So, if I love the woods, I love the woods that much more while high. You’re in the forest and you really feel the forest.”
Post calls the rapidly expanding business of legal marijuana “absolutely fascinating.” She says, “The stoner image of a teenager or surfer or someone who says ‘bro’ a lot is still there and it exists for a reason, but it’s not the only one. I mean, you’ve got people like me. Emily Post isn’t your natural stoner image but it’s becoming that—a diverse culture celebrating cannabis—and that’s what I love.”
As recreational marijuana culture evolves, so too do the methods of consumption. While Post’s favorite joints will likely never go out of style, they’re matched by ubiquitous vape pens, rubs, tinctures, and dabs. Post mentions these as casually as breakfast foods.
I was curious about the etiquette of using vape pens. “Portable devices really do change the ‘take care of yourself’ aspect of cannabis,” she says. If you’re borrowing someone’s pen, Post suggests asking how to use it so you don’t accidentally burn half the concentrate.
Even though vaping is more discreet and less smelly than combustion, Post recommends always checking with your host. She offers language like “is it alright to vape in here? Or, is it alright if I take it outside?”
“As we’re getting used to cannabis being legalized, it’s a really nice consideration because we as a society are still not used to inhaling and exhaling things indoors and in front of people the way we were in the 40s,” she says.
As for other forms of consumption, I asked what her biggest cannabis pet peeves are. She doesn’t miss a beat before she says “Any time someone holds a joint that has a crutch or filter and they hold it above the crutch or filter so they’re holding the actual weed. That drives me nuts. You’re pinching the joint and cannabis has resin in it, which builds up when you smoke it. So when you pinch the end of the joint nearest the filter, you’re gumming up and blocking the airflow. At the most crucial point of the joint.”
Don’t mess with Lizzie Post’s joints, y’all.
Her other pet peeve is slobber. “If you have a fairly wet whistle, let’s say to be polite, you want to make sure you’re not getting it all over, especially a joint, because that could impact its smoke-ability.” Additionally, it’s “really thoughtful” to burn the end of a glass mouthpiece before passing, to sterilize it.
Of course, even though it’s her job and in her genes to be good at etiquette, Post doesn’t see it as her task to offer unsolicited corrections. “Even as an etiquette expert, you’re not meant to go around correcting, fixing or alerting everyone to every little thing about them that could be better.”
Lizzie Post’s own state of Vermont voted to legalize and which goes into effect July 1, 2018 (Editor’s note: Hooray, congrats!). Lizzie is excited to use the Emily Post Institute to help the cause when she can. One polite pot smoker at a time.