To the Editor:
This is a response from a responsible cannabis advocate and consumer to your article “Edibles Blamed for Edgartown Overdoses” (May 17).
What happened in Edgartown at the Newes Pub was bound to happen: Three folks from Pennsylvania on the Vineyard for the weekend brought THC-Infused edibles with them. I’m going to assume they bought it from a recreational cannabis store, and either asked no questions, or just ignored any warnings a responsible dispensary agent would have given them. So instead of trying just one of the squares of the chocolate bar to see how you’d feel after a while — which is not only advisable but just plain, old common sense — they decided to treat it like a Hershey bar and eat the whole thing in one sitting. Small wonder they were thoroughly out of it.
That old axiom “Too much of a good thing isn’t good” exists for a reason, does it not? Same adage applies to products across the nation that are legal on the federal level: beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, prescribed opioids, etc. There’s a little something called moderation. With all the previously mentioned products, too much of any one of them can potentially kill you. You can drink yourself to death, you can eventually smoke yourself to death with cigarettes, and we know all too well what opioids can do. And while no one has ever died from excessive marijuana use (a statistical fact), moderation should always rule the day.
Knees all over the Vineyard were jerking out of control on Saturday morning. Islanders Talk was a hub of a whole lot of “I told you so’s” and “This is what happens when …” Thankfully, there were cooler heads prevailing to level the discussion to what’s reality and what’s stigmatic fear.
The big rub here is not to absolve people of accountability for their actions. That’s only enabling excuses and perpetuating the “it’s not my fault” culture.
Being someone whose responsibility is educating the community about cannabis for medical purposes, and who will ultimately be selling it to registered patients at the Vineyard’s soon-to-be-opened medical marijuana dispensary, Patient Centric MV, it’s very important to all of us at PCMV that you understand that we understand that cannabis isn’t for everyone. We don’t look upon it as a panacea for all ills. It’s simply an alternative form of relief you should have the option to access if you are authorized to do so by a physician. Even then, we advise strongly that you take baby steps with cannabis — medical or otherwise. Safety, common sense, and continuous education about what you’re putting into your body should be second nature.
This incident at the Newes Pub on Friday demonstrates the need for not only more education when it comes to the compassionate use of medical cannabis, but the safeguards that need strict adherence to — especially if you’ve never tried it before. And again, taking responsibility for a poor decision only shines a positive light on your character. And we — as a community — shouldn’t automatically blame the legalization of marijuana for moments like this one. It’s like blaming the turkey for your overeating at Thanksgiving.
Last, the lingering stigma that surrounds those who use marijuana is what fuels all those twitchy knees when things like this happen. Not everyone who uses cannabis is Cheech or Chong or the Dude.
Ray Whitaker, dispensary manager
Patient Centric MV