Even if you use marijuana for a medical purpose or live in a place where it’s legalized for recreational use, if you’re caught with too much of it, you’re going to find yourself arrested for intent to distribute. The sentence for this can be anywhere from three years to life in prison, depending on the circumstances. As a result, many people who think they’re about to be searched – whether they’ve been pulled over or arrested for another crime, or even when they’re about to go through airport security – come up with some less than ideal ways of concealing their drugs. One method is to swallow it, which is a bad idea for a variety of reasons.
First of all, destroying evidence while police officers are conducting an investigation is a crime that’s punishable by up to ten years in prison, which is worse than what you’d get for intent to distribute. To add insult to injury, you’re still going to be charged with possession with intent even if you’ve eaten all the evidence, as low as law enforcement officers witnessed you doing it.
As for the actual physical effects of eating marijuana, you aren’t going to overdose or even get high. If it’s not heated or compressed, there will be little or no psychoactive effects. It reportedly tastes pretty awful when eaten raw, and it can be dry and hard to swallow. You’re also likely to end up covered in little flakes, which is another reason why you probably won’t get away with hiding it from the cops if you try to eat it. Also keep in mind that if you live somewhere where it’s illegal to possess drug paraphernalia, you aren’t going to be able to swallow paper or a pipe if you have it on you.
For the sake of comparison, attempting to swallow cocaine would be much more dangerous. Drug mules frequently smuggle cocaine by putting it in balloons and swallowing it; unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for these balloons to burst. Drug mules typically swallow hundreds of packets, and if even one bursts open, that’s more than a lethal dose. In one case, a 45-year-old Nigerian man was brought to a hospital emergency department after losing consciousness and experiencing cardiac arrest in an airport. The packets of drugs that he’d swallowed had damaged a membrane in his abdominal cavity and obstructed part of his colon. His blood pressure was unstable, and blood flow was unable to reach his limbs. After 8 hours of surgery, he died. Surgeons discovered a total of 85 packets.
No matter what your drug of choice, if you think you’re about to be arrested for possession or otherwise feel an inexplicable urge to swallow your drugs, don’t. If you survive the experience, you’re going to be looking at substantial jail time.
If you or a loved one need help with quitting drugs or alcohol, consider Asana Recovery. We offer medical detox, along with both residential and outpatient programs, and you’ll be supervised by a highly trained staff of medical professionals, counselors, and therapists. Call us any time at (949) 438-4504 to get started.