How to Set Boundaries With Weed-Greedy and Dependent Friends


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Dear Mother,

I live in a state where cannabis is only on a restricted medical schedule. Alas, I’m a head and all my friends know that. I’m generous by nature and don’t want to come off like a selfish jerk, but I’m annoyed when my friends ask me for weed. Since I don’t have a dispensary at my disposal, the herb I acquire is expensive (and generally awesome) but is a bit of a procedure to procure. How would you recommend I handle this?

— Not Nancy Botwin

Dear Not Nancy,

I completely feel you on this! Since I got a medical card I’ve had friends blowing up my phone on the regular asking if I can help them out. I certainly want to help spread the wealth, but it can start to feel awkward, especially if it’s not all technically legal.

In your case, it sounds like the cannabis you’re procuring isn’t 100 percent on the up-and-up, and that can totally complicate matters. I would hope that your friends would understand that and not pressure you to do anything that could cause you a great deal of legal grief. That said, I also understand the allure of having a friend with the awesome hookup. It can be hard for many to find a quality source, especially if it’s not legal in any form in your state. So, when a friend has something steady going, it can be tempting.

There are a couple things you can do. You can outright tell your friends that you don’t feel comfortable being a go-between like that, and while you may be happy to smoke them up when they come over for some tea, you’d prefer that they don’t treat you like their personal dealer. You can also remind them of the trouble you could get into, and that, of course, you know they wouldn’t want to put you in a compromising position like that.

However, if there are some select friends you don’t mind helping out on occasion, perhaps the next time you put in your own order, double it if you’re able to. That way, if a friend asks, you’re prepared and can give/sell them something since you’re not dipping into your own personal stash. There is the chance that this route can get unwieldy. Friends might let other friends know that you hooked them up—obviously they’ll lose their privilege for this!—or you start to feel like you’re being used. This method should only be used if you feel comfortable: (1) procuring more than usual, and (2) heading, however slightly, into Nancy Botwin territory.

In my case, I have friends who nudge me into picking up something extra at the dispensary for them when I go. I have to admit that while I don’t mind occasionally kicking a bit over to a friend in desperate need (i.e. someone who should have a medical card but doesn’t for a variety of issues), I do get a bit put out by those looking to exploit my medical card in order to have a recreational good time.

To be honest, what this really boils down to isn’t marijuana. It’s boundaries. Creating and then sticking to boundaries, especially when it comes to friends we like and want to please, can be difficult. However, when it’s related to something like cannabis, you have to put yourself and your comfort level first. Hopefully, if they’re true friends, they will understand. Because while it’s true that it can be difficult to find a reliable source of quality cannabis, finding good friends can be even harder!

— Mother

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