When they legalized weed in Colorado in 2012, something bad was bound to happen in terms of public perception, and soon enough it did: a man killed his wife after consuming a massive dose of cannabis-infused sweets. Since then, edibles have been the focus of some extreme bursts of Reefer Madness. Most memorably around here, Michael O’Keefe, the district attorney for the Cape and Islands, described Denver as a place where the streets are littered with marijuana gummy bears—a stern warning to those who pick up half-eaten candy off the ground without considering the health risks.
In fairness, edibles do present some particular dangers: they look and taste like regular food to you, your baby daughter, and your dog. And whereas you take a pill out of a bottle and keep the bottle with the label, it’s likely that somebody would toss away the packaging for an edible, making it difficult to track dosing information.
On the latter note, the legalization bill that is currently stalled in the Massachusetts legislature offers a simple solution: no edible in a single wrapper should contain more than 20mg of THC, which might be considered two “servings.” It has also been proposed that no edibles should have the appearance of children’s candy. In any case, both proposals would need medical exceptions, as some patients need a higher dose of THC, and can’t eat 10 cupcakes to get it, while others may need lollipops and gummy bears as convenient forms of cannabis delivery.
The biggest problem, of course, is not the edibles but impatient human nature: while you’re waiting for the high to kick in, you’re tempted to take another dose, or two, or three, therefore producing way more of a high than you bargained for. What do you do about that? You could have a law that edibles are only available at movie theaters with a ticket purchase and must be consumed before taking your seat. Barring such a law, impatient types like me may be better off leaving edibles alone. For everybody else, the unofficial rule should probably just be: Always wait at least an hour before asking, “Are we having fun yet?”
Andy Gaus is an activist with Bay State Repeal, which is advocating for the legalization bill mentioned herein.