Remember that episode of The Office when Dwight found a joint in the parking lot? It was Dunder Mifflin company policy that there would be automatic drug testing within 24 hours. The rules were clear: it had to be official and it had to be urine. While the whole episode was great television, the entire atmosphere surrounding weed in general was very primitive – marijuana was something exotic, peculiar, and it was very binary in that you knew it wasn’t someone like Jim or Pam who smoked because they’re the good guys on the show, and good guys don’t do pot.
That episode aired over 13 years ago. That’s more than a full Chinese Zodiac. Do good guys smoke pot today? Perhaps the better question is this: is it acceptable for “good guys” to smoke pot today? Is the old D.A.R.E. mentality, that War on Drugs strategy, as pervasive and harmful an epidemic as it was when people were frying eggs and saying that’s what your brain on drugs is like? Or have we evolved as a society into understanding that marijuana is enjoyed in various forms by all types of people all across the country?
We still have a ways to go – marijuana remains illegal on the federal level, but as of this writing, nearly 80% of US states have decriminalized it in one form or another. So maybe Department of Defense contractors can’t smoke pot, but the private sector is different. Several states have already created laws that protect employees from being fired for marijuana use when done lawfully and off the clock. This lets many companies treat marijuana almost like alcohol: what you do in your spare time is your own prerogative, so long as it doesn’t interfere with work or work relations, or make the company look bad by its association with you. If you turn up to work blazed to high heaven, yeah you’re probably in trouble, but that’s the same as if you operated your forklift after taking a bunch of shots with the boys, binged The Office during work hours, or took a bunch of Nyquil before a big meeting. In this day and age, Jim and Pam can finally smoke pot and still be the good guys – just as long as it’s not on company property. It’s a long way to total legalization, but as for normalization, we’ve made strides that were unthinkable just a few years ago.
Marijuana will always be the devil’s lettuce to somebody, but in this day and age that somebody isn’t necessarily your boss. You don’t have to get the Doobie Doobie Pothead Stoner Award just because just because you smoked pot in college once. Instead, when Dundies season rolls around, you can be in the running for a classic fantastic Dundie Award Trophy no matter how often you enjoy a toke on your favorite Freeze Pipe or Bubbler. Michael Scott may not like it, but if he’s your boss, then you deserve a pull anyway. That’s what she said.