The Devil’s Lettuce

As 4/20 approaches, perhaps better known as “smoking weed day” or consuming cannabis day, there are a few things to remember if someone chooses to participate in the day.

To detail what this day entails, The Spectrum spoke to an anonymous student pot smoker.

The student said they smoke marijuana because it’s not as harsh on their body as other substances. “If I go out drinking, I get a bad night’s sleep and a headache. That doesn’t happen when I smoke,” the student said.

But the effects reach beyond just the feeling the day after according to the student. They said it can help them stay energized, help them sleep and potentially produce mild psychedelic effects, depending on the strain and rate of consumption.

When it comes to the effects on the brain and body, the student said, “I understand that the chemicals in the plant, when heated, activate certain receptors in the brain … I also know that long-term regular use can cause severe impacts on the brain.”

But how does someone obtain marijuana to smoke? The short answer, they find a dealer.

Dealing and possession of marijuana are both crimes in North Dakota, ranging from a misdemeanor with a 30-day jail sentence and $1,500 fine to a felony with a 20-year sentence and $20,000 fine depending on the specific crime, according to the National Organization to Reform the Marijuana Laws.

That being said, Bradley Foster, a junior political science major and president of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), has advice for those who decide to participate in 4/20.

“The best advice is to go to a legal state, assuming you are over 21,” Foster said. “If not, make sure to remember basic harm reduction, know the source, have a sober person that you can call to help if need be and don’t smoke and drive. If you end up getting arrested for any reason, be quiet but respectful, and don’t talk until you get a lawyer.”

SSDP works toward encouraging sensible policies “that can address  the complex world of drug use and abuse.” They do not believe that criminalizing pot smokers, or drug users in general, is the best approach to drug policy.

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