In celebration of April 20th, the day each year when marijuana plants pop out of their holes to look at their shadows and predict the weather, we wanted to highlight the inspirational story of a Canadian woman who contributed to the science of
getting super high getting paid to smoke weed for 98 days straight as part of a 1972 scientific study.
Vice interviewed Doreen Brown, the woman in question, about an experience that was aimed to provide Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s government with data on the effects of constant weed-smoking on the participants’ ability to work. Brown applied and was chosen as part of a group of 20 women, who were all “casual” marijuana smokers, to enjoy “increasingly strong joints in a Toronto hospital” for nearly 100 days in a row. Brown was 21 years old at the time and says a typical day involved “[weaving] belts for money” and undergoing “continual psychical and psychological evaluations” while smoking “two joints each” whose THC content was steadily increased.
Brown says it started off pretty fun. She and the other women listened to music, decorated their space, and “transformed a typical hospital corridor into a hippy den.” After “a month at most,” though, the monotony of the routine and the fact that the weed was getting so potent led to her “[dreading] going in to smoke those two joints.”
A similar study on men was published, but the results compiled from Brown’s group of women were never made public. Brown believes it’s because “there were definitely people in there” that were really productive even when high—a finding that might not have proven “what people wanted it to prove.” Still, she doesn’t regret taking part, even if she “[feels] a bit ripped off” that the research didn’t end up getting published.
Read the rest of the interview here to learn more about Brown’s experience and maybe even learn the tips ‘n’ tricks you need to replicate the study in your own home laboratory.
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