Lizzie Post is the great-great-granddaughter of American etiquette expert Emily Post. She is copresident of the Emily Post Institute, the author and coauthor of several etiquette books, and cohost of the podcast “Awesome Etiquette.” Her latest book, “Higher Etiquette” is a 101 primer, a how-to manual and an entertaining guide for navigating the world of cannabis with respect, generosity and gratitude.
I recently spoke with Post via phone to learn how this unique book came to be. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Theresa Tanner: Why did you decide to write “Higher Etiquette”?
Lizzie Post: It was one of those beautiful moments where the universe puts everything together. People who knew I was a fan of cannabis joked that I should write an etiquette book. Then I received an email from Kelly Williams Brown’s agent (Kelly and I were working on another project together) asking, “A publisher is looking to publish a book about weed etiquette, do you know someone?” Alone at my desk, I raised my hand.
TT: How long did the book writing process take?
LP: We wanted to fast-track this book, so I committed to a much shorter manuscript deadline. I signed the contact in late December 2017, then went to Colorado on January 6 to begin research. I turned in the manuscript May 4, so less than four months.
TT: Was there anything that surprised you in your research or writing about cannabis and its culture?
LP: Cannabis has no retail market in Vermont, so I visited other states to learn from experts. There was a huge educational curve, learning about cannabinoids and terpenes. I was coming from the land where you take what you can get, so it was really fascinating and fun.
LP: I learned so much about the science of cannabis. It made such a difference to understand why I prefer certain strains and consumption methods, and I learned from other people about what worked for them. Every culture and social group is different, and it can vary by region. I was surprised at how many people asked that smoking take place outdoors only.
TT: Can you talk about the design of the book? The clothbound cover and embossed gold lettering feel very vintage.
LP: That’s what we were going for! I have to shout-out the book designer, Lizzie Allen. The original “Etiquette” book was a solid deep blue with simple 1920s gold lettering, and we wanted to evoke that. Our brand is has a vintage-feel, though the advice is modern. We put a pot leaf on the cover, but it’s simple and clean.
TT: Why should people who don’t use cannabis read your book?
LP: This book breaks down negative stereotypes that we’ve received in prohibition. People have heard that it makes you lazy, crazy, and paranoid – they don’t see how someone who uses could be an active member of society. It’s a plant that is used by many different types of people for many different reasons. Even if it’s not for them, it’s good for others.
TT: How do you think the cannabis culture will change with more places legalizing cannabis?
LP: I think you’ll see more consumption at mixed group parties with guests that both consume and those that doesn’t. My hope is that you’ll see a better integration of both communities. I don’t drink very much, but I go to parties where there’s drinking. But I don’t mind; as long as people are being respectful and safe, there’s no problem.
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