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Justice

Weed Should Be Legal, But Also Banned

Why we owe it to ourselves to fully legalize weed, and then also to completely ban it from public life.

Weed
Flickr/ Cannabis Urlab

I am not very good at smoking weed anymore. To be completely honest with you, I never was. Sure, I would smoke a joint on the walk home from a party in college every now and then and at one point even kept a little pipe with half a bowl packed on my desk in grad school, just to mellow out the stress occasionally, but weed has never been my thing. Now, when I smoke, I tend to get severe acid reflux, and my lungs feel like shit for a day or so afterward, so I mostly just… don’t. Edibles are nice sometimes, but often make me feel vaguely anxious, woozy, and hot for a while afterwards, so it’s pretty clear that THC is not the drug for me at this point in my life.

I’m telling you this because I feel that it’s important for writers to openly acknowledge our biases, to present ourselves to our audience in a forthright manner so they can understand and weigh the position we’re arguing from. And my position today is that we should ban marijuana from public life.

I’ve arrived at this view mostly through a piece of important reporting over at Insider, where writer Andrea Michelson documented her visit to Stoned Pizza Parlor, a quasi-legal East Village restaurant that serves a four-course meal where every item is laced with enormous amounts of THC. If this sounds like I’m bashing the blog, I’m not — Michelson’s piece is genuinely interesting, and my only critique is that it’s maybe slightly too credulous toward the entire concept of Stoned Pizza Parlor. Because Stoned Pizza Parlor, in my opinion, is absolutely something that should not exist. Listen to this:

If you want to dine at the restaurant, you’ll be served a set four-course, $100 meal that contains upwards of 400mg of THC.

For context, a modern joint contains between 60 to 150 mg of THC or more, according to Weedmaps. However, edibles may affect people differently because they’re absorbed via the liver.

It was definitely too much weed for two people — a plate of six garlic knots contained 100mg of THC, and that was just the first appetizer.

For reference, most cannabis edibles I’ve tried in the past were dosed at between 5 and 25 mg. In my experience, 5 mg is a nice dose for a day out and 25 mg usually makes me feel too sleepy to socialize.

This is absurd! No person should consume this! This should not exist!

Around this time I should make a disclaimer: The full federal legalization of marijuana for recreational and commercial use is a vital political priority for any government seeking to end decades of racist policing and generate billions in tax revenue thus far left on the ground. But holy shit man we gotta have some decency here! Weed cafes where you can purchase a coffee and a small pot brownie? Objectively good. Wonderful institution. Sounds great. Lightly THC-infused drinks going up on bar menus so that people who don’t drink alcohol can imbibe something socially with friends? I love it. Great idea. But this??? This is an abomination. No one needs this.

The four-slice sampler really took the dosing to new heights. Each slice — sausage, cheese, veggie, and pepperoni — contained a whopping 40 mg of THC.

I’m not a huge fan of meat on pizza, so I sampled everything but the sausage. The pizza was tasty, with a fluffy crust, but even taking a small bite of each slice felt dangerous.

As I watched a server clear six hardly touched plates from the table next to us, I wondered aloud if anyone ever finished an entire meal at Stoned. He told me the restaurant ends up throwing out a lot of food, but some people go all in.

The excess here is appalling. I think what aggravates me so much about this is that it’s obviously a gimmick. What Stoned is selling is akin to the gold-leaf festooned ice cream cones — useless excess and decadence marketed only to people seeking a cartoonish experience. Live and let live a lot of people say. Let people enjoy things. But me, personally, I say no. Do not eat the 400 mg THC pizza. If you do I will judge you. Do not consume weed this way! Don’t be a weird freak about it! Smoke a joint, eat an edible, hell, break out one of those big 6 foot ROOR bongs that the frat houses had in college at a party if you’re truly trying to recapture some of that magic. But this? In public? It cannot stand. I do not want to see it. We owe it to ourselves to fully legalize weed, and then also to completely ban it from public life. Clearly, we’ve already gone too far.