How Do I Address The Topic Of Cannabis Use With My Partner?

How Do I Address The Topic Of Cannabis Use With My Partner?

Dear Jane, When I first started smoking dope, I expected my partner to join me. But every time, it seems like they have a different excuse for not partaking. It’s been 6 months now, and still they haven’t smoked with me once. I’m worried they’re opposed to it and I’m making them uncomfortable but they don’t say anything cause they don’t want to make me feel bad about it. Without turning this into a relationship column, do you have advice on how to broach the topic of cannabis use with an intimate partner? I don’t want to accidentally pressure them, but I also don’t want to disingenuously offer to stop. —Joanna Canna


Joanna Canna,

I had a similar struggle. I like to smoke. A lot. This should be common knowledge, so if it wasn’t before, it is now. My husband does NOT smoke. At all. I created a narrative in my head that went like this: because he doesn’t smoke, I can’t smoke, and he won’t like me if I do smoke

And so, I did what any thirty-something, mature adult would do, and I hid it from him. Naturally, when he found my pipe and flower, he was mad. Like, really mad. Not because it was cannabis though. He was mad that I lied and kept it a secret from him. Communication in relationships really does live up to the hype. 

Don’t push it. Continue to gently offer for them to join you, but let no mean no. If they say no, that’s their prerogative. If they say they want to participate in your next sesh, then there you go, new stoner buddy. But maybe there is a deeper reason as to why they don’t want to smoke with you, and this is where communication really comes into play—and not just your communication. 

I may not be a relationship expert, but like anyone who first did drugs as a tween, I do have some experience in peer pressure. As long as you are keeping your cannabis use to yourself and when you ask them to join, accepting “no” without more questioning or pleading, you’re doing your part. From there, it becomes your partner’s responsibility to communicate if they have a problem. And based on their ability to say no, it sounds like that won’t be an issue.

Now I realize there’s more to it with an intimate partnership and that you want to make sure nothing funky is going on in your partner’s head. So as you said, without turning this into a relationship column, here are a few prompts I can see working in your intimate relationship that also refrain from peer pressure:

  • After you ask and they say no: “Let me know if you want me to stop offering you a hit. I don’t want you to feel like you have to, but I also don’t want you to feel like you can’t.”
  • Next time you re-up: “Hey I’m going to the dispensary. If you’re interested, I could get something different from what I usually do that also sounds good to you.”  
  • Next time you’re feeling direct: “Since we haven’t talked about it at all, I just want to be upfront: Does weed bother you, and can we talk about it if it does?

There was a long period of time that I didn’t want to smoke around Adam. I think that I was afraid to say something stupid or behave in a very stereotypical stoner way that would send him running for the hills. We really just had to open up the dialogue. Sometimes you THINK you know how someone is feeling or thinking, and it turns out to be the farthest thing from their mind. 

Drugs or no drugs, communication is key.