Dear Culturalist: How Can I Smoke Around my Parents?

By Onya Ganja on April 16, 2017

Dear Culturalist,
I'm 22 years old, and thanks to my college debt, I'm still living with my parents. This is especially bad because they think cannabis is pure evil, and they'll flip out if they ever catch me. What are the best ways to hide that I smoke without leaving the house? 

Sorry, man, but you don’t get to live at home with your parents who hate Mary Jane and smoke it freely without them noticing the smell of skunk. Smoke smells, and weed does, too—that’s just science—and unless you want to vape terpene-less weed, not even science can find a way around it. So I will answer your question, but some of my advice will probably involve leaving the house. 

You should have written me sooner: best to tackle such problems before moving back in with your buzzkill parents. I could have just advised you to get high from day one and blame any tell-tale-signs of stonerdom on all the knowledge you acquired in college. You know, explanations like, “My head is just heavier from everything I’ve learned so it impacts my saliva production and ability to stay awake.” 

Getting high from day one is all about setting standards for behavior and eyelid levels. Like how you should always show up high for job interviews so your employer only knows extremely stoned you.

Family predecessors can smell fear so when the inevitable happens and you are face-to-face with them, have some prepared small talk that won’t seem out of the ordinary, then a plausible excuse to go to your room. Know how red your eyes get from every ingestion method, and grasp an understanding of how much help Visine can really give you.

Hiding the act is one thing, but hiding the fact that you are a red-eyed monster is another. You could always start wearing dark sunglasses and tell them it is because you’ve lost your sight, or you could only get high after they’ve gone to sleep at night, but both sound like a lot of work.

Your predicament is a common one. A lot of grown kids like the ganja and are living with guardians who don’t. You are definitely not the only one. In Los Angeles, almost half of all humans age 18 to 34 live with ma or pa (or ma and ma or pa and pa).

I need to ask you if you are totally certain your creators think weed is the devil’s lettuce? Did they expressly tell you this? In the past five years? If you only believe they think this because of something they said when you were a 13-year-old, things might be different now. You are now the fine old age of 22, after all.

If you are certain your folks think cannabis is the worst thing to happen to the world, you need to ask yourself if you are certain you can’t change their minds. Social movements depend on constituent mobilization, and you should try to do your part every chance you get. After getting caught smoking weed in your bedroom, for example.

Let’s say you try to talk your parents about the flaws in anti-cannabis propaganda and the racist history behind these lies, and it doesn’t go well. Worst case scenario they kick you out. Which would solve at least the problem about smoking at home. 

If your college debt is student loans, are you sure you can’t just be fully homeless for a certain number of years and your debt will be cleared? I’ve heard you can in certain places. Might be a problematic rumor and terrible advice, or might be something worth looking into for kicks. Either way, you could live in a tree, eat food from a dumpster and get high all you want. I just hope you are better at hiding from the cops and freaks who are mean to vagrants than you are at hiding a bit of toking from your parents.

I appreciate you might not feel suited for tree life, which would make me feel like you are a wuss, but I will still try to help you. Living on your own is expensive, but there are creative solutions to this problem that don’t involve hustling hard for more money.

You could look into joining a weed-smoking cult or starting a commune. Have a look at potential funding sources in your area for subsidized housing. Think outside of the city if you are not scared of bears. I’d highly recommend my millennial living situation. I live in a cabin in the woods with two dudes who bought a house together and smoke more dabs than I do.

If you insist on continuing to live with your folks but just want to get high without going outside... there are some things you can try. A “sploof” is the most classically lazy way to try to be stealth. You don’t have to leave the room, all you have to do is find a couple of dryer sheets and attach them to the end of a paper towel with an elastic band and exhale through this dryer sheet beast.

The sploof method is so popular there is actually a company that makes a smoke-filtering apparatus just like that. I hope it is sans dryer sheet because those things weird me out, strange fragrant, chemical-coated things that they are. Despite the popularity of sploofs and sploof-like things, they almost always end in at least one parent saying, “You know we can smell it, right?” 

This question from your parents could be another great opportunity to have the talk with them. Remember to tell them cannabis isn’t really a ticket to going nowhere in life, er, on second thought, maybe wait till you’re not sleeping in a room adjacent to them for that remark.

Some people exhale into their closet and quickly shut the door thinking that prevents their mothers and fathers from smelling the ganja, but they have yet to convince me this actually works. There is also what stoners know as “ghosting,” not related to dating but rather the art of inhaling exactly one lungful from a mini one-hitter and holding it in until your body has absorbed almost everything. Sounds like a super great way to pass out and maybe hit your head on something solid.

I know you don’t want to leave the house to get stoned, but vaping while you walk the dog is a pretty great solution to your sober-living-situation woes. I know people that can roll a joint with one hand while they do something with the other. My dad used to hide weed from my mom under my brother’s bed, and my brother used to hide weed plants from the whole family in the backyard. So you should be at least capable of walking a dog while loading and low-down enjoying a vaporizer at the same time. 

If you don’t have a dog now, it is probably the time to get one or start fostering rescue canines. Or maybe you can find a little old lady who lives close by and will let you vape in her house in exchange for help with household chores every night. You can tell your parents you are volunteering, which is basically true.

Is one of your parents basically a drug-sniffing dog? Do you have a friend who is a good enough friend to make you cannabis suppositories at their house? If so, there’s one option on the table. Just clearly label them as herbal suppositories. I bet you could make cannabis suppositories and hide them from your mom without her ever catching a whiff of you doing weed.

Or you could just simply consume perfectly timed and dosed edibles that you hide in a stealth container of some kind. Like a fake can of Orange Crush soda. And if that all fails, you could just go back to college. I’ve done it three times!

Photo credit: Flickr/Alice

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