Higher Etiquette: Learn your marijuana manners in Emily Post’s great-great-granddaughter’s new guide
Support the Roaring Fork Valley’s indie bookstores and buy “Higher Etiquette: A Guide to the World of Cannabis, from Dispensaries to Dinner Parties” ($18.99) at Explore Booksellers in Aspen (221 E Main St., 970-925-5336, explorebooksellers.com) or Bookbinders in Basalt (760 E. Valley Rd., 970-279-5040, bookbindersbasalt.com).
Catch Lizzie Post IRL on her book tour with upcoming special events in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland. For the full schedule, visit higheretiquette.com.
Learn the do’s and don’ts for every occasion on Post’s “Awesome Etiquette” podcast, which she co-hosts with cousin and EPI co-president Daniel Post Senning. For an archive of episodes or to subscribe, visit emilypost.com/awesome-etiquette-podcast.
The unspoken rules of the “puff, puff, pass” ritual are ingrained in cannabis culture. But as legalization spreads, there is so much more to consider when partaking in social settings.
The plant’s presence is out in the open more than ever before, and for the many people that are just now starting to explore the wonderful world of weed, there’s a lot to learn.
Believe it or not, the Emily Post Institute — the go-to gurus of etiquette in the United States and beyond — first addressed how a host should consider cannabis in 1982. The “Party Preparations” section of “The Complete Book of Entertaining from The Emily Post Institute” explained:
“Another problem that many hostesses face today is that of the guests who want to smoke marijuana. 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. The moment she sees the first joint being lighted or passed around she should tell her guests that she’s sorry if she’s being a spoilsport, but she doesn’t want people smoking in her home where she would be held responsible if the illegal use of marijuana were detected. Then rather than letting the group continue to sit and chat, she should get some lively games or activities under way to distract them.”
Fair enough. While there is no trace of its namesake’s personal opinion on the subject (although she was a vocal anti-prohibitionist during her time) and few mentions in further editions of its long-running series of books, her great-great-granddaughter has emerged as the expert on marijuana manners with the just-released “Higher Etiquette: A Guide to the World of Cannabis, from Dispensaries to Dinner Parties.”
Among the family’s youngest and fifth generation, Lizzie Post is co-president of the Post Institute, where’s she’s worked as an author and spokesperson for the past decade. A self-proclaimed cannabis supporter for 20 years, the 36-year-old was born, raised and still resides in Burlington, Vermont.
“Growing up in a state that has long been known for being cannabis-friendly, it was never an unknown in my world and never was something that was really confusing or scary,” Post said in a recent phone interview. “It wasn’t taboo. For me, (cannabis) is something I have really appreciated having in my life and I consume it regularly — if not daily — and I wanted to put that affection into this project. I love this plant and connecting with people over it.”
After polishing her proposal with Penguin Random House’s Ten Speed Press, Post set out to do just that. She spent four months on the road for research, staying with friends, acquaintances and Airbnb hosts as she crisscrossed legal states from Colorado and California to Oregon and Washington.
Back in Burlington, she put what she describes as “a huge learning curve coming from a state, which at that point had only legalized home grows,” into 176 pages of tips and terminology, which combine the long-established practices of smoking pot with the Post Institute’s tried-and-true principles into a definitive guide for the modern cannabis consumer.
She defines etiquette as “a behavior that affects two people,” and now that cannabis users are coming out of the closet and into the open at dinner parties, weddings and even the workplace, Post answers the common questions on how to integrate cannabis into any situation with class.
Throughout the text filled with historical anecdotes, scientific facts and insider lingo, it’s apparent that Post is a true cannabis connoisseur, effectively and humorously educating consumers at any level of experience.
“I really hope that more people can find the freedom to be confident about their consumption,” Post said of her goal in capturing the current state of cannabis etiquette. “There is obviously still a stigma surrounding cannabis and if having (the) Emily Post (brand) say it helps, then I’m just really grateful to have the opportunity to push it forward,”
She added: “I am proud that (the Post Institute) has finally entered the conversation — we’ve talked about American life for the past 100 years and cannabis is now a big part of American life today.”
Katie Shapiro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter @bykatieshapiro