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When Marley Met Sally: Marijuana Romance

Romance in the time of legalization.

From the Valentine’s Day special: download now at Amazon  

By NA Poe (Photo by Ed Roper)

poesdpIt’s an all-too-familiar tale for stoners looking for love: You finally meet someone you really dig, you hit it off and then you find out they, tragically, don’t smoke weed. So, what’s your next move?

Is it possible to make it work with a romantic companion that doesn’t consume marijuana? Does this sound like an article in Cosmo?

After looking at some evidence and a few case studies, it seems that cannabis culture, like any other, offers a lot of common ground for singles ready to mingle. But there’s a definite cultural barrier between people who use marijuana on a regular basis and those who don’t.

Most stoners have their own values, customs and sense of community distinct from people who choose to socialize in other ways. We’ve been cave dwellers for so long, confined to our houses taking bong hits and buying our buds from a friend-of-a-friend, the idea of a world where one could publicly socialize over a joint always seemed like a pipe dream, but the times, they are a-changin’.

Now that more and more people are tiptoeing – or bounding proudly – out of the cannabis closet, businesses are starting to develop ways to engage with stoners’ more personal needs socially and romantically. Let’s face it: most marijuana users would dread the idea of spending a Friday night at a club packed shoulder-to-shoulder with spray-tanned girls and bros reeking of cologne just to meet someone new. Nor should they have to endure it any longer. Legalization and the subsequent normalization of cannabis culture are allowing stoners to have more lifestyle options and feel less alienated by mainstream society.

Pro-marijuana rallies are always a great place to make friends and scope out potential love interests, but people don’t usually come to these gatherings to get hit on. Then there are new venues like stoner dating sites, “Bud and Breakfast” hotels or cannabis-enhanced fine dining. The legalization of recreational marijuana has finally given dedicated consumers the opportunity to meet like-minded people without having to spend their days scrolling through the Phish message boards or their nights in the snack aisle in 7-Eleven.

As pot becomes more commonplace across all age, social and economic groups, the days of the cliché stoner fade into our rear view mirror. With opportunities to socialize around legal cannabis happening in states like Colorado and Washington, we’ll soon see a shift in how people celebrate birthdays and other milestones. Imagine turning 21 in a legal state, and instead of drinking Jagermeister till you puke in a strip club parking lot, the new rite of passage comes with a marijuana-infused ice cream cake and a beautiful selection of strains at a cannabis café.

But what if you meet someone who seems to have a lot of common interests, just not the THC-related ones? Is it really so different from dating an avid football fan when you don’t know the difference between a touchdown and a field goal? Everyone has seen that “non-sports” friend who started rocking jerseys and following playoffs as soon as they began dating a sports fan, like some sort of socially acceptable Stockholm syndrome. So would it really be much of a stretch to imagine even the most reggae-listening, Netflix binge-watching, laid-back stoner slowly start to absorb the habits of their cannabis-free significant other?

Alarmingly, there have been recent reports of self-described potheads seen wearing anything other than Bob Marley tees and sweatpants now purchasing khakis and golf shirts at their captor’s bidding. Furthermore, “scientific” studies have also found that people who don’t get high have shitty taste in both music and movies, causing an even deeper riff between smoker and non-smoker.

But I digress.

When it comes to a new love interest who doesn’t partake in marijuana, there’s and all-too-common outcome. At the beginning of a relationship, they’ll act like they’re cool with it, but over time they’ll impose their weed-free lifestyle on you. Consciously or not, they’ll erode your freedom to consume cannabis until you’re huddling in your own garage, smoking out of an apple while they’re fast asleep upstairs.

Then again, maybe not. Conceivably the real sign of prohibition ending is tokers and drinkers walking hand-in-hand in slow motion on a tropical beach somewhere. Perhaps love can overcome all obstacles – even piles of fragrant, sticky cannabis buds.

From the Freedom Leaf Valentine’s Day special: download now at Amazon