Vice Magazine Co-Founder No Longer Sure We Should Legalize Marijuana



"I am obviously still incredibly high," Gavin McInnes writes toward the end of his latest piece for Taki's Magazine. "I'm so high, in fact, that I no longer see legalization of marijuana as such a no brainer. The debate has shifted to, 'Should we legalize a really, really heavy drug?'"

McInnes not only helped found Vice, he built his reputation on being a very naughty boy. So why's he having second thoughts about legalizing marijuana? Because he tried some of the stuff people are growing these days, and he didn't like it:

I spoke to some young pot-smokers, and they all agree things have gotten out of hand. An intern named Dan told me he has to dilute his joints with 75% tobacco. Another said that she had to give up joints and that even one small puff of a one hitter can be too intense.

That's all fine and dandy, but to really understand how intense marijuana has become I can't merely harass kids all day. I need to try it. So I had a friend of a friend hook me up with a very strong strain called "Master Kush," and I'm going to smoke it right now.

A half hour has gone by and this is what happened. First of all. It's very hard to type. I don't think I could write with a pen. I had a big rip off a bong (I sound like a narc) and had a huge coughing fit that got so intense I honestly thought about calling 911.

I felt like I was going to throw up or maybe just have diarrhea so I went to the bathroom but nothing happened.

So, I come back to the couch and then things get really bad. I was panting and having a slow tortuous panic attack that made both my hands go numb with pins and needles. I took my shirt off and lay on the cold floor to cool down but then my feet went numb too. It was hell. And it kept getting worse. I was writhing around on the floor trying to find a position that didn't feel like the world was going to end.

I wouldn't wish that experience on anyone, but I can't bring myself to feel bad for McInnes. He hadn't used marijuana in years, and yet he intentionally chose "a very strong strain" and to consume it by taking a "big rip off a bong," not in spite of his colleagues telling him pot is stronger than it used to be, but because they told him that. If he just wanted to take this new marijuana for a spin, he could've nibbled a bit of edible, taken a modest pull off a vaporizer, or bought a milder strain. Instead, he chose the equivalent of butt-chugging two shots of Bacardi 151, and then turned that bad decision into a disjointed screed against legalization, when really it's just a cautionary tale about over-doing it. 

His column is comparable to a slightly less dramatic story from another reporter, the Center for Investigative Reporting's Michael Montgomery. Two years ago, Montgomery, who covers marijuana policy and culture in California, was reporting on a brunch hosted by a medical marijuana provider who used the event to share samples of different strains.

The woman told Montgomery that some of the food was laced with pot, while some food was not. Montgomery says he got distracted while recording the scene and ended up eating some of the laced food, then having a panic attack at an airport a short time later (flying Virgin Airlines apparently didn't help).

Like McInnes, Montgomery had way more than he should have: two full pot brownies, as opposed to the quarter of a brownie that patients were advised to try their first time out (try–and then wait two hours before trying again). Consuming eight times the recommended dosage made him unpleasantly high and paranoid, but that's about it. Consider this: If he'd taken eight times as much Acetaminophen as he should've, he would've been on the cusp of liver failure.

The experience, which he talks about in the below video, led Montgomery to believe that medical marijuana should be much more heavily regulated than it currently is, and that more should be done to keep it away from teenagers. Somewhat ironically, he closes his tale by saying that his brownie experience makes him anxious to this day, and that nothing helps that anxiety like a martini.

I can't help but wonder what McInnes and Montgomery would say in an alternate universe where the former used marijuana responsibly and the latter used it intentionally. 

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  1. Per a conversation I had with an ATF agent back in the… late eighties(?) there’s no reason why Marijuana couldn’t be regulated for strength and potency. And when I say regulated, I mean a system which could classify it the way we classify beer vs wine vs distilled spirits.

    My guess is, whatever regulations regulators come up with will undoubtedly suck.

    1. My version of pot regulation would entail nothing other painting one, two, or three Xs on the side of the bushel basket.

      1. Yeah really, if there are people out there who don’t like their weed very strong surely there is a market for that.

        Some people prefer schwag. Or you might have strains that have a nice aroma and taste but don’t get you too high.

  2. Gavin McInnes is a known shithead, so this isn’t surprising.

    I mean, he writes for freaking Taki Mag.

    1. Taki’s Mag and Vice! It’s like a two-for-one deal on “douche”!

    2. Not a fan of the Scots eh?

      1. I guess I’m just not a fan of someone whose idea of edgy is pissing in cereal and then eating it.

        1. Oh, I thought he looked familiar, he did a video titled How To Piss in Public, which a friend thought was entertaining enough to forward to me.

          Maybe he’s just a very clever watersports exhibitionist.

    3. Say what you will, I got a kick out of this article:…..z2RbscfWNP

      Some of my opinions were still considered mainstream just a few years ago. They are now illegal. I didn’t even get to vote on that.

      The police will strip-search me if my child draws a picture of a gun, but Indians can hold residential neighborhoods hostage for years with impunity.

      The computer I’m writing this on doesn’t even belong to me, at least according to that Charter your father cooked up with his pals. They left out anything about “property rights” and “due process” on purpose.

    4. He’s not un-sexy, not that it does me any good.

  3. Some of the newer medical strains have been intentionally bred to have lower THC content and higher CBD and cannabinoid content.

    1. And there’s always plenty of ditch weed.

  4. I can’t help but wonder what McInnes and Montgomery would say in an alternate universe

    I know what they’d say: POTHEEEEEEADS!

  5. Instead, he chose the equivalent of butt-chugging two shots of Bacardi 151

    This phrase made me hurt just reading it.

    1. We can only assume the author is qualified to make this comparison from personal experience.

  6. Of course, when something is illegal, the incentives are to make it more concentrated or potent so that less stuff has the same effect.

    Prohibition is what switched consumption habits to favor higher octane drinks.

    1. It’s the same with pub closing times. If you have to close too early people will drink more heavily and they all end up at the streets at the same time.

    2. True, when someone goes home after work they may have a glass of wine or a bottle of bear. Nobody downs 10 shots of Everclear. Legalize coca tea leaves and something with the strength of codine.

      1. “bottle of bear”

        I don’t even want to know what that is.

  7. So the fact that someone could have a bad time is sufficient reason to criminalize something? What a dick. Maybe he just should avoid pot?

  8. The pot today is strong. I waked and baked this morning and had one tiny hit and was high as a kite. You have to be nuts to take a massive hit if you haven’t gotten high in a long time. Hello, paranoia.

    Regardless, what a fucking douche. Once again, the ego of these people is ridiculous. “I can’t handle it, so no one can, and force should be used in regards to that.” Asshole.

    1. But he’s from Vice. If he can’t handle it, surely no one else can!

      The logic is unassailable!

    2. Yeah this is partially why I’ve pretty much given up. I only want to smoke a couple times a year but it is such a pain in the ass to get and I have to rely on other people who smoke way more often’s judgment on how strong it is. Half the time it is way to strong to even smoke with tobacco (which is how I prefer).

      1. I have a good source for some that is strong, but doesn’t head trip you as long as you don’t get super high. You just have to get the right stuff.

        1. Yes I don’t really know anything about it. I know what I like feels like but I don’t know what it is called or how to describe it so that the seller can understand. I just have never smoked or bought that often. I have one good friend who knows what to get me but I generally feel bad using him as a dealer.

          1. As Shmurphy says, a dealer will know what you want if you describe it. Just say you want something “mellow” and not “head-trippy”, and they’ll understand.

            1. I usually say “I want to be capable of reading a book”

              1. I think you’re looking for Adderall.

              2. Maybe you should go to school.

        2. Precisely, it’s not like all weed has the same effect. Different strains are bred have different properties, so if you know what you’re looking for a sales professional will be able to hook you right up with the exact right buds for you 😀

          1. Yeah, its just hard to have a good sales professional when you only buy once or twice a year. I have to just have a friend who smokes a lot pick up some extra next time they go.

            Seriously fuck the War on Drugs.

    3. I smoke it once a year now, curiously always when invited to do so by libertarian ladies. It has no effect on me.

  9. Somewhat ironically, he closes his tale by saying that his brownie experience makes him anxious to this day, and that nothing helps that anxiety like a martini.

    Turd is shillin’ for Big Gin.

    1. And some people go bananas whenever they drink, but like to smoke some weed to relax and shed anxiety. For some reasons assholes like these always assume that their experience is typical.

  10. For a magazine called Vice he sure is a gigantic pussy.

    1. Smoke?

    2. Next thing you know he’ll be praising the Obama DOJ for its door-smashing SWAT raids on potheads.

  11. The guy can’t handle his shit so everyone has to refrain? That’s bogus.

  12. Like the majority of the Red Eye regulars, the Scot gets so close to being right, then joins the rest of the nannies and authoritarians in their endless game of bobbing for turds.

    1. Not Andy Levy. He’s pure. Though his libertarianism is almost the only personal detail we know about him, aside from the fact that he is on his way to being a crazy cat lady.

      Last night was funny; Moynihan and Ann Coulter did a little mutual fan clubbing.

      1. And that he’s an Army veteran.

  13. So Gavin can’t handle his weed and this means we all have to suffer because…

    I look forward to hearing him try to explain himself on RedEye, which I will undoubtedly be watching while very, very high.

  14. Just a pinch hitter hit. That is all that is needed for today’s higher grades.

  15. So I was at this party covering the booze scene, and I ate a bunch of Bacardi 151 jello shots, and when I got to the airport I found that I was piss drunk. I had to get off the plane because I wasn’t feeling well. It was four hours later before I could think well enough to book another flight.

    I think we need to rethink ending prohibition because the stuff they are putting in jello shots is much stronger than the Bud Lite I drank in college.

  16. That excerpt was the funniest thing I’ve read all day!

    What a maroon!

  17. Yet another case of someone being dumb and overdoing it, then thinking that of course everyone else is going to overdo it too and That Would Be Bad So We Have To Have A Law. Idiot.

  18. Bearded Hipster Takes Mainstream Liberal Position

  19. LOL I regularly vaporize stuff (shatter) that tests 90%+ THC on a mass spectrometer reading; just the sight of it would probably make this douche bag pass out.

    1. lol you sound like this guy in my ochem class, he smokes some tar looking shit that he claims is like pure thc. all day everyday too. I don’t think he’s a libertarian though he is always talking smack about big corporations silencing world changing technology.

  20. Since I’m an old dude and completely cut off from that scene, reading shit like this drives me crazy. GODDAMIT, I WANT SOME OF THAT!

    1. I weep for the fine weed wasted on this guy (no Russian joke intended).

  21. “So, I come back to the couch and then things get really bad. I was panting and having a slow tortuous panic attack that made both my hands go numb with pins and needles. I took my shirt off and lay on the cold floor to cool down but then my feet went numb too. It was hell. And it kept getting worse. I was writhing around on the floor trying to find a position that didn’t feel like the world was going to end.”

    I had a lesser version of this happen most times I smoked pot, lol maybe my problem is I always try it with the hardcore stoners so the stuff they’re giving me is way to strong. But I did my 3rd and final attempt with weed last week, it was supposed to be a chillout with this guy from work but I ended up having to get some beer to calm me down. Not that I agree with him about rethinking prohibition, but definitely sympathy for experiencing that anxiety.

    1. I know lots of people who have had this sort of experience with pot. And those people don’t smoke pot. And they manage to figure out (as you have) that it just doesn’t agree with them. Problem solved. I don’t know why anyone feels compelled to take it any further than that and decide that because they don’t like it, no one should do it.

      1. Some people are allergic to nuts.

  22. What crazy logic! These ultra-strong marijuana strains were created *during the time that marijuana was illegal*.

    When marijuana’s legalized like wine the market will decide what kind of marijuana’s preferred, and what we’ll see is that the more pleasant and less potent strains will be the ones that will be in most demand.

    This is exactly what we saw when alcohol was legalized – notice how most people prefer beer and wine to hard spirits? Do these people really want to deny people this choice?

  23. Pot pot pot. It’s all they talk about at reason, but at their lectures and happy hours not a speck. You have to go on one of their cruises in international waters to find some. They’re gosh darned Buckleyites.

    Or you have to go to Libertopia. There you get a free half ounce with every junk silver coin purchase.

    1. There are no roadz in libertopia.

    2. maybe they will open an office in Washington or Colorado…

      Come to think of why the hell do a bunch of libertarian journalists open offices in LA and DC…two of the least libertarian places in the county.

  24. DOs: Jail potheads. Raid medical weed shops without a warrant, regardless of state laws.

    DON’Ts: Smoke pot. Defy the DEA.

    etc. etc. etc.

  25. Roll that beautiful bean footage!

  26. Curiously, I’ve actually given up on pot over the last six months because I cannot acquire stuff worth smoking, i.e., buzzes ever so slight. I do drink large quantities of strong stout which likely fucks with my tolerance. Still, the best toke I had was about 5 years ago in a Florida swamp with an odd man. Strange that this is frowned upon by a raging hipster.

  27. Yeah so for solidarity sake when pot was legalized in Washington state I took one tiny hit off a joint. First time in at least a decade. Then two min later the world melted.

    Pot is way to intense now…they need to work on more mellow strains.

    Also habitual pot smokers are complete dicks. I got no warning about how strong it was and I was told I should take another hit just after the first one. cuz “it looked like you didn’t get a good hit” Luckily I refused it to see how I would feel about the first hit before taking another. Needless to say i did not take another.

    Fucking pot heads think it is soooooo funny to get a person unknowingly blitzed out of his head. Fuck those guys.

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