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Getting acquainted with being high

When I was in college my Freshman year, my roommate and I decided to get really drunk for the first time. Yes, I had led a bit of a sheltered life, and, while I had consumed alcohol once or twice before, I didn’t know much about it.

Not being complete idiots, we decided to do it under safe conditions, in our dorm room, with the bathroom right across the hall, and having friends check up on us. We knew nothing about types of alcohol, and so our choices for the evening were: Boones Farm Apple Wine, Southern Comfort, and Bacardi 151 Rum! We got drunk, we got sick, and learned a couple of lessons.

Many young people have some similar kind of rite of passage when it comes to alcohol, that often seems particularly stupid in retrospect. If I hadn’t been so ignorant of alcohol, I might have avoided that particular experience — who knows?

There’s a similar introduction to getting high that’s involved with marijuana. For my generation, that usually involved getting passed a joint at a party and having absolutely nothing happen the first time, and then gradually getting to appreciate the effects in further experiences.

But now, we have legalization in Colorado, and businesses are promoting edibles. And so, idiots (like Maureen Dowd), are going in and saying the equivalent of “I’ve heard alcohol gives you a nice comfortable buzz – give me a glass of Bacardi 151,” and then are terrified when the experience seems overwhelming.

That, unfortunately, makes marijuana legalization look bad.

Personally, I think first-timers to marijuana should smoke or vaporize – edibles should be reserved for those who already know the effects. With smoking/vaporizing, you get the gradual sense of the marijuana high, while with edibles, it all comes on at once, and if you’ve accidentally consumed too much, then it’s a bad (though never life-threatening) experience.

Though Dowd’s latest column has got a lot of objectionable parts, I agree with Tom Angell:

“One major reason I got involved in the movement was so that consumers could have basic access to information about the products they’re consuming, which was totally impossible under the prohibition that created the black market,” said Tom Angell, the founder and chairman of Marijuana Majority. “So it’s particularly disappointing to see that some companies in the legal marijuana industry — which our years of advocacy allowed to exist — are falling short of those principles. It seems basic labeling and consumer information hasn’t been a chief priority, but hopefully now it’s starting to change.”

He wants budtenders behind the counter to be trained so they can give customized guidance to customers of varying tolerance levels.

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48 comments to Getting acquainted with being high

  • darkcycle

    Perhaps Ms. Dowd DID have that information: http://www.thecannabist.co/2014/06/04/was-maureen-dowd-warned-about-edible-marijuana/13113/
    Yet still acted like a teenager.
    For my own part, I wonder how she learned about Tequila….from the looks of things there might be six or ten men around who can tell that story.

  • claygooding

    I never advise edibles as a first experience,,just light a joint,,take one hit and set it down for a few minutes,,,repeat until you feel the effects.
    My first drunk ws on Sloe Gin Fizzes,,,and projectile vomiting was involved with later worshipping services held at the porcelain throne.
    I think it was my third smoking experience before I was aware of the effects,,the first times were mixed with beer so not sure of any effect after only 1 or two hits,,3rd time was no alcohol and a joint to myself,,,that got a response and I have never looked back and wondered whether it would be alcohol or weed for me,,when I woke up the next morning feeling better than when I went to bed it sold me on marijuana’s safety.

  • ezrydn

    I’m the same as Clay. Except, my dad died from alcohol so I never developed a taste for the stuff. Even today, with a new supply of smoking material, I still observe the “One Hit & WAIT” concept. Simply to “outline” the effects of the instant crop. That’s only sensible!

  • divadab

    It seems to me Ms Dowd is selling papers in the oldest way – pandering to ignorance with scary tales and exaggerations. WHat a silly propagandist twat.

  • Howard

    The Maureen Dowd Experience (likely to be an Off Broadway play before you know it) is already having positive repercussions. If it leads to better labeling and customer awareness of edibles, that’s great. But alcohol companies only go as far as saying “drink responsibly”. I expect we might see “eat responsibly” on edibles. Or maybe we’ll see the Dowd Bar, one tenth the potency at the same price for those who just can’t help but eat too much.

    • darkcycle

      OOPS…that’s Calvina…my bad…

      • darkcycle

        That sort of mistake is typical of me when writing. But I learned not to do that in real life.
        Never call your wife by the wrong name! (heh…clever me, both my wife and my now long ex-wife are named “Tracy”).

      • Duncan20903

        I dunno, I’ve never seen them both in the same photograph. Of course that might just be because no one wants to waste a perfectly good camera lens.

        A most interesting debate of the committee with no resolution yet. Question: Is it actually possible for Calvina Fay to be an even more bald faced liar than the witch we’ve so unfortunately come to know so well? Frankly I thought she was already as evil as a person can be. Well I’ll leave you to make up your own minds, perhaps it’s just my current nervous in the service state of mind, but gosh, didn’t she used to be more subtle?

      • allan

        in reading the comments it seems that FL in supporting The Calvina w/ some 12% of the electorate is a prohibition stronghold compared to the internet… that comment section is a public slice-dice-and-quartering of grand proportion. Of course (having read only the first page of comments) the fact of my knowing most of those commenting gives me great satisfaction. :0)

        I certainly hope y’all empty your pockets of all those sharp weapons before you sit on the couch.

        @ The Calvina… having you fade into insignificance is sooo fucking satisfying… and to see you publicly eviscerated with NO support (hey, where’s Linda?) is just, just… well, grooovy.

        • Common Science

          End stark raving mad prohibitch article.

          [Calvina-Fayed to Black]

          The end.

        • B. Snow

          Awh-man, I saw – like a year or two ago, they had this REALLY old fart on a morning news show = HE was pushing for a do-over on Alcohol Prohibition again, a modern-day Temperance Movement still exists, I shit the not!
          And, IIRC – the guy was the head of a “Temperance Party” outta Florida too! Some folks just never learn.

  • DannZoidal remembers the 80s

    My wife (at 2 AM after eating a marijuana cupcake): “I’ll never be normal again.”

    Me: “Of course you will; you were ‘normal’ before, and when it wears off, you’ll be ‘normal’ again.”

    Wife (now in tears): “No! You’re just saying that.”

    Me: “Please try and go to sleep.”

    Wife: ” What will people say? They’ll all know I’m not normal.”

    • primus

      Me: What do they say now?

      • claygooding

        They probably got over it until HT ran that article about everyone knows it when you are stoned.

    • allan

      I suppose living close to Santa Barbara had something to do with me having a steady supply of Thai stick pretty much thru college. Steady and abundant enough to occasionally make a batch of Thai stick brownies.

      A winter camping trip to Death Valley, late ’70s… we took a batch of those brownies w/ us. When we were leaving we got gas at Scotty’s Castle gas station and the attendant noticed the odor of autumn leaves burning coming from the car and said “hey uh… smells pretty good in there, have any to share?”

      We told him we had brownies and he was stoked. We told him they were pretty potent, he didn’t care, he was more stoked. He gave a wave and a grin as we drove away knowing that in about 45 minutes he was done pumping gas for the day.

      Love me some of them edibles – putting the Toklas in yummm.

  • War Vet

    Because I went to Amsterdam and Delft and bought the finest weed, hash and edibles upon daily research of what is the best and didn’t get a single worthy buzz (unlike my smoking buddies who shared my stuff and vice versa), I’m very likely to be the kind of person who would eat a bit more than recommended. I ate 3 strong brownies in under 15 minutes and was told to leave the establishment because I was warned of their effects from a shop known for their brownies more than their bud. All that happened was a deep sleep for one hour back at my hostel and even then, I could have been awaken any moment by someone or a loud noise, so it really wasn’t that deep of a sleep. When I woke up, I was still sober, just like I was sober after smoking hash for the first time in Holland. Because a place with no negative reviews in regards to their brownies disappointed me, I will probably eat more than her so I can actually experience the hubbub. It would have been better if I didn’t smoke any weed or eat any brownies in Holland because then I would have saved more money. I would love to go back to see if I will get high or stay sober. But then again, maybe American and Mexican brick weed gives Dutch weed a run for their money, so maybe only a small piece will be sufficient unlike three brownies.

  • dowd’s experience is the perfect example of how the “just say no” idiots have made it nearly impossible to get the right information out for those who wish to partake safely. no information = higher probability of undesirable results.

  • primus

    Where in this equation does responsibility for how much of whatever that she puts into her own body shift from her to them? As reported, she was advised as to correct dosage and chose to ignore that advice. 16 times recommended dosage is NOT a slip up, it is very deliberate. To be fair, I might have been tempted by a tasty chocolate bar also, but that speaks to my gluttony more than to the product. Again, why is she getting any kind of free pass on this one? She screwed up, she should admit it and move on. As well, it should be publicised widely that she was ‘cured’ by a night’s sleep, and suffered no hangover.

    • Dowd’s play enactment of “who will protect me from myself?” is an old performance to an even older audience.

      I think we are paying entirely too much attention to Ms. Dowd. Too much sugar shall surely be her undoing.

    • Tony Aroma

      If she really did ingest 16 x the recommended dosage, I’d say she’s misinterpreting her own “data.” Or at least overlooking an important conclusion. She should be praising mj for its safety! Name one other drug that you can overdose on to such an extent and suffer only minor, temporary unpleasantness. I’d very much like to see the report she’d write after downing 16 shots of 100 proof vodka over the same period of time.

    • Windy

      Her follow-up article (in which she admitted she was told the right dosage to eat) said she ate 1/4 of the bar, which would be 4 times the dosage, not 16 times the dosage. Nevertheless, your comment still stands as correct, “she should be praising mj for its safety”.

    • War Vet

      Good work Allan. I try to eat hemp seed everyday. Imagine how much less money the Feds could have spent on Hurricane Katrina if the large refugee camps’ tents and buildings were made out of hemp for makeshift shelters and for their clothing and food. It’s almost impossible to find something that hemp won’t make better. Tornado Victims, prairie fire victims, Haitian Earthquake victims, tsunami victims, cost of the War on Terror via Hemp for Victory, allowing Iraq and Afghanistan to grow hemp as a way of adding the kind of stability that added jobs and commerce can only create, Missionary work in places like Africa where the missionaries could farm hemp with the people they are witnessing to and helping, bird houses even. The resurrection of the American Middle Class could be created on Hemp from housing to jobs.

      Then I encounter the kind of people who believe the prohibition of it is stupid but also believe hemp would have been re-legalized if it was feasible for industry and consumerism. They don’t believe hempoline is practical when compared to oil, CNG, solar and algae.

      Imagine if all those millions of plastic water bottles stuck in Kuwait-rolling around like polyethylene tumbleweeds, were made of hemp and could biodegrade. Kuwait looks like Kansas after 2 inches of snow: the yellow endless mounds of sand are the golden wheat sticking out of the snow and the plastic bottles are the snow laying at the feet of the golden wheat. The plastic and oily pollution one sees in a warzone is enough to create PTSD alone. Imagine how much cleaner war could be if we used hemp . . . a silver lining amidst the crimson red bloodshed.

      And what if we could get our hands on Ford’s old recipe of a kind of hemp infused plastic supposedly known for making steel look as tough as rice paper.

  • strayan

    The saddest part about the Dowd story is not that no one warned her about the dangers of cannabis, it’s her complete lack of awareness about drug absorption, first pass metabolism and cmax.

    People lack even the most elementary understanding of pharmacokinetics. The fact it hadn’t even crossed Dowd’s mind that route of administration can have a significant effect on how a substance can affect you is an indictment, not of the cannabis industry, but on the abysmal state of drug education in our schools (courtesy of the drug prohibitionists).

  • Windy

    He wants budtenders behind the counter to be trained so they can give customized guidance to customers of varying tolerance levels.
    In every dispensary with which I am familiar (a number of local ones) that is exactly what the budtenders do, they are very informative about the products they are dispensing after asking pertinent questions about one’s previous usage, until they know one by sight, unless it is a new product which one has never tried before, then the info flows again.

  • Irie

    I hail from the great state of Oregon, it was a rite of passage to 1) be a hippie, 2) and partake in herb. I ate Mary Jane brownies many times, but the time I really over did it was 1984. I was on my very first stint of learning Jamaica,a bunch of us got together(some great Canadians that were living at the same compound with me and my then boyfriend,for 3 months as well), decided to have a party,and someone who had stayed at White bird in the past, knew that Mama, the lady that owned/ran White bird, made
    the best Ganga cake. This was the focus of the then celebration was Mamas great Ganga cake, but after saying this, a strict warning always follow “be careful,don’t eat to much as it will really kick you a##!”

    Well, let me tell you…. it was soooooo good, I mean it didn’t even taste as if there was anything in it. Like I said before, I had eaten pot brownies in the past, they were always hard to gag down, but Mama’s Ganga cake, this was a different story. I found out later, she ground like a half a pound into this cake,she ground it as fine as the flour, and Mon what a tasty yummy cake!! Needless to say,I
    ate way to much (I think I ate 3 or 4 pieces). I remember waking up in my tent feeling as if I couldn’t breathe! My then boyfriend told me I wouldn’t die and told me to go sit outside, which I did, for like 6 hours, in the same spot!

    I lived (obviously, duh), but even as an experienced smoker, eating it is sooo different from smoking it. I just didn’t listen to the warnings I was given by several people who had had the same fist experience!

    She was just trying to find something wrong, like it was said before by someone, how did her first drinking episode go,I’d kinda like to hear that story.

    • allan

      google Oregon Vortex Nixon

      • War Vet

        Let me see if I get this: to keep the Legion safe and even Pres Nixon (who didn’t show up), they created a Woodstock like festival as a way to vent off all the social anger, thus diverting any anti-legion rally which could have ended up in violence. Is that the essence or did I totally miss it?

        • allan

          yeah, WV, that’s close… to keep the hippies from burning down Portland they (the state gubmint) threw a giant free party, no cops, at a state park outside Portland. And it was shocking! Shocking I tell ya… naked hippies, dope smoking, om circles, free music and camping.

          The PBS video is excellent, highly recommended by this old man.

    • Nunavut Tripper

      My goodness Irie.

      What a flashback to the 70’s you have unleashed into my memory. I too was a wandering hippy during the mid 70’s and I spent several months in Jamaica over a course of three trips and a lot of that time I stayed at White Bird cottage in Negril.Across the road was that inlet in the cliff where we would go each evening to enjoy the superb sunsets and sometimes jump off the cliffs into that crack and into the ocean swells below. I knew “Mama” well and her husband “Uncle Willy”. I stayed in the little cabins and sometimes the tent in the yard. One day all the guests threw money in the pot and Mama cooked us a large Jamaican meal.
      And yes I did enjoy Mama’s ganja cake. I also ate too much but ” That was the point” as Barry Obama likes to say.

      • Irie

        It’s a small world,eh N.T.!! Ya Mon, Uncle Will, up late at night sitting just inside the gate tying his tobacco, gettin’ it ready to hang to dry! That old rickety ladder goin down to the water, across the road, the sound up and down the road when the ice truck was spotted, getting close, run,get the cooler! Ya Mon, me know, ya know,do you remember Joslin, the young gardener at Whitebird? Well…..I married ‘im in 97, loving life we are, good memories!!

        • Nunavut Tripper

          Unfortunately I never met Joslin however my time in Negril and area was a few years before you were there I assume.
          There was no rickety ladder to the water..we just climbed down.
          These were wonderful memories of the good times of my youth as Negril was still undeveloped with no large hotel complexes yet.
          It was a remnant of the old laid back Jamaica that we all loved.
          I’ve never been back since those days and I imagine it’s well commercialized now.

  • kaptinemo

    This whole Dowd Debacle reminds me of the old joke:

    Father: “Son, I’d like to talk to you about drugs.”
    Son: “Sure, Dad, what do you want to know?”

    It’s obvious the whole thing was some kind of intelligence-insulting set-up, from the get-go. The NYT clumsily attempting to shoehorn itself into an issue it has rarely, if ever, treated with the respect it has always deserved…and is now commanding

    Recall who was one of its ‘shining lights’, one Abe Rosenthal…who got used as a prohib tool by none other than Barry McC, who secretly made audio recordings of his conversations with his none-too-sharp appliance Rosenthal.

    So, the NYT continues to try to remain relevant in a world rapidly passing them at warp speed…by pulling this stunt. They, like the Gub’mint, think they are still printing for the ignorati, like that father in the joke, who thinks he knows something, and actually knows nothing. While the kid folds his arms, and waits for the fools to just shut up and go away.

  • allan

    and we would be remiss were we not to keep the chief’s space cake story relevant:

    http://www.hailmaryjane.com/the-police-chief-the-space-cake/

    the chief is a moron, I mean really chief… sugar before bed? Why not have a strong cup of Joe too. Prolly plenty of crank in the evidence locker… just sayin’

    To continue w/ stunts like Dowd’s is not only stupid but highlights what they don’t get – we ARE the experts on pot. Duh.

    (allan grabs his gloves and pruners, walks out the door shaking his head, heading for the blackberries)

  • allan

    oh my…

    Marijuana playing larger role in fatal crashes

    As more states are poised to legalize medicinal marijuana, it’s looking like dope is playing a larger role as a cause of fatal traffic accidents.

    Columbia University researchers performing a toxicology examination of nearly 24,000 driving fatalities concluded that marijuana contributed to 12% of traffic deaths in 2010, tripled from a decade earlier.

    NHTSA studies have found drugged driving to be particularly prevalent among younger motorists. One in eight high school seniors responding to a 2010 survey admitted to driving after smoking marijuana. Nearly a quarter of drivers killed in drug-related car crashes were younger than 25. Likewise, nearly half of fatally injured drivers who tested positive for marijuana were younger than 25.

    A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that 4% of drivers were high during the day and more than 6% at night, and that nighttime figure more than doubled on weekends.

    Colorado has seen a spike in driving fatalities in which marijuana alone was involved, according to Insurance.com. The trend started in 2009 the year medical marijuana dispensaries were effectively legalized at the state level.

    NHTSA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse are now in the final months of a three-year, half-million-dollar cooperative study to determine the impact of inhaled marijuana on driving performance. Tests observe participants who ingest a low dose of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, a high dose and a placebo to assess the effects on performance, decision-making, motor control, risk-taking behavior and divided-attention tasks.

    The study is being performed using what NHTSA calls “the world’s most advanced driving simulator,” the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator, which was previously used to study the effects of alcohol on driving.

    Huh… I don’t see any mention that texting-while-driving is the leading cause of teen death these days. Fancy that.

  • tensity1

    A report by MAPS and DPA titled The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding
    And Rejecting Science.

    http://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/DPA-MAPS_DEA_Science_Final.pdf

    • claygooding

      There is some fine boilerplate in that there piece,,,I didn’t catch what DPA planned on doing with the report,,I hope it is going to be presented as written testimony on some upcoming committee hearing or attached to one already done.

    • kaptinemo

      One damning, legally verifiable example after another of both deliberate, institutionalized bureaucratic foot-dragging, and equally deliberate sabotage of both the letter and intent of the laws governing drug classification.

      Given the DEA’s latest paroxysms of mad-dog behavior, on top of everything it’s done over the past 40 years, it’s well past the time for leashes and choke-collars. In the right hands at the right time, this report is a noose around their necks.

      Up to now, the political atmosphere of mindless, reflexive support of DrugWar programs in Congress wasn’t conducive to its reception. But with over half the population with us, that’s changing.

      I daresay that, with evidence of the growing firestorm of the Wasserman-Schultz incident – and its inevitable fallout making obstructionism against drug law reform politically expensive for those who voted against the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment – Congress is rapidly becoming more receptive of this kind of report…and, even more importantly, will be more than willing to be seen to be acting upon it.

      That is, if they want to keep their cushy jobs, they will.

      • Windy

        Majority Leader Eric Cantor, just lost the vote in his district to a young Tea Party candidate, he won’t be on the ballot this fall and he won’t be back in congress. I’d like to think Cantor’s vote on that Amendment has something to do with his defeat.

    • jean valjean

      has any explanation ever been given by dea to justify these decade long delays? this tactic is so obvious they must get called on it by someone like congressman cohen.

  • Servetus

    President Richard Pillhound Nixon’s first drug czar, Myles J. Ambrose, the creator of the current DEA, is dead from an apparent heart attack as of June 3, 2014. Ambrose adds to the list of prohibitionists who escape justice for their crimes against humanity by dying. Here is Myles Ambrose at his best:

    Mr. Ambrose was widely criticized for his response to reports of drug raids at the homes of innocent people. While promising to minimize such mistakes, he said: “Drug people are the very vermin of humanity. They are dangerous. Occasionally we must adopt their dress and tactics.”

    Mr. Ambrose didn’t assume leadership of the DEA he created. He had been politically tainted in 1971 for attending a Christmas party of a Texas buddy who was a banker turned heroin smuggler.

    • kaptinemo

      DrugWarriors…promising to ‘minimize mistakes’ in raiding innocent people’s homes…since 1971. And that’s being conservative.

      They’ve had all this time, and they still can’t get it right? Decades of failure is nothing to celebrate. Not at the price paid, monetary and otherwise.

      Nixon’s own personal Doomsday Device left behind to target those he deemed his enemies has gone trundling along, ruining lives and squandering national treasure, long after the crypto-fascist Tricky Dick met with Entropy Personified.

      Like landmines left unmarked and unexploded after a long-forgotten war, the DEA’s been destroying people’s lives long after its original purpose – hippie bashing – became irrelevant.

      And given what we now know of illegal NSA collusion in supplying the DEA with information not made available to defense attorneys, it’s proven itself another rogue agency in need of having it’s Congressional oversight choke collar yanked hard enough to draw blood…if not decapitate it bureaucratically, outright.

      Tricky’s casket should be exhumed, and the corpse of the DEA thrown in on top of his moldering body, and then hermetically resealed before pitching it back in the hole, as a prelude to joining him in Hell.

    • B. Snow

      So then, singing rounds of “ding dong the witch dick is dead… ” would be – uhm, inappropriate – I guess? Okay.

  • primus

    Give Tricky a Hitler haircut and moustache and the resemblance is uncanny.