Oregon legalized recreational marijuana use in 2015, which has been ample opportunity to study the nexus of evidence around one of music’s most enduring questions:

What’s the difference between getting a lil’ high before a show and drinking it up all night?

And, before we get into it, there’s a massive difference between taking a hit at home and heading to a show and taking a rip of dispensary-grade cannabis from a 6-foot bong in the van before you walk in. There’s also a difference in how either affects you, depending on what your tolerance is and your mindset going into the situation to begin with.

A few of the biggest differences between going to a show high or going drunk:

  1. You can overdose on alcohol.
  2. You cannot OD on marijuana (or legally do it AT the show).
  3. Marijuana is a psycho-acoustic enhancer, which allows you to focus more on the sounds coming from in front of you at the show.
  4. Alcohol is a depressant, which suppresses the release of glutamate, resulting in a slowdown across the connections in your brain.
  5. Over-consumption of alcohol can lead to memory loss, what some refer to as blacking out.
  6. Over-consumption of marijuana can lead to memory loss, what some refer to as, wait, what?
  7. After drinking, there are changes in the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, hypothalamus, and medulla, which process inhibitions, balance, hormone release, and automatic functions like breathing and consciousness.
  8. After smoking, there are changes in the occipital, temporal, and parietal areas of the brain, which process visual, auditory, and sensory information.
  9. If you’re not drinking at the show, you’re also not standing in line waiting for drinks or standing in line to use the restroom after drinking the drinks, which gives you less of a chance to miss your favorite song.
  10. If you’re high at the show, you may be standing in line for snacks or on a mission to find them… which means you might miss your favorite song.
  11. Depending on how many drinks you’re getting and what kind of drinks you’re getting, it gets expensive.
  12. Depending on how much you’re smoking and what kind of weed you’re smoking, it gets expensive.
  13. Alcohol allows you to say goodbye to inhibitions, gets you on the dance floor, chatting, etc.
  14. Weed allows you to say goodbye to… wait, what?

Now, as I said above, everyone has different reactions and outcomes from using either, but in Oregon, the choice is yours.

What are your thoughts on the affects of either at a show?

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