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I had forgotten to put up a Weekend Open Thread on Friday, and then again on Saturday, and then again earlier today — so I found a story that I think is appropriate to come out a bit late and bleary. Use it as an open thread if you wanna.
Three weeks ago, the East Bay Express had a feature story that I had intended to post here as a welcome back for college students, but — um, I got busy. I am presuming that it’s not too late. It’s called “How to Smoke Weed (and avoid ending up at the hospital, or in jail.)”
Orange Juice Blog does not, of course, promote the ingestion of cannabis — although we do think that it should be legalized, regulated, and taxed like wine. But we’re really into the principle of “harm reduction” — that the cure should not be worse than the disease. And that means that — as with primary school sex education and other controversial topics — we favor giving people the facts about aspects of adult life even if we don’t want them to do them. It generally doesn’t make their doing them more likely — but it generally reduces the harm if they do so.
The linked article might better be entitled “How NOT to Use Weed.”
Don’t scarf down pot brownies, and be careful mixing weed with alcohol.
Abide by those two simple rules, and you’ll avoid becoming a freshman cliché at the hospital or the city jail, said Amanda Reiman, a lecturer at Cal who has a Ph.D in social welfare from UC Berkeley.
Recently named California policy manager of the Drug Policy Alliance, Reiman is a leading harm reductionist and former research director at the major East Bay dispensary Berkeley Patients Group who understands that plenty of people don’t “just say no” to weed, and those who say yes should minimize as many risks as possible. For freshmen, the major risks start with edibles, then move to alcohol, and finally social repercussions.
With sixteen being the average age of marijuana initiation, most freshman have already smoked pot, but “smoking pot is not the same as eating pot,” she noted. The effects come on much slower, and can be stronger and last longer. “One starts to feel a little weird, and a mob mentality takes over. Suddenly they’re all feeling weird and they go to the hospital where doctors tell them to go home, calm down, and drink some water.”
Reiman talked to Berkeley firefighters, who apparently get more calls for pot-brownie-induced panic attacks than for fires. So, take it really slow with the weed edibles, Reiman advised. Eat a bite, wait an hour, and see how you feel.
See, that didn’t hurt much, did it? Stay safe, my friends!