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Dear Stoner: Is it easier to get high at high altitude?

Dear Stoner: Is it easier to get high at high altitude, as it is to get drunk?

Tipsy McSpliff

Dear Tipsy: Brace yourself, because you might not like the answer. The altitude/alcohol connection is actually a myth. In fact, your tax dollars went to a Federal Aviation Administration study on this exact thing. The FAA tested people in a pressure chamber that could simulate the air and air pressure of any altitude, and they found no difference between the effects of booze on people at sea level and those at elevations like Colorado's. Your body can only process alcohol so fast. If anything, the booze is mixing with the effect of higher and drier climates on your body, which includes dehydration and tiring easily. But that's not exclusive to high altitudes. Less water in your blood plus more alcohol equals a quick drunk on the beach as easily as it does at Winter Park.

The same, then, would most likely be true with pot. Yes, it is a lot easier to get winded and lightheaded smoking a joint at 10,000 feet due to the lack of oxygen than it is down here at a mile high — but you aren't getting any higher. As with alcohol in your stomach, your lungs can only process so much THC at one time — and altitude doesn't change that.

Dear Stoner: What's going to happen to small-time dealers in January?

Not Really All That Concerned

Dear Not Really: Adults 21 and over can only legally buy marijuana from a dispensary (recreational or medical), as those are the only entities licensed to sell cannabis in Colorado. Individual sales of herb between two adults (even those 21 and up) are still illegal. The state also says that trading recreational pot for services is verboten. So things like "free" ounces with the purchase of a $200 bumpersticker — a tactic used right after Amendment 64 passed until law enforcement caught on and crashed the party — is still illegal. Adults over 21 can give each other pot for free, as long as it's an ounce or less.

As for small-time dealers, they're likely to feel a pinch as customers realize they no longer need to be at the beck and call of one person's schedule when they can either grow their own or pick from forty-plus strains at a store. Still, there are several reasons someone might still buy off the "black market": they're underage, for example, or taxes jack up the prices too much at the legal shops. While we might expect to see cops cracking down on sales at Civic Center Park, it's doubtful that busting someone selling a few ounces to friends out of his personal garden at cost will be a high priority for law enforcement.

 
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20 comments
BobDobbs
BobDobbs

 So get a tip jar at home. Done. Just like the tip jars in the office kitchen for coffee. It's not for sale or taxed, but the tips go into getting more coffee.

tutonehcc
tutonehcc topcommenter

There will always be small batch basement growers and a demand for this better quality product.  40 strains is great, just like a liquor store has 40 kinds of beer, but there are still micro brews because of better taste and quality.  Dispensary / storefront bud is not as good as home grown and never will be.  More convenient yes, but home grown will always sell too.  Also, there are purchase caps on store bought bud.  When buying from home growers you can buy a lot more, then take it out of state or mail it and make a lot of money.  The business of home grow is going to get even bigger IMO!

fognl7
fognl7

There isn't less oxygen at altitude; rather, a decrease in the partial pressure of oxygen (PPO2).

Christine M OBrien
Christine M OBrien

As someone who bartended in Estes Park for several years, I have to respectfully disagree with the FAA's "official" study.

Randy Boog Varnell
Randy Boog Varnell

i think the author may have underestimated how vigilant they will be in chasing down the small gardener. you have to remember, the police are stupid animals. they spent a lot of time working on how to bust the little guy. they are not going to want to learn a new game. they will stick with what they know.they do no knock raids for people who are thought to only be growing a plant or two.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@tutonehcc  " Dispensary / storefront bud is not as good as home grown and never will be."


Bingo!


Stop the Corporate Commercialization of Cannabis -- Support your Local PRIVATE Caregiver / Grower!


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@fognl7  "There isn't less oxygen at altitude; rather, a decrease in the partial pressure of oxygen (PPO2)."


A decrease in the PP of O2 means there is LESS OXYGEN AVAILABLE -- see: Boyle's Law.


At 5,000 ft msl there is 84% of the O2 available per volume compared to sea level.


At 10,000 ft msl there is only 70% of the O2 available per respiration compared to sea level.



Assuming standard temperature and relative humidity.



tutonehcc
tutonehcc topcommenter

@fognl7 Correct, oxygen is relatively the same throughout the entire atmosphere.  Pressure decreases as you go up in altitude causing living organisms to work harder to bring oxygen into their lungs.  This is why we experience fatigue, headache, dehydration and the other symptoms of altitude sickness because our body works harder to pull oxygen into our body rather than letting the atmosphere push it in the way sea level dwelling creatures are used to.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Christine M OBrien ... because you also tended bar at a sea level dive bar on the New Jersey shore, for comparison, eh?




DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Chris Cater  ... try it SCUBA diving.



fognl7
fognl7

doneyhotay,

Nothing you said above is incompatible with my statement.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@tutonehcc " Correct, oxygen is relatively the same throughout the entire atmosphere."


Nonsense. Its concentration per volume changes with pressure, [altitude], temperature and humidity.


Its ratio relative to other atmospheric gases such as N2 remains mostly unchanged for the small envelope of altitudes that humans inhabit.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@fognl7 


Do you think it should be legal for stoners to be so uneducated and ignorant?



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@fognl7  ... there is LESS oxygen per volume at altitude (lower pressure), ipso facto.


There is also LESS N2 at altitude, as the atmosphere is LESS DENSE due to the LOWER PRESSURE.


Your original statement --"There isn't less oxygen at altitude" -- is still FALSE.


There IS LESS oxygen at the lower pressures associated with increased altitude -- Boyle's Law (or Dalton's if you prefer) 




fognl7
fognl7

donkeyhotay,

There is less O2 perfusing across the lungs at altitude because of a decrease in partial pressure of O2 with increase in elevation. However, the relative concentrations of O2, CO2, and N2 inspired per breath stays constant with increasing elevation.

PS Don't be so defensive.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@fognl7  "There isn't less oxygen at altitude"


FALSE!


Try again, numbnuts.


 
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