Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Restaurant Treats Lobsters to Marijuana Before Cooking: Health Code Violation?

Philosophically speaking, is it more humane to get a lobster stoned before you steam it to death? Or, similar to Gertrude Stein's famous quote, a death is a death is a death, especially when you are boiled alive.

It Wasn't a Rock. It Was a Stoned Lobster!

Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor, Maine, has expressed interest in hotboxing its lobsters before killing them in order to ease their anxiety. Lobsters slated for imminent consumption are removed for the lobster tanks, placed in a box, where marijuana smoke is blown in, so as to pacify the lobsters. According to owner Charlotte Gill, when the lobsters had pot smoke blown into their enclosure, they seemed much more sedated. So, was that a personal observation? From the person who took the bong hit and administered the smoke into the hot box?

Half-Baked Plan to Blow Smoke

Gill plans to bake, err cook, her lobsters that have been exposed to THC with steam, rather than boiling, so as to cook off all of the THC. But will the Maine Health Department deem these to be legal for commercial consumption in a state that hasn't legalize the sale of marijuana? Also, Maine does not allow tobacco smoke in public places or workplaces, so it is unclear at this time if Gill is just blowing smoke.

Do We Need a Law for That?

Just in case there was any question about the legality of this situation, Maine's health inspector has weighed in on Gill's business idea. "We would treat food served to consumers at licensed eating places and affected by marijuana, as has been described with this establishment, as adulterated and therefore illegal," Emily Spencer, a spokesperson for the state's Department of Health and Human Services, said on Thursday.

PETA -- The Voice of Reason

And, getting back to the age old legal question, even if you could get a lobster high, so what? According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), "It is highly unlikely that getting a lobster high would make a lick of difference when it comes to the full-blown agony of being boiled or steamed alive. There is a well-established, foolproof way to prevent crustaceans from suffering, though, and that's by not eating them," a PETA spokesperson told TODAY. Imagine how PETA would feel about getting geese high before force-feeding them, under the guise of creating "the munchies." Does it really make foie gras any more humane?

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