Cannabis and Speed Dating in the Legalization Age

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Cannabis reform activist Theresa Collins is a Paralegal/Legal Assistant at PKN Law, Miss High Times March 2013, and Regional Coordinator at Pittsburgh Norml Women’s Alliance. Here she discusses her latest project – “Stoner Speed Dating” – with Ladybud.

Ladybud: Why Stoner speed dating?
Theresa Collins: I chose to do a Stoner Speed Dating event because in our local community not everyone is allowed to be open about their Cannabis use. Many people have to hide it because they have an important job or a family. I feel like stoners only ever meet other stoners by being introduced through friends or by having a chance passing. Most of the time you end up dating someone and hoping they accept your Cannabis use. I was lucky enough to meet my fiancé through NORML but that was sheer luck. The struggle is real for the single Marijuana user.

Theresa Collins with Marc Connuck of  University of Pittsburgh NORML

Theresa Collins with Marc Connuck of University of Pittsburgh NORML

LB: Why did you choose a school for the dating interview process?
TC: I chose the O’Hara Ballroom at the University of Pittsburgh campus for two main reasons. The first being that one of our Pittsburgh NORML volunteers named Marc Connuck is actually a student there and because of that he has free access to the rooms on the campus. Being a non-profit that is a always a plus.

The second reason was that we were hoping for a decent mixture of sexes and we figured that people in their mid 20’s-30’s would be more open to the idea.

LB: For those not familiar with the process, what is speed dating?
TC: Speed dating events include short (7 minutes is enough) ‘dates’ where one speed dating participant will meet with another for a face-to-face conversation about whatever they want. Because of the nature of the event it’s a sure bet that weed use will be a popular topic.
A signal is given to all speed dating participants when the time is up and each person makes a note as to whether or not they’d like to meet their ‘date’ again before moving on to another person.

LB: Are you going to do more of these?
TC: Absolutely. We had a pretty good turn out, people had a good time and it brought the community together.

feb15-speeddating-fullLB: Did anything funny or unexpected happen?
TC: One of the Pittsburgh NORML volunteers works for the Google office in the city. He decided to show up dressed as cupid, complete with wings and bow and arrow. He also rocked a pair of Google Glass which was pretty cool. All of these things became instant conversation starters!
Also, it was a nice unexpected surprise to see that the room was almost completely split male to female. We were expecting a sausage fest but alas, the ladies were out and ready to mingle.

LB: Did anyone couple up?
TC: Yes actually! A few people left together.

LB: What else do you want to add about the planning, execution and culmination of the event?
TC: I am really excited about doing an outdoor Stoner Speed Dating event during the summer! Summer is the best time for romance anyway. Between the weather, BBQ, being able to burn one outside and impromptu water balloon fights, I believe we will have everything we need to make a great event!

LB: Are you going to make this a regular thing?
TC: I believe that we will definitely be doing this a few times a year depending on the attendance and the public support. I really like playing cupid!