Lifestyle

How Cannabis May Have Saved Me From Date Rape on Halloween

October 29, 2021 02:00 pm ET
How Cannabis May Have Saved Me From Date Rape on Halloween

This post contains situations that some may find triggering.


Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year! People dress up in costumes and get to indulge in a little weird and freaky unabashedly. And what makes Halloween even better is the fact that you get to do so with your friends! In 2017, my best friend was about to immigrate- which means that this Halloween was supposed to be extra special. I flew to Cape Town about a week before and we spent most of that week finding items for our Thelma & Louise costumes when we weren’t at the beach. Little did I know that I was going to have a true harrowing Halloween- where cannabis saved my life. 

The Halloween Festivities Started Out Fun

After some pre-game drinks and dressing up, we decided to head down to a local pub where they had decorated for the occasion. My friend, who we’ll call Lily, was friends with the bartender and we took seats by the bar near the wall. Lily knew I smoked cannabis and procured some for me from the bartender, who was dressed as the Joker. The Joker, Lily, and I were happily going about our evening, enjoying our drinks until two girls decided to argue with us over a chair. I had left my seat to go to the bathroom and when I came back, a girl was sitting on my chair- so I just fetched myself another. This was apparently a problem as the girls started yelling at me. The Joker told them to cool it or leave, but that was obviously a buzz kill. 

I then headed out to the balcony, leaving Lily and the Joker at the bar. I was enjoying a toke when Lily called me on my phone. I remember thinking, “That’s weird…” because I could see her from where I stood just a moment ago. I turned around to look at her, but she was no longer at the bar. When I turned my attention back to the phone, I could hear that Lily was in distress but she was mumbling and I could not understand what she was saying. So, I promptly put my toke out and went straight to Joker. He told me that she looked like she had just drank too much and stumbled off to the bathroom. 

But Then Things Quickly Began to go South

I walked into the bathroom and called out for her but only got a measly ‘mmm’ sound from one of the stalls that she had apparently locked. Some kind ladies helped me to get in and unlock the door. Lily was soaking wet from sweat, hanging over the toilet, and was unable to say a word, unable to hold up her head. She was also disoriented and could not tell me what had happened. I took her phone and dialed her mother who, magical as she is, sensed something was wrong as she could not sleep and answered the phone on the first ring. 

After securing our ride who was now on the way, I went to the bar to get the Joker to help me. I must have looked distraught because as soon as I came out, he rushed over and demanded to know where my friend was. He came to the rescue and carried her down the flight of stairs leading to the pub and leaned her against me on the curb. Even though his face was covered in paint and Lily’s mom didn’t know him, he still went out into the road to flag down her mom’s black Jimny per my description. We weren’t even waiting for 2 minutes before he swooped her up again and put her in the car. 

After watching my best friend go through literal hell as a victim of a spiked drink, we finally got her to sleep. I am not really sure what time it was by the time I sat and relaxed on the couch. However, that’s all I remember. The rest is blank! Lily’s mom told me I had fallen on the floor and was throwing up uncontrollably. Seems like Lily wasn’t the only target that night… 

The thing that scares me the most is what would have happened if I did not go out to smoke some cannabis- although there is no point to dwell on what might have been. I wondered whether cannabis had offset my reaction, or maybe it was the adrenaline. Nevertheless, it got me thinking about cannabis and its relation to spiked drinks and date rape drugs. 

How You Can Reduce the Risk of a Spiked Drink

While my experience ends with no lasting damage, unfortunately, there are many who cannot say the same. According to WebMD, date rape drugs are “substances that make it easier for someone to rape or sexually assault another person”. Although there are many nefarious reasons why someone would use a substance to drug another person’s drink. Despite the namesake date, victims could be targeted by anyone. This includes strangers, someone they’ve just met, or even someone they’ve known for a while. 

There are various types of date-rape drugs but the most common include GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid), Rohypnol, and even ketamine. These substances are also commonly used in combination with alcohol. This situation is getting increasingly worse with new reports of women getting INJECTED with date rape drugs and with the ease of availability of such substances online

Millions of people all over the world fall victim to date rape drugs, and it is never their fault. There are steps one can take to be safer in social situations and those include: 

  • Be wary of things that can be spiked easily, such as open drinks with large openings like a punchbowl. 
  • Do not accept drinks from strangers or other people, especially if you did not receive them straight from the bartender. 
  • Never take your eyes off of your drink, especially when more than one stranger approaches you. 
  • When you go out with your friends, be on the lookout for each other. 
  • Never drink more than you want to, especially if you feel pressure to drink another because someone offered to buy it. 

If you suspect that you or any of your friends have been drugged, don’t hesitate to take them straight to the emergency room or call 911. It is better to go through all of that to find out they just had one too many as opposed to being drugged by a potentially life-threatening substance. 

Did Cannabis Save me From Date Rape Drugs or Was it Pure Luck?

My experience may have just been a lucky narrow escape but it did make me wonder whether cannabis had anything to do with the delay in drug onset. However, when you think about it logically, it does not make sense since cannabis can speed up the body’s metabolism. Unfortunately, a 2017 report explained that “marijuana is the most common drug reported (other than alcohol) when drugs are present in sexual assault” but that the “impact of marijuana alone” is “unclear”. Still, I am grateful I stepped out for that toke. Had both Lily and I ended up in that condition at the same time, we would have been in serious trouble. 

The study further explains that “when taken together alcohol and marijuana may have the potential to increase impairment and decrease risk detection, leading to an increase in the risk of sexual victimization”. This could explain why cannabis is often associated with sinister situations like sexual assault. So, it is imperative that we take measures to consume responsibly.

There are campaigns that target cannabis as a date rape drug. For example, anti-legalization groups, such as the now-defunct “No On Amendment 2” in Florida claim that “marijuana-laced cookies will be the drug of choice for sexual predators”. While it sickens me that such a healing plant can be abused in such a way, it is still very important that everyone is aware of this. 

With all this being said, please be careful and protect yourself out there! The world is still a beautiful place with exciting things, including lively nights out. But just remain cautious and careful through all your hoorahs and adventures and, again, consume responsibly.

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