Dear Crabby,

Now that marijuana will be legal, should I tell my 97-year-old grandmother that we smoke?


Mary Jane

Dear Mary,

Here’s my impression of you: “Hey, man, did you ever, like, notice that old people like my grandma, they used to be, like, young people, too. You know, man? That’s pretty trippy to think about, you know? Like, that means that one day we’ll be, like, old. And our grandkids will be smoking grass and they’ll be all, ‘I wonder whether we should tell grandma, man,’ only they’ll be talking about us; like, we’ll BE the grandma, you know? Anyway, are there are any more Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? Did we eat the whole bag? Oh, man! We did eat the whole bag. Bummer.”

I don’t know what that impression has to do with your question. I just thought it was funny. (Also, when the questions are really short like yours is, the answers have to be that much longer so the Dear Crabby column can be a consistent length.)

I suppose my response to your question depends on your grandmother and what your relationship with her is. Is she a strict, old-school grandma, raised on “Reefer Madness” who’s likely to keel over if you tell her you smoke weed regardless of its legal status? If so, then don’t tell her. There’s no reason she has to know.

I mean, you say she’s 97, so she didn’t grow up during an era in which marijuana use was pervasive — she would’ve been 52 in the Summer of Love — and it’s entirely possible she has an Eisenhower-era view of the devil-weed. Legalization isn’t going to change that. It’s worth noting, too, that toking up is still not going to be 100 percent legal; there’s the pesky but really quite serious matter of federal law, and we don’t know exactly how that will play out. So if Grandma is old-school about stuff like that, don’t be surprised if she hasn’t quite come around to see smoking as a legitimate, wholesome, American activity. Opinions built over decades don’t change overnight just because of an initiative.

Now, it’s possible you’ve got one of those cool 97-year-old grandmas who used to hang out in jazz clubs, drinking absinthe and smoking opium with Billie Holiday or whatever. Maybe she grew up reading William Burroughs and Henry Miller. Hell, maybe she listens to the occasional Parliament-Funkadelic album. If that’s the case then, yeah, sure, go ahead. She’ll probably just whip out her own stash and be all, “Yeah, legalization is great. I’ve been telling people it was for glaucoma. I don’t even HAVE glaucoma. You guys hungry? Are there any Cheetos left? Oh, just the regular ones? I was hoping you had the Flamin’ Hots.”

Hope that helps.