While many of us still feel trapped in an endless March, the truth is that December is more than halfway over and the winter holidays are very much upon us. Fortunately, that means 2020 is almost over — and given the outcome of the election and the appearance of three viable vaccines, 2021 is promising to be much, much better.
The holidays themselves are a time of joy and togetherness, but typically, stoners have been forced to abstain from cannabis for much of the season, for fear of offending or off-putting friends and loved ones. However, here are a few good reasons to keep riding high this particular holiday season:
You Shouldn’t Be Gathering With Many People, Anyway
The CDC, WHO and prominent public health experts all warn against large, in-person gatherings for the upcoming winter holidays. Already, cases of COVID-19 are surging around the world, even in countries that successfully contained the virus and returned to normal over the summer and autumn seasons. The United States has seen an unprecedented rise in cases, with hospitals around the nation filled to capacity with patients in severe respiratory distress.
If you are young and healthy, you are a particular risk to your older, more vulnerable family members and friends because you might be infectious without realizing it. It isn’t a good idea to spend time with people outside your bubble — which is to say the small number of people you live with and see regularly. Because the members of your bubble are already likely to know about and accept your weed habits, you have a good excuse to continue using cannabis for the duration of this holiday season, at least.
You Need to Be Able to Manage Your Health
Increasing information about cannabis has encouraged the majority of state legislatures to permit the sale of marijuana products for medical application. For many, cannabis is one of the precious few treatment options available, and abstaining from weed for even a few hours can result in immense pain, discomfort or more severe health effects.
If you use marijuana to manage a medical condition, you have the best reason to continue using around loved ones during the holidays. You can explain that you use cannabis products to maintain your health, and if you feel comfortable, you can go into more detail about your condition and how weed helps you manage it. However, you absolutely have no reason to stop using; if a loved one asks you to quit, you can tell them your doctor requires you to use marijuana, and that should be that.
You Can Educate Others About Cannabis
Most people have been fed a century-worth of misinformation about cannabis. Myths like that weed is a “gateway drug,” that its use results in violence and criminality, that it causes cancer and brain death and more have proliferated — but research has found almost all of the bad press surrounding cannabis to be utterly untrue.
If you are interested in changing the perception of pot in your family and friend group, you might take the holidays as an opportunity to educate loved ones. You can explain the overabundance of research demonstrating marijuana use to be safe, and you can provide examples of marijuana as effective medical treatments. Even if you use Michigan marijuana recreationally, you can assuage fears regarding the dangerousness of weed and compel loved ones to regard the drug as they do alcohol: a fun, relatively harmless substance.
The Holidays Are a Time to Celebrate and Relax
Ultimately, you shouldn’t feel bad for your holiday marijuana use because weed does nothing if it doesn’t provide a sense of comfort and joy — and comfort and joy are precisely what the winter holidays should be about. The end of the year is a time to take a break from work, reflect and relax in the company of people who care about you. Few feel bad for indulging in a few extra holiday cocktails to celebrate the season, and you shouldn’t fret about taking tokes with greater frequency, either.
The New Year brings new hope for the end of the pandemic, but it could be months before everyone is safely inoculated and the virus dies down. There is no good reason to feel bad about your cannabis use during this season, especially if you are partaking in the good green herb legally, safely and respectfully.