If your family is anything like mine, bringing up the topic of marijuana can be a real drag – and not in the puff-puff-pass-it-to-Uncle-Steve kind of way. Maybe you’ve previously tried to raise the subject with your own “coming out green” speech or simply talking legalization, only to be met with staunch opposition from family members that just don’t seem to get it.  

Rest assured that you’re not alone this Thanksgiving should you decide to seize the opportunity to talk “trees” with your extended family. To help give you the upper hand when the cranberry sauce starts to fly, here are 5 tips for starting the cannabis conversation with your family on Thanksgiving:  

#1- Marijuana legalization has brought more than $80 million to schools and education in Colorado so far just this year!  

That’s right! The average taxes raised from cannabis sales in Colorado (where recreational marijuana was legalized nearly two years ago) is now over $10 million a month. These tax funds go to building and repairing outdated infrastructures, purchasing new textbooks and computers for students and even school buses.   At this point, anyone who tries to argue against the fact that this is a very, very good thing for the future generations will be in the minority. So congratulations! You’ve just argued (and won) the first point in The Great Thanksgiving Cannabis Debate of 2015!    

#2- Being pro-legalization does not equal pro-marijuana  

You can be in favor of legalizing cannabis for recreational purposes without it making you pro-pot. I have many friends that don’t smoke and yet are still in favor of legalization simply because it makes more sense to tax, regulate and control the sale of cannabis to responsible adults than to continue an un-winnable drug war that wastes staggering amounts of tax dollars every single year.    

#3- Crime and traffic fatalities have actually dropped in States where recreational marijuana is legal  

If you need more case-settling statistics to prove that smoking cannabis does not, in fact, make you more prone to criminal activities, just steer any dissenters towards the Drug Policy Alliance’s Marijuana Legalization in Washington State: One-Year Status Report.   Some of the key findings include a drop in marijuana-related law violations by 63% and violent crimes have remained stable or even decreased after legalization. The same pattern holds true in the other pioneer states as well and should help you serve up a nice big Thanksgiving platter of “guess what else you didn’t know” to those who scoff at you.    

#4- The human brain is pre-wired with marijuana-friendly connections!  

Also known as cannabinoid receptors, these little babies activate when introduced to cannabis- both synthetically and from cells that are already within the body (endocannabinoids). So the next time your family calls you a pot head, you can proudly retort: “Yes I am! And technically, so are YOU!”   Pow! Take that, Grandma!    

#5- Can you pass the turkey already?! I’m starving here!  

By now you’ve probably talked up a storm and maybe even converted a few new relatives over to your side. Finally it’s time to reap the rewards of becoming a proactive marijuana educator by stuffing your face with stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie - a Thanksgiving meal fit for a king!