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Ways to Say No to Marijuana

Adah Chung is a fact checker, writer, researcher, and occupational therapist.

Many people find themselves in a situation where they are offered marijuana. Saying no can feel awkward—you don’t want others to see you as uptight, judgmental, or fearful, but you have your reasons for not wanting to use marijuana. The best ways to say no to marijuana are casual, polite responses to an offer, which provide an excuse that can’t be argued with. Here are five top phrases for refusing a toke.

I’m Driving

This is the ultimate excuse. There are many myths about marijuana around including that it doesn’t affect your ability to drive and that you can’t get in trouble with the law for driving under the influence of marijuana, but these are simply not true.

Driving under the influence of any psychoactive drug puts lives at risk, including your own.  

This response is also great role modeling for others, who also may want a good reason to say no to cannabis. Anyone who pressures you to use cannabis after you give this response isn’t worth listening to.

No Thanks, I’ve Tried It and I Didn’t Like It

This response is particularly valuable if you are around lots of other people who are trying marijuana for the first time, and you are under peer pressure to be one of the crowd. It will deflect all the annoying persuasive tactics that other smokers will use to suggest that you can’t know whether you don’t want to use marijuana unless you try it. Obviously, it is most convincing if it is true—if you haven’t used marijuana before, you might feel more comfortable using a different response.

Don’t get caught up in explaining what it was about getting high on marijuana that you didn’t like—if you are asked, say, “I just didn’t like it.” No one can argue with that.

Saying no to marijuana can feel awkward. Here are some ways to refuse weed without seeming uptight, judgmental or fearful.