Jan 23, 2019

State Lines and State of Mind

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“Ask The Experts” is written and provided by Scholarship Media. It does not reflect the views of The Collegian or its advertisers.

I have a friend here who loves marijuana. I don’t have anything against that, though I personally am not into drugs at all. We get along just fine anyway, as does the rest of our tight-knit friend group, most of whom smoke at least occasionally.


We want to go on a big trip together next summer, and the friend I referred to is taking the lead. He wants to go to California, which I know recently legalized recreational marijuana. I’m a little uncomfortable with the idea of sharing a house or a hotel room with people who are going to be smoking all the time, though–any advice on how to deal with this?


Going on vacation with friends can be a lot of fun, but there is always the possibility that conflicts can arise between friends sharing a confined space. You have every right to keep your living space smoke-free, but unless you communicate with your friends ahead of the trip, you won’t know for sure how things will go when you reach your destination.


You say your friend group is tight-knit despite your lifestyle differences. Why not sit down with them ahead of the trip and be honest about your apprehensions? It’s not rude to point out that smoking in a confined space can be annoying to non-smokers. And if you have concerns about peer pressure or feeling left out of the group, good friends should be open to hearing about them.


Besides, your friends will want to consider certain things about their plans regardless of how you feel about them. While marijuana is now legal in California, the marijuana business lawyers at McAllister Garfield, P.C. warn that there are still plenty of regulations left on the books. California law prohibits smoking and driving, for instance, and you can’t smoke out in public (that’s yet another reason for you and your friends to set ground rules about where in your private space smoking should take place). And individual vacation destinations and resorts will have rules of their own, says management at San Diego resort company Welk Resorts. From Airbnb hosts to big chain hotels, the rules for smoking will be different everywhere, and your friends should mind the fine print if they want to stay on the right side of the law. Above all, they should avoid bringing their own supply: traveling across state lines with marijuana is a federal crime, and a particularly ill-advised one to commit as the federal government takes a tougher stance on marijuana (the drug remains illegal at the federal level, despite state laws to the contrary).


The planning phase of a trip is the most stressful part, but planning wisely and clearing the air (no pun intended) before you head down to California’s sunny shores will ensure that your vacation is restful and respectful for everyone involved. Good luck!


“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” — J.K. Rowling

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