People Are Getting High on Drugs for the Eclipse

RTS1CO5M
A cheerleader (who presumably has not taken illegal drugs) uses solar viewing glasses before welcoming guests to the football stadium to watch the total solar eclipse at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, on August 21. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

As the eclipse passes over the Pacific Northwest at about 10:20 a.m. local time on Monday, a Vancouver resident is set to be extremely high for the rare event. “I plan on eating 4-5gs of shrooms at about 8:30,” Reddit user sunsetsandstardust wrote on Sunday. “I feel like having my mind blasted by a high-ish dose of psilocybin while the moon's shadow befalls the earth will be an otherworldly experience. I'd do acid if I could get my hands on it but no luck.”

Multiple people posted on Reddit their plans to drop acid or smoke marijuana before the eclipse, which sparked reactions from businesses and law enforcement in the U.S.

Recreational marijuana is legal in Oregon, and with a million people headed there for the eclipse, marijuana dispensaries are expecting double or triple their normal sales and offering astronomy-inspired products like the strain “Moon Puppies,” reported the local NBC affiliate. "It's Chem Dog crossed with Lemon Skunk; it has a wonderful smell on it," Leigha Christensen of Oregon's Finest told NBC. “Tourism already to Oregon, plus an eclipse, is doubling up. And that means customers are doubling in our doors,” Mike Drevecky, a budtender in Portland, told The News-Review. “I mean we’re swamped this morning alone.”

Astronomy fans are also traveling to Wyoming to see the sun completely blocked out. The view toward marijuana in the Cowboy State is completely different. "Medical marijuana is not legal in Wyoming, and even if you have a card from another state, it is still illegal to possess marijuana in Wyoming," Byron Oedekoven, executive director of the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police, said in a statement. He estimated that 250,000 people will travel to the state to view the eclipse. "If you are caught with any controlled substance, you will be charged with a misdemeanor or felony drug offense, depending upon how much of that substance you have in your possession."

Some doctors who practice in the path of the eclipse warned against taking illegal drugs beforehand. “There probably will be some recreational drug use,” says Dr. John Owen, medical director at Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph, Missouri, the News-Press newspaper reported. “Certainly we always encourage limiting that. There is going to be some alcohol consumption, I suspect. We want to be careful and not overdo it with that, not only for the obvious reasons of the alcohol intoxication, but the increased risk of falls.”

Eclipse chaser Clint Werner also recommended that viewers refrain from mushrooms or LSD, but for a different reason. “As someone who has had positive experiences with psychedelics, I discourage people from using them during the eclipse. I do this because each experience, the psychedelic and totality, is mind- and perception-altering...and the effects can compete with each other for attention, thus diminishing aspects of each,” Werner, author of Marijuana Gateway to Health, told Mic in an email. “Experiencing totality is weird enough without viewing it through a psychedelic lens.” (However, Werner did say marijuana could enhance the eclipse experience by slowing down time and amplifying the visual effect.)

Warnings from doctors and authors aside, there were plenty of Reddit users who posted their hallucinogenic plans for the eclipse—and users who wrote back with advice. “I'll be taking about 150 [micrograms of LSD] about 3 hours before the eclipse tomorrow. I'm riding with some friends to a spot in the totality line. Wish me luck,” Reddit user Hippy_Buddha posted Sunday morning. “Have fun!!!! Don't forget to wear your glasses though. I think tripping would be cool during the eclipse,” another Reddit user responded. “Just be careful and don't burn your eye holes :).”