We need the right facilities for safe experimentation with cannabis

Published Feb 10, 2021 10:00 a.m. ET
iStock / DisobeyArt

Cannabis is now legal in more places than it isn’t, and that’s a pretty fantastic feat, but we still have a long way to go before our world can truly adjust to accommodate both seasoned and brand-new consumers. Sure, we’ve got the dispensaries, and some of us even have access to a luxurious cannabis café where you can go and sprawl out on a comfy couch while getting to know other like-minded individuals or hanging out with some of our closest friends. Still, that’s about all we’ve got, and it’s not helping to improve the safety of cannabis consumption.

Why we need it

You might be thinking that cannabis is little more than a gentle glow that you feel once you finally get to take that first hit of the day, but this is only reliably true for experienced users who are sticking to cannabis goods with a lower THC level. For many others, the mere thought of getting too high is enough to keep them from ever trying a single pot product, and rightly so, as many have fallen victim to the intense psychoactive effects that end up being way too much to comfortably handle.

Even limiting doses to minimal amounts isn’t enough to reliably predict how a cannabis product might impact someone, and though most like to compare the plant to alcohol, by saying that we should be able to self regulate the amount that is taken, one might argue about the fact that we don’t have safe alcohol consumption spaces which is a serious problem too. Then if you go on to consider what the recreational world of drugs might look like once we introduce things like psilocybin, it just makes sense to contemplate this.

What we need

Once upon a time, if you wanted to try cannabis or some new product, you’d have to do so under a veil of secrecy which didn’t really help to lessen any of the potential adverse effects. Nowadays, we can toke in public, and no longer have to hide from view. Still, some of the risks of cannabis use could be lessened even further, and the consumer's comfortability could significantly increase, if only we had access to a facility with some of these perks.

1. A safe space to consume

Some enthusiasts and newbies have access to lounges, but they are few and far between because most countries still maintain rules against these new aged establishments. It’s hard to figure out how to move regulations in reverse when we just got most businesses to convert to smoke-free areas, which is why the idea gets so much pushback, but it’s an absolutely necessary service to provide for many stoners. In particular, those who can’t smoke at home or handle the cold during the harshest seasons need somewhere to go.

2. Supervision and company

Supervision sounds a bit like daycare, but that doesn’t make the option any less useful, especially for new or inexperienced consumers who are unsure of how to proceed. For many, the lack of assistance and friendly companionship keeps them from dappling in more potent cannabis goods like edibles, which are known for causing intense and long-lasting effects. In those cases, a friendly face could go a long way in making consumers feel safer and more comfortable.

3. Trained personnel

With so many emergency room visits, it makes sense to put people in a space where they can get all of the help to avoid potentially uncomfortable situations and to get that, they’ll need access to trained personnel who know how to handle any potential situation that could arise with a patron. Be it a bad “greening out” episode that might require medical attention or just a stoned individual who needs a bit of help coming around, that help should be available for those who need it.

4. Discretion

One of the biggest problems with legalization is that it doesn’t protect consumers or even medicinal patients in their homes, forcing them out to sidewalks and other public spaces to either get stoned or take their medicine. Of course, many folks are more than happy to be able to spark up out in the open, but just as many would prefer to keep their consumption on the down-low. Not everyone wants their neighbours, boss, or anyone else for that matter to know something so personal, which is why we need facilities that offer privacy and discretion to protect them.

5. Staff who are ready to educate

There is no stupid question when it comes to substance use because it is essential that you understand the whole process from beginning to finish, but the only place that most cannabis users know of to learn about weed is the dispensary, which doesn’t currently offer any of the aforementioned services. Consumers can’t be in the very best state of mind if they have queries nagging at the forefront of their thoughts, and they deserve somewhere more reliable than google for answers. Whether it’s how to hold a pipe, what’s necessary to use a vaporizer or any other weed-related inquiry, they should be able to get it answered while they’re arm deep in action.

This is only a handful of the options that could truly help to strengthen the safety net in place for cannabis consumers everywhere, but it’s an excellent start that could lead to a significantly better outcome for both new and more experienced lovers of the green.

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