A mini-trend seems to be emerging in scientific experiments: Let's get sea creatures high and see what happens.
What seems to be the more rigorous of the investigations involves octopi and MDMA—better known as molly or ecstasy. Meanwhile in Maine, a restaurateur is slipping lobsters some cannabis on the theory that a little smoke will help sedate them before their final voyage into a boiling pot.
A study published in Current Biology shows that just like humans, octopi become more social after ingesting MDMA. Under the effects of the psychoactive drug, the sea critters spent more time with other octopi and they “tended to hug” often. As witnessed at EDM concerts, humans can exhibit similar touchy behaviors when high on molly.
As for the smoked lobsters? Experiments by the proprietor of Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound started to make news in September. Charlotte Gill, who has a license grow medical marijuana, told the New York Times that pot helps sedate a lobster: “It's still a very alert lobster, but there's no sign of agitation, no flailing of legs, no trying to pinch you.”
Maine's health department seemed less than enthusiastic, but didn't forbid the practice; instead it only asked the eatery to refrain from testing medical marijuana on the crustaceans and is investigating. So far the restaurant isn't selling any of the baked lobsters.
At least one scientist says the experiments are worth a shot: “I don't think the science is there right now to say whether or not lobsters are anesthetized by marijuana, but it's an intriguing idea and maybe worthy of exploration,” Richard Wahle, a marine science researcher at the University of Maine and director of the Lobster Institute, told NPR.