This Week in the Mercury


Monday, July 7, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Smoke Her Out

Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 10:29 AM

I am a straight guy who has come to an impasse with my girlfriend of a year and a half. (We are also the joint owners of a dog). The perpetual issue in our relationship is one that makes me feel a bit like a selfish dick, but then I do a double take and realize I may just be getting antagonized. The issue is pot smoking. My girlfriend absolutely hates it and strongly dislikes me if she assumes I'm stoned. She has a reason and a right to feel a certain way about weed—the reason being that her 21-year-old younger brother is battling heroin addiction and he has smoked weed since he was a teenager and now he smokes it to fight withdrawal symptoms.

Understandably there is a lot of negative stigma surrounding weed from my girlfriend's perspective, and it is all recently developed after her brother turned to her for help. It has been a hard time for us, and the fact that I use weed on a frequent basis is troubling to my girlfriend. My recreational habit is perceived as a slight towards her, a slap of disrespect.

Even though it has been a somewhat rocky road in this relationship I believe that some things, especially epic endeavors in life such as love, take a lot of work and patience. The first year and three months dating she abstained—my least favorite word ever—from sex, and was very distant intimately. She had been profoundly affected by a reproductive health scare and it affected her sexuality in a big way. As a result I have felt repressed and neglected in the bedroom and just in general as if a lack of interest is there. We now have sex on a very rare basis, average once or twice a month.

Even though the sex life has been a disappointment I must take into consideration how she was there for me after I lost my job and went back to school. Part of my motivation was so I could build a future for us. But unfortunately it is to the point where she has stated "she doesn't want weed or anyone that has anything to do with that drug in her life." That was the recent ultimatum. I responded by affirming I will not change that about myself. Here I sit in our apartment with her brooding and me writing you.

I learned in life that to love someone you have to accept who they are, and that means not seeking to change them. I want to be a decent person but I also want to retain my autonomy. It's not like I'm rolling up fatties and smoking them inside. For the most part I am a dependable, thoughtful person. I am also a free spirit and my choices to use weed are in line with my values.

This Horrible Conflict

My response after the jump...

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Here you go, THC: 420Singles. You're welcome. As for your soon-to-be ex-girlfriend...

I don't want to minimize your for-the-moment girlfriend's trauma—drug addiction is sad, and watching a child, sibling, or parent struggle with a serious addiction is, indeed, highly traumatizing. But I'm guessing that her brother didn't only abuse pot and heroin. (And, I'm sorry, if pot helps him with his withdrawal symptoms—if pot helps him get off and stay off smack—isn't pot a good thing?) Presumably her brother drank as well, THC, and probably to excess; most people with drug problems also have alcohol problems. And I'm guessing that your girlfriend tolerates responsible and/or social drinking just fine. She can presumably walk down the street without having panic attacks every time she has to walk past a bar or a sidewalk cafe where people are drinking. She may even drink herself.

So why is pot a problem? Because pot is illegal? Because pot, for entirely arbitrary reasons (for entirely racist reasons), has been lumped in with heroin and meth and cocaine and other hard drugs, even though pot is far less harmful and less addictive than booze—which even the president admits these days?

You shouldn't have to give up pot because your girlfriend refuses to listen to reason. You should be considerate, of course, and refrain from smoking pot around her. And you should be patient and understanding—and it sounds like you have been, THC, particularly where sex is concerned. But you shouldn't have to forgo pot because your girlfriend is either irrational about marijuana or is pretending to be irrational about marijuana in order to get her way.

Better to forgo the girlfriend. Once again: 420Singles. You're welcome.

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