Why you should talk to your coworkers about smoking pot
Admitting to any kind of drug use could, in some workplaces, get you fired. Pointy-headed bosses might think you evil or untrustworthy. Some co-workers might cancel ya'll's kids' playdates.
But I feel compelled to implore you to admit to your business associates your affection for ingesting, inhaling and supracutaneous slathering of the oils, terpenes and cannabinoids due to a recent well-intentioned article I spied in the magazine Quartz, in which the workplace etiquette columnist Mr. Scott Steinberg imparted the sound-seeming advice of clamming up about your clam-baking and hushing up about your hash while on the premises of your gainful employer.
He has his reasons and rhymes. Use of drugs, Mr. Steinberg says, "may be subject to prosecution." It "may result in stiff penalties and termination should management ever catch wind of these breaches." Further, "You’re effectively admitting to breaking the law, and engaging in activities to which negative social connotations are attached."
To this, I counter: bollocks.
Steinberg, I would wager, does not spend the bulk of his working hours in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California, Jamaica, the Netherlands, Mexico or the inside of Willie Nelson's tour bus. If you reside in a cannabis-legal state — there are 29 of them now — and your workplace does not test, blather about bud to all your work buds. It is a joy.
You feel a relief at not having a hide who you are, along the lines of what I imagine men of a certain persuasion felt when they finally exited the closet and admitted to deskmates that they preferred perineum over vulva, enjoyed Joan Rivers more than Philip Rivers, and did not welcome your blind date offers with their plain-but-charming newly-divorced cousin Bernice. You expose more of your true self to them; and thus to yourself. Worries that this will rebound on your calamitously are, to coin a phrase, paranoid.
If you divulge your ganja habit, your coworkers are more apt to fulfill your real human needs: to recommend fine Shpongle songs on Spotify, to share Schmoyoho videos on Vimeo, and generally treat you like a sibling, a person, a human. Plus, they might share with you their stash.
Plus, these days you're more likely to get a job by smoking weed than you are to lose one; 165,000 people are employed in cannabis. Not nearly that many were fired last year for admitting to using. There are 1,500 open cannabis jobs listed on Indeed.com. There are exactly no jobs advertising for "teetotaling narcs."
Even in workplaces where drug use is explicitly forbidden, where they test you every chance you get like overzealous Catholic school nuns, confessing your cannabis tendency can create a real bond between you and your siblings in the business trenches. Especially in such places. It is an outstanding opportunity to connect on a genuine level. Now you share a secret. Now you have something on each other. Now you are real friends.
Steinberg understands why you might confabulate with your compatriots about cannabis. "It’s important to create connections and empathy with others, especially those you’re looking to rely on day-to-day as teammates. “But" — he continues — "it pays to do so over far less controversial topics."
The man overestimates the controversy attached to combustible greenery in such civilized locations as Denver, Portland or San Francisco. The future is green and relaxed. And if we all decide to declare our truth, the age of prohibition will die away quicker than fedoras, ties, and shined shoes — and other workplace necessities once deemed indispensable but now as dead as Jimi Hendrix.