When writer David Schmader was approached to write a book about marijuana, he laid down these rules: No cartoon pot leaves, no stoner puns and no forwards by Tommy Chong.
“I wanted to write something more like a guide to scotch,” Schmader said.
He’s written that book, “Weed: The User’s Guide,” and he shared some tips with KUOW’s Bill Radke.
Let’s start with the newbie. What’s your advice?
Stick with smoking. It's very counterintuitive. You would think, 'Oh, a cookie is clearly the more benign on-ramp to this experience.’ But that's not true.
Smoking weed involves fire, it involves coughing; it's a little grosser than eating a cookie. But the effects land very quickly, and they last shorter. When you eat marijuana, it goes through your liver and it gets processed into a different drug that has lightly hallucinogenic properties and last for six hours. It's a very different experience.
Before we go further – as you say in the book, this is not for children.
Right. Weed is bad for people whose brains and bodies are still developing. It can cause serious problems – either triggering mental illness or learning capability hindrance. This is an adult pleasure.
If you haven’t used for a while, what should you know about 2016 pot?
[Before legalization] there was quite a sport to get the highest percentage of THC in the smallest amount of weed because sentences were prosecuted by weight. There was a great incentive to make very, very powerful pot.
But the recreational market is getting smarter about, ‘Oh, people want something that is not going to send them to Mars.’ They would like something close to skunk weed, especially a person who's just approaching this.
If you’re having a bad high, what should you do?
Know that no one has ever died from overdosing on marijuana. Know that you will be fine.
Maybe take a bath. It takes some time. You have to fill a tub, maybe you even have to clean the tub. It'll fill up 40 minutes of your time, and you'll calm down.
Something I learned on the internet from Neil Young: Apparently if you're having a big paranoia attack, take black peppercorns – either crunch them in your teeth or smash them and smell them. And it apparently helps people who are prone to paranoia.