A Maine restaurant is getting lobsters stoned before boiling them to death because, according to the owner, it’s more humane that way.
Animal rights advocates aren’t buying it.
Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor, Maine, is getting a lot of (mostly uncritical) media attention over the practice, which involves placing the crustaceans in a few inches of water and blowing cannabis smoke into the tank.
It started as an experiment, owner Charlotte Gill, a registered medical marijuana caregiver, told the Mount Desert Islander newspaper. She said a lobster that went through the process appeared calmer for weeks, and she ultimately released it back into the ocean. But now, she’s giving customers the option of ordering a lobster that’s been bathed in cannabis smoke—and she plans to build a larger tank to expand the operation.
“I feel bad that when lobsters come here there is no exit strategy,” Gill said. “It’s a unique place and you get to do such unique things but at the expense of this little creature. I’ve really been trying to figure out how to make it better.”
But while lobsters may have cannabinoid receptors that respond to marijuana compounds like THC, advocates aren’t convinced that it really matters.
“It is highly unlikely that getting a lobster high would make a lick of difference when it comes to the full-blown agony of being boiled or steamed alive,” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said in a statement to Marijuana Moment.
“There is a well-established, foolproof way to prevent crustaceans from suffering, though, and that’s by not eating them.”
Beyond the questionable ethics surrounding forcibly intoxicating animals—much less killing them in an excruciatingly painful manner afterward—is a scientific question: would blowing cannabis smoke in a tank of lobsters actually relax them?
A 2015 study from Johns Hopkins University found some evidence that secondhand marijuana smoke can produce psychoactive effects in humans. But generally speaking, the person would have to be in a poorly ventilated space filled with a lot of smoke, and it’s not clear that methodology works for non-human animals.
(Also, experts aren’t even sure that the type of cannabinoid receptors that lobsters have influence pain like they do in humans).
What is known, however, is that lobsters have intricate nervous systems and do experience pain. Switzerland outlawed boiling lobsters earlier this year for just that reason. And even if lobsters do become somewhat sedated when exposed to cannabis smoke, they’re still going to feel the scorch of being submerged in 140-degree Fahrenheit water.
Photo courtesy of Pexels.
Al Sharpton Jokes About Reaction To Elizabeth Warren’s Marijuana Bill
At a conference focusing on legislation in the next Congress on Tuesday, civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton joked about the particular attention some attendees paid to a marijuana bill sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Warren described the bipartisan legislation—which would let states implement legal cannabis systems free from federal interference—as part of her talk about criminal justice reforms she hopes to enact. Marijuana prohibition disproportionately impacts black Americans, she pointed out, and this bill would represent “a step toward making a real difference.”
“We cannot give up on this.”
When Sharpton, who founded the conference’s hosting organization, National Action Network, came back to the podium to introduce the next lawmaker, he quipped:
“I know for all of you old weed smokers, y’all like that marijuana bill. I’m not calling no names, but I saw some of y’all kind of nodding off and your heads snapped up when she started talking about—when she got into that weed thing, some of y’all woke up.”
Sharpton has made repeated calls for federal cannabis reform, characterizing decriminalization as a “civil rights cause” in a 2017 op-ed for The Guardian.
He’s also challenged the marijuana industry to do more to create business opportunities for people of color and get behind civil rights movements more broadly.
Photo courtesy of C-SPAN.
‘Walking Dead’ Actor Raises Money For Kids Who Use Medical Marijuana
Norman Reedus, who plays zombie-slaying Daryl Dixon on AMC’s The Walking Dead, is once again raising money to help kids suffering from serious illnesses get medical marijuana treatment.
Yes, again. It seems he loves helping kids as much as he loves taking out walkers on TV.
— norman reedus (@wwwbigbaldhead) November 9, 2018
Right now, for every $5 you donate to SavingSophie.org, you’re entered to win some Reedus-signed memorabilia from the organization. Saving Sophie is a non-profit set up by the parents of Sophie Ryan, who was diagnosed with a low-grade, optic pathway glioma brain tumor when she was eight years old.
After creating a Facebook page around their child’s situation, a friend introduced them to Ricki Lake and filmmaker Abby Epstein, who were in production on their recently released documentary “Weed The People.” With this new connection and information, the parents decided to use a combination of chemo and cannabis oil to treat Sophie’s condition. Sophie’s brain tumor has since shrunk by up to 90 percent, according to their website.
Through the donations to the non-profit, Sophie’s parents “hope to pay it forward to those who are now in the same financial troubles we once found ourselves in.”
Contributions will help fund the group’s cancer research initiative, which currently consists of eight patients who are using “cannabinoid therapy alongside doctor-prescribed treatments,” according to an email blast.
“Our goal with this research is to bring non-toxic cancer treatments through human trials so that doctors will have access to this life-saving medicine for patients in need.”
This isn’t the first time Reedus has helped raise funds for pediatric patients using cannabis.
In January 2017, he tweeted a call for donations to CannaKids.org for a raffle featuring some of his autographed gear and more.
$5 per entry and all proceeds go to help CannaKids’ pediatric cancer patients. https://t.co/YGvN8pxhnR DO A GOOD THING. XXX
— norman reedus (@wwwbigbaldhead) January 3, 2017
It’s clear the Boondock Saints star and heartthrob of early 2000’s Hot Topic shoppers has a caring heart for children seeking to use cannabis as a cancer treatment.
Photo courtesy of Heather Paul.
Michelle Obama Talks Smoking Marijuana In New Memoir
Former First Lady Michelle Obama got candid in her new memoir, “Becoming,” which includes a brief admission that she smoked marijuana as a teen.
In the book, released on Tuesday, Obama reminisces about her youthful transgressions, at one point writing that she and a high school boyfriend named David “fooled around and smoked pot in his car.”
She doesn’t get much further into it than that. Though she does allude to a “looser, more wild” young Barack Obama in another section. As a teen, the future president “smoked pot in the lush volcanic foothills of Oahu,” she wrote.
In a recent interview, ABC News anchor Robin Roberts asked Obama about the admission.
“You even write about smoking pot,” Roberts said. “Now you didn’t go into great detail, but you could’ve left that out, so why’d you talk about it?”
“That was what I did,” Obama said. “That’s part of the ‘Becoming’ story.”
“Everybody had something that they had to work through, something that they were figuring out. Why would I hide that from the next generation?”
Photo courtesy of Obama White House archives.