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Leonard L. Frieling Aug. 10, 2022

Pet Pot? Not!

Board, Colorado NORML, former Judge, 38 years criminal defense, with two turtles and a cat calling his home their home also.

Although some have seen what they believe to be health benefits to their pets from marijuana use, generally, and perhaps until we know more about dogs or birds or gerbils and their interaction with marijuana, safe storage, pet protection, and general caution is certainly a minimum standard. The same steps that help protect Madam BowWow also protect very young children from unintended ingestion of these substances.

The 3/27/2014 edition of Inside Edition showed footage of obviously overdosed dogs falling over from what was reported as the result of having eaten pot edibles. The dogs got into the brownies apparently. Some were accidental ingestions while others were apparently intentional actions by the pet’s human caretakers. Either way, whether Fido was drugged intentionally or by accident, we have failed in protecting our loved Fido. Medical issues are of course a different challenge.

The Inside Edition piece is an important learning tool, showing at least one reason why dogs, for example, need protection from easily avoidable unintended marijuana ingestion. As a learning tool, the TV piece should be shared, not imitated.

While I believe in the adult OPTION to use marijuana for pleasure, medically, or both, I strongly believe and teach that this use should be only knowing and voluntary: the person who is imbibing the marijuana should be doing so knowingly, intentionally, and even then, only after being fully informed. For novice users, supervision by an experienced user is a great idea psychologically and as a safety measure.

You cannot die from eating too much pot or too much pot-infused product. You cannot die from too much pot. Additionally, if the cookies are not prepared in a proper clean safe perhaps commercial kitchen, all of the normal risks from unsafe food are risks for marijuana food and drink.

Informed use obviously includes being informed that drugs are being ingested. Drugging a person regardless of the drug, whether it is an attempted poisoning risking death, a date-rape drug, alcohol, or any other mind-altering or non-mind altering drug is fundamentally wrong and even evil. The same standard should be applied to pets.

With food served to guests, a good host will disclose ingredients to protect their guests from unintended dangerous or unpleasant allergic reactions. As we were right in being outraged when a local “vegetarian” tomato sauce was discovered to contain anchovies, the wonderful taste of the sauce did not make up for the misleading information about the ingredients. There is no reason to avoid extending the same consideration and protections to our pets.

The need for safe storage extends beyond the legally mandated trunk-carry for recreational marijuana in cars in Colorado. Even at home, pot and pot products should be stored in a locked container with an “o” ring seal. The odor should not escape in the car or at home.

For example, investigate the Dry Box, $15 on Amazon. Add a small lock or three, and the cost with shipping is still under $20. The “o” ring keeps odors in. Colorado pot can have such a strong odor that even a sealed zip lock baggie in the trunk will not keep the fragrance isolated in the bag or even in the trunk. The container can securely and safely be used to carry marijuana from the point of purchase to the trunk, and in the trunk on a hot day for safer, odorless transport, and then just carried inside for ongoing safer storage.

The dogs who were literally falling down in the TV piece illustrate, at the expense of the pets, what happens when a 28-pound dog eats an unknown amount of adult-dose cookies.

We may embrace this TV piece for education. We don't know anywhere near as much about the pet-pot interaction as we do about human interaction with pot.

Rabbi Hillel, when asked to define Judaism while standing on one foot said “what is evil unto you, do not do unto others.” Why should a different moral standard apply in most situations to our treatment of our pets?

NO POT FOR THE PET. Pet pot dosing is cruel, illegal, and fundamentally unfair because the pet has no choice. Overdosing is even more unfair to the pet. The “pot carrier” should be open, with the interior visible, upon entering the point of sale. It should be obvious that the container does not contain a weapon or other item which the store would not permit being brought in.

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