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Fade to Black

...and the perils of mixing booze with cannabis

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The 4/20 "holiday" is right around the corner, and for those who celebrate it as a "High Holy Day," bless your hearts. We can use an uptick in sales at dispensaries, so stock up and get down, responsibly.

Not to be Donald Downer, but as always, please mind your intake of edibles. I've written here how badly things can go when edibles aren't minded, but I haven't gotten into how "bad" can be transformed into "so... much... worse" territory with the addition of "the source of, and answer to, all of life's problems: alcohol."

"Cross fading"—getting high and drunk at the same time—for many is a risky proposition. There are numerous physiological reactions that occur when alcohol and cannabis go together, especially in large quantities, such as increasing the body's ability to take in more THC. It can take down experienced faders, but adding a strong dose of edibles can level anyone.

A friend had gotten secretly and spontaneously married, and was in town to see me, and her girlfriend, with whom she was staying. I presented her with a dozen of my cookies. They were very strong. I wrote, "these are very strong!!" on the box, and emphatically insisted that a portion was one half a cookie, and that they were not to be consumed with alcohol. She nodded in solemn agreement. My friend is the one we all have, the Last Wo(man) Standing during any session, finishing the joint no one else could, then immediately sparking up a fresh one.

Her girlfriend met her at a bar shortly after. What was to be "one quick drink" grew to what was later recounted as "seven, eight or possibly, uh, nine," margaritas. You know what goes great with seven, eight or, uh, nine margaritas? Anything. Lukewarm Taco Bell is 5-Star, Michelin- worthy to a very drunk person.

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But a dozen homemade cannabis cookies?

"We just couldn't stop. We'd eat part of a cookie, have a drink, eat more cookie—it was just the habit of snacking and drinking, not a conscious choice," she explained later. Realizing they'd made a huge mistake, they quickly retreated to the friend's studio apartment. "And that's when it started going south, fast," said my friend.

The girlfriend was a rather experienced drinker, but not much of a toker. Her paranoia became quickly pronounced, insisting to my friend that I was trying to kill them, and the cookies included a fatal, fast acting poison. My friend assured her that wasn't the case, but the girlfriend had an elaborate, improvised backstory that involved jealousy, betrayal, my friend's ex BF and a gentleman's agreement I had entered to bake tasty, yet fatal, poison cannabis cookies. It was like an episode of "Riverdale."

My friend coaxed her girlfriend to take a nap with her, in the hopes it would help relax them. "We're going to diiiiiiiiiiie," the girl repeatedly drunkenly stage-whispered in my friend's ear as they drifted off. She awoke shortly after to her friend shaking her violently, and thrusting the phone in her face. "TELL HER! TELL HER JOSH POISONED US!" the friend shouted.

"Hello?"

"Hello, 911, ma'am, can you please tell me what type of poison you've taken?" My friend explained that wasn't the case. "Ma'am, your friend said you have both eaten a large amount of poison. Please try and stay calm."

"I am calm. I'm not poisoned, I'm really stoned and drunk, though."

"Help is arriving soon."

"Help" came in the form of two police officers, five firefighters and two EMTs, all together in the studio apartment. My friend explained they had only eaten strong pot cookies, (over her friend shouting "NO! WE'VE BEEN POISONED! WE'RE GOING TO DIE! FROM POISON!"). The police were shaking their heads as they exited, one firefighter asking if "there were any left." The EMTs explained that once ingested, there was nothing they could do to treat this clearly non-terminal overdose of edibles.

The girlfriend insisted they be taken by ambulance to the ER, 11 blocks away, and that they each have their stomach pumped, which they did. Neither had insurance, and each got bills totaling $3,700.

Here's your takeaway:
Don't cross fade
Mind your edibles
Don't call 911 on yourself if you do


Speaking of Cannabis, pot In Bend

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