I literally almost died from marijuana, and I am not joking

I Literally Almost Died From Marijuana, I Am Not Joking

Colorado has its official first marijuana-related death: a young college student fell from a balcony and the coroner decided having THC in his system must have meant it was an after-school special where kids on “the pot” think they can fly. But I literally, actually almost died from marijuana. And now I will tell you my story.

I live in California. I am a legal user of marijuana (for cramps, basically, but it is a true thing and also shut up). I received a candy bar with marijuana in it. But my middle-aged eyes were too middle-aged to read the tiny dosage recommendation, if the packaging even had a dosage recommendation, which, who even knows. Anyway, the person from whom I had received it DID give me dosage instructions, which were “eat one square, do not eat more than one square” but I could not find where she had written that to me, and also I couldn’t remember, and also I was hungry and the marijuana candy bar, which comprised eight squares, was fucking delicious.

I can believe I ate the whole thing. I can believe anybody would eat the whole thing. Maybe don’t put eight servings in a thing that would usually be one serving?

It was not long before I was whirling and dizzy and would have passed out like I was in college all over again and my couch was a random stranger’s back patio, but I had to vomit, so I made it to the bathroom. There, while puking and puking and puking, the muscles in my throat stopped working. The vomit was literally stuck in the middle of my throat, and wouldn’t travel any further up.

I couldn’t breathe. I was going to choke to death on my own vomit, but instead of dying like a rock star, I was a middle aged woman choking to death on her own vomit WHILE DIZZILY WATCHING TV.

Worse, I was going to be the first person to die of pot, and Fox News would pick it up, and Eric Holder and the DOJ and the DEA would come into Cali and Washington and Colorado guns blazing and make marijuana superduperillegal again and I would RUIN POT FOR EVERYONE.

We almost called an ambulance, but then I managed to get some water and force the vomit back down my throat and not choke to death and not die.

But now I only take my weed like God and Bob Marley intended, like a gentleman, in a pipe.

[Denver Post]

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  • Atrios

    people always kid about Teh Pot Brownies but it’s only that form that I’ve seen someone get scarily fucked up on marijuana, in the way you did.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      Back in the day pot cookies were popular- one time a friend who happened to be a professional pastry chef at the time was tasked with baking a batch. Unfortunately for her, she had the bad habit of constantly sampling as she cooked and it never dawned on her what the ramifications of that otherwise innocuous habit would be in this case (she was at best a rare toker). Needless to say, by the time the cookies were done she was a sticky, gooey mess. We planted her in a convenient bean bag chair and kept an eye on her for the rest of the evening, occasionally bringing her some water until she sobered up to the point that we could tease her about being so foolish…

      • Cindyinencinitas

        The point I wanted to make, in all seriousness, was that edibles are really hard to figure out. I have had several experiences with their unpredictability. I ate one brownie that had been in the freezer for 2 months and I pretty much collapsed in the Tom Bradley Terminal and practically had to be carried to my flight. Luckily I had a long layover in Mexico City and was able to sleep it off but I had no idea that when you freeze them, the THC turns to CBD, which turns you into a wet noodle.And homeboy needs another job for real. Really showing the strain at that one.

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  • memzilla

    On the label should be printed: THIS IS 8 SERVINGS. It should also be sold with 7 non-laced brownies, also clearly labeled.

  • gullywompr

    Glad you’re not dead. That would have been sad.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      we would not have been grateful

  • Respiteini

    Pot and munchies. Who’d’ve thunk *that* could be a bad combination…?

    • Spurning Beer

      I know, right? The FDA (I assume) will not even allow B-vitamins to be added to liquor, which would prevent some serious effects of alcoholism, because people might think the hooch was “safe” or even “healthful.” But some douchebag is going to manufacture marijuana Cheetos someday.

  • Annie Towne

    That sounds really terrifying, Becks. So glad you had the presence of mind to save yourself.

    • rebecca

      Annie, it was AWFUL.

  • fauxpinky

    Yes. It only takes one or two people medicating carelessly to “ruin it for everyone”. Foreign researchers are finding important medical applications for cannabis, for maladies ranging from brain cancer and childhood epilepsy to PTSD. So, while you people are out there – over your heads – “experimenting” and fucking up your dosages, be aware that everytime you end up in the local newspaper, police blotter, hospital or morgue, you, in your own small way, are fucking up others’ ability to change legislation to get this substance safely legal and titrated for safe medical use.Enjoy your “candy”, assholes. Meanwhile, I pray everyday my friend’s son doesn’t seize to death from Dravet syndrome. Cannabis is medicine.

    • Cindyinencinitas

      Somebody needs to eat some special candy and fucking chill. She said it was an accident. btw – “every day” is 2 words so remember that when you are over your head posting on this site. These particular assholes are ejamacated.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        no doubt, lighten up, Francis. There are millions of people across the country every day (two words) not over their heads, not “experimenting” and not stampeding the hospitals or morgues- just a whole bunch experienced recreational users leading relatively normal lives. And it is in large part because of their support that the tide is turning on medicinal MJ laws- best not to shit all over them, considering the likelihood of getting those laws passed without their vote.

        • fauxpinky

          Point taken, Zippy. Numbers are providing support to the movement. I just wish we had a few less “tourists” vaulting off balconies right now. Alcohol induces the same behaviour, and doesn’t sent the medla into “Reefer Madness”-induced spasms.

          • Zippy W Pinhead

            How many have there been? One? Blame the idiot MSM for the reefer madness, not the millions of recreational users who do so responsibly. You’re not helping when you lash out at those millions of “assholes” because the tiniest percentage of them screw up. Nor are you helping when you talk about endless trips to the morgue or Darwin Awards for pot smokers based upon one guy dying- you’re just contributing to the reefer madness. You’re absolutely right about the alcohol double standard- it would be completely wrong to go all Carrie Nation on the millions of people enjoying a beer after work because some idjit frat boy gave himself alcohol poisoning at a campus kegger. It’s just as wrong to go nuts at the millions of pot smokers because of the actions of the irresponsible minority.

          • Camberlane

            What about the headline of the article then? It’s pretty sensationalist and to any casual reader its title alone could be used among a myriad of others to show the downsides of these treatments. I can hear the soundbite now “… articles, like ‘I literally almost died from Marijuana’ and ‘man falls off balcony’ are making the rounds on the internet today…..” Is this not feeding sensalitionalism in favour of the naysayers? This should be more responsibly handled, especially in light of what fauxpinky is saying. Learn how to dose yourself, you’ve already helped the ‘ruin’ers with this article.

          • Annie Towne

            The headline was not “sensationalist”. Aspirating one’s vomit is an almost guaranteed death-by-suffocation. Rebecca’s tone is always light, but her story here was serious. She is incredibly lucky she got herself out of trouble before she lost consciousness, which almost certainly would have led to her death.

          • Camberlane

            Except that it is sensationalist. Even your summation of her article is sensationalist, ‘led to her death’ ‘lost consciousness’ ‘death-by-suffocation.’ These are shocking details about a rare situation, marijuana consumption, thus it’s an exciting topic and therefore almost perfectly sits as sensationalist in the dictionary. I totally agree about it being a completely scary situation and thank whatever circumstance that enabled her to survive, that being said marijuana wasn’t the sole cause and therefore the headline shouldn’t reflect that. They don’t blame car manufacturers in DUI accidents. I’m sure the writer has almost choked and died on a glass of water many times (I’ve choked hard on my own spit) and yet she has no articles warning against water consumption (which kills more people a year than marijuana). Drinking water is something we all need, so you can’t demonize it for a choking hazard. Think of marijuana like you think of water when concerning genuine victims, they need this, you shouldn’t demonize it due to user error (just like drinking water too much or quickly).

          • Zippy W Pinhead

            FWIW I don’t think Trix was intending to demonize pot or warn against consuming it- that’s just the over-the-top writing style we all know and love.Also too, a good defense lawyer will indeed blame the auto manufacturer in a DUI case if he can find a way to do so. I’ve read about several cases where a DUI lawyer has managed to shift some of the liability partially away from his client onto a car or bike maker. Complete BS IMHO and one of the reasons I hate lawyers (until I need one)

          • Camberlane

            Haha fair enough Zip.

          • Annie Towne

            I think you’re very defensive and thereby not understanding that her danger was very real and not at all like water going down the wrong pipe. My language was not exaggerated, either. I assisted at an autopsy on a man who had died from aspirating his own vomit. And my closest friend died of ALS; before he died he had to have a stomach tube because his throat muscles stopped working and food would kill him if he tried to drink it. I actually know what I’m talking about. Sorry it doesn’t fit your pro-marijuana-no-matter-what-narrative, but if a person’s throat muscles cannot work and vomit has become lodged in the throat, which is what Rebecca described, then suffocation is the outcome. That is a fact.

          • Camberlane

            I never accused anyone of over-exaggeration, I claimed sensationalism, which you directly countered… I’m not defending marijuana so much as challenging the narrative (which you’re defending btw, if anything I’m ‘offensive’). I don’t know how we devolved into dick measuring but I am a med student, I’m friends with many users and I’ve never heard of this happening before. So this blog post to me is just here-say as I wasn’t in the bathroom and have no idea the extent of her muscle control… but you must have missed the part where I admitted to asphyxiation being scary as hell and thankfully she’s okay. I just don’t know how close she was to death and how much marijuana played a factor… and honestly… neither do you. What I do know is that vomit asphyxiation episodes happen often, to a wide range of people daily, from ALS to drinking water improperly… asphyxiation can happen with a multitude of muscle dystrophies for various reasons in play. To me (even if marijuana is the direct and only cause of this situation) the problem was still user error, not the medication.”Almost guaranteed death-by-suffocation” That’s as sensationalistic as they come, how do you even begin backing up such a bold claim? 21st century McCarthyism up in hurrrrr… Jenny McCarthyism that is.Suffocation was not the outcome, unless you believe this blog was written by a ghost… that is actually what a fact is.

          • Annie Towne

            I just want to understand–are you, a medical student, saying that aspiration of vomitus is NOT an almost guaranteed death-by-suffocation? I saw a lot of it. In the morgue. So in my experience, it is an almost guaranteed death-by-suffocation. Also, water is not vomit. It gets into the trachea and is annoying, but it cannot occlude it entirely. Vomit is solid. or at least solid enough to block off air completely.

          • rebecca

            Nor have I demonized marijuana, which I still smoke. But I won’t be eating any edibles, where I have no idea what the dosage is.

          • Zippy W Pinhead

            Congrats, Becca. I do believe you’ve spawned a real live comment thread here at HNTP. They grow up so fast, don’t they?

          • Zippy W Pinhead

            I won’t argue that- Trix isn’t helping either in that regard. Granted the wonket alum know that the headline is a jumping off point for our daily snark, but I could well see this anecdote being used as fodder by the anti drug crowd. That being said, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal what anyone says here, because the prohibitionists are losing the war- badly. I think the days of reefer madness are numbered- I was just cautioning Pinky about not coming out both guns blazing that way, more so out of respect to the millions of responsible recreational users rather than out of fear of actually feeding any drug hysteria

          • rebecca

            It’s not sensationalist. I literally almost died. The muscles in the my throat shut down from too fucking much THC.

        • Cindyinencinitas

          Thanks, Zip.Pinky, I think you need to change jobs. Coming on this page and heaping scorn on the dozens of readers only makes you look bitter.

          • fauxpinky

            I’m quite happy with my job, as I provide relief to sick people who have failed to find help through conventional medicine. What do you do for a living?And don’t waste your precious time worrying about how I am perceived, I do alright without your judgement.

      • fauxpinky

        I would “chill”, but I have a steady parade of human tragedy coming into the dispensary where I work every day. (Forgive the grammatical transgression, I’m not as superior a human being as you, apparently.) If you were face-to-face with people with broken bodies and potentially fatal diseases for whom cannabis is a godsend, you might have less sympathy for “marijuana tourists” and dilettantes.Proof that for me, would you, hon? And, have a cookie, Cindy.

        • rebecca

          Nor am I a marijuana tourist or dilettante. I am a legal medical marijuana user, and a 41-year-old woman.

    • SnarkOff

      Um, Editrix? How did fauxpinky get past the troll controls?

      • fauxpinky

        Yeah. “SnarkOff”, *I* am the troll for pointing out how foolish experimentation by uneducated people harms the science of the cannabis movement and, by extension, patients with ailments ranging from cancer to auto-immune disease. This is an industry supporting often seriously-ill people and those of us involved can be a little touchy about how we are defined. Yet, I am the troll for pointing this out. Thank you for clarifying that point. Incidentally, what do YOU do for a living?

    • rebecca

      I wasn’t “experimenting” and I literally couldn’t read the dosage, if it was even on the label.

  • fauxpinky

    And, Rebecca, I am truly delighted you are well, but consider yourself paddled. Would you drop a whole bottle of aspirin for a headache?

  • Cindyinencinitas

    They should not sell an 8-dose candy bar. That’s just stupid. OF COURSE you’re going to eat the whole thing.

    • rebecca

      Thank you! Michelle Obama should sic the FDA food labeling police on them.

      • fauxpinky

        Self-control is never an option, then? OK…let’s also make the FDA repackage all over-the-counter medications into single-dosage units. While we’re at it, why don’t we repackage liquor into single-serving bottles? Airline-sized hooch for all! THAT will certainly be popular… There is such a thing as an informed consumer. I see a need for better labeling, but, if you use these products carelessly, YOU are responsible for the results. There is going to be a need for a whole new category of Darwin Awards for mainstream “marijuana” consumers…

        • neminem

          There *is* a difference, though. I absolutely am all in favor of pointing out the ridiculousness of treating pot as so much worse than alcohol, when in many ways it’s actually the opposite, but alcohol has one thing that none of the medical marijuana consumables I’ve ever seen have had, which it would be way nicer for people consuming them if it did have, which is: labeled standardized amounts of the psychoactive substance. If you buy a bottle of scotch, it will say *exactly* how much ethanol is in a standard serving. If you have a brownie, you have absolutely no idea whether eating the whole brownie will get you a little mellow, or absolutely bonkers high. That is kind of unfortunate.(Edit, I just noticed you did say you wanted better labeling, mixed in with the snark; I probably should have responded to the parent comment. It is still a pretty big deal, though.)

        • borninatrailer

          Eh, yeah, sure, only adults should be consuming and be able to read directions and yadda yadda yadda.The point is, why make something that is very commonly accepted as a single serving into many servings (8 for a candy bar is dumb). If the candy bar is 8 servings.. cut into 8, wrap individually. Don’t sell cookies you are only supposed to eat a third of. It’s just common sense. And frankly, anyone producing edibles should be erring on this side to prevent little mishaps. Especially with the legal status so shiny and new. Edibles are really the only weird consumption angle for pot after all. A much longer delay so you can get far more F’ed up than you realize with very little effort. And hey, it suppresses nausea too so yer less likely to yak it up! Sweet!So common sense on both sides please.

  • deutsch

    I’m so happy your picture did not wind up above a Fox News chyron with terrible pot or toilet puns (“up in smoke” and “down the drain” come to mind). Edible potstuff is the scariest. I helped a friend through a long night in an Amsterdam hostel after she devoured a deceptively harmless looking piece of chocolate Space Cake.

  • LeighB

    Pot brownies was the only way we HS cheerleaders made it through away games. Victorville sucks.

  • Seriously? It sounds like it had pure THC in it, not marijuana. Making it so that one square of an 8 square bar has that high a dose means whoever made it is a serious screw-up, and dangerous.

  • Dickey Pringle

    I “ODed” on THC candy once myself. A fucking unpleasant experience. I don’t do edibles anymore because of problems determining dosage.

    • zerosumgame0005

      the vomiting and other unpleasantness really sounds like it was poor quality chocolate.

  • Joseph

    Thank you for no dieing and ruining it for the rest of us. I’ll take six bars of candy, please.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      don’t eat them all at once

      • Joseph

        Never. At my age, I ration my interplanetary jumps carefully. I’m not an impatient young girl who wangs to get to Orions belt and back before her prom date picks her up.

  • neminem

    Because nobody’s *ever* choked to death and died in exactly that manner from drinking alcohol. Oh, wait, that happens like every day.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      Just don’t be like Eric “Stumpy Joe” Childs

  • Jay B.

    I was given a handful of THC-laced Goldfish (the Goldfish were exactly the kind you put in kids lunchboxes, except they are laced with brain-explosive grade drugs) and I haven’t been that high except for those few times I chose to on very good hallucinogens. Holyfuck that was awful. Had I planned for it, I would have been OK and may have expected to feel like I had green hair growing on my tongue.

  • The Dongs of War

    Yume Nikki? NO! DON’T DO IT!!!!!

  • Annie Towne

    The comments below, especially the really judgmental ones, are interesting. They, and Rebecca’s story, point to a simple truth: with marijuana “dosages,” people are insufficiently educated, a result of its being illegal. With legal medicines there’s a long oral history (“take two aspirin and call me in the morning”), and labeling, of known dosages. Clearly there needs to be the same kind of deliberate teaching and learning going on. Sudden access to the high THC content of the good stuff (after years of maybe low-quality smoke), for example, can radically change dosage and tolerance, etc. People need to think harder, maybe, than they have so far, especially when their THC comes in the form of food, which many people don’t think twice about over-eating for all kinds of reasons (the munchies being the most problematic).

  • DrShitferbrains

    If you need someone to test your pot candy for you first, you know where to find me. (Just look in the mirror and say “Shitferbrains” three times…)

  • zerosumgame0005

    Oh, Honey, make your own pot butter and make your own candy or brownies or use it on morning waffles! Ask to look at their kif’s and mix it with butter to your own taste and you’re good to go.

  • lesterthegiantape

    Oh, I laughed until I dampened, that was such an excellent story. And I’m so, so sorry. When you take a hit so huge it makes you vomit, that’s called a ‘whitey’. When you eat an entire tray of marijuana brownies, I think that’s called a ‘determined dog got up on the counter’.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      and turns into a porch puppy

      • Sourdo

        chocolate can kill a dog

  • Spurning Beer

    I once ate a pot brownie and was immobilized for about six hours and couldn’t eat because I was higher than effword.Now, show of hands, how many of us have an “almost died” story involving alcohol?

    • $73376667

      Well, not my own story…

  • $73376667

    I was a middle aged woman choking to death on her own vomit WHILE DIZZILY WATCHING TV.

    I’ve had experiences with reproducing things that really didn’t want to stay down in my stomach, including but not limited to a peanut I’m allergic to. Can’t imagine still watching TV throughout the process, even if I had one near a receptacle I’d want prefer to empty my stomach into.Girl, get a hobby.

  • bvocal

    It is a super valid point about making an 8 dose candy bar, that is wildly intuitive. Also, why do non pot users do edibles to ‘try it out’ like MoDo did? Do they think they will turn into a hippie if the smoke it?

  • Rick Hill

    I would be very happy if there were a grading for pot, similar to alcohol content. Pick the bud you want, beer, wine or whiskey potencies. Time to evolve, same way when no one knew how many mics was too much acid back in the 70s and a lot of folks got turned off, rather than on.

  • Joseph

    Thank you for not dieing. We would all missed you. Shy would miss you and the the cat too and you would fuck up the weedage for the rest of us. I am 70 years old and ave waited my whole like including an interminable time in the womb, waiting for WEED. Maureen Dowd, OK. Rebecca, NOT OK.

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  • Sourdo

    If I am the slightest bit drunk and smoke some real good weed, I will get the spins like nothing else. I can get drunk and be fine(till the hangover), or smoke all the live long day. I do not mix.

    sourdo

  • john sample

    I realize I’m a little late to this thread, but I found it while trying to search ‘near death’ pot experiences. All I can find are boastful accounts of how pot has NEVER killed anyone… I WAS hospitalized after a similar experience to yours. I ate (what seemed to be) a single dose edible chocolate treat from a legit pot dispensary. OK, I got it from a friend who has a prescription, but hey, it’s a few months before becoming legal, so why not, right? I’ve smoked a little here and there since my teens. Never a pot head, but it was always close by. Anyway, turns out the dose of the ‘treat’ was 175 mg. (A regular recommended dose is 10 mg). Someone please tell me, who on earth would see a regular sized chocolate cookie and eat a single bite?? I can assure you, it would have been impossible, (and ridiculous) to divvy that damn thing into 17 pieces. I mean really?! Anyway, long story short, I woke up naked strapped to a hospital bed with multiple bruises and scrapes on my body, a breathing tube in my throat and a catheter in my weeny. I stumped the entire staff of that emergency ward, when I came to, they all looked at me puzzled with that look like, ‘you don’t get like this from having a pot cookie’. I have no memory after laying down on my friends sofa 40 minutes after eating the cookie. The ambulance had to hold me down as I was convulsing like an epileptic. I was screaming and yelling but not making words out. I managed to punch a hole in my friends wall, kick several hospital staff members, and seriously injure my own body. I remember absolutely nothing, and I have never struggled with rage or anger ever in my life. There is a spot on my calf that still doesn’t grow hair because I scraped a huge chunk of skin off. Alright, it’s been about 6 months since this event, I’m still here to tell the story, but man, this is a serious issue. I know I OD’d on THC, but if we’re going towards legalization, people need to be aware of dose control. Anyway, hope someone will read this and think twice before eating what seems to be a nice chocolate treat! BEWARE!!