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A Maine Restaurant Wants to Kill Lobsters Humanely by Getting Them Stoned

Marijuana could be the key to tastier shellfish that dies happier

A cooked lobster
Is this lobster holding?
Wikimedia Commons

Want humanely killed lobster? Order it baked. Well, it’s actually steamed, and the thoughtful restaurant serving this crustacean advertises it as stoned. To the point: Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound, in Southwest Harbor, Maine, is exposing its lobsters to marijuana smoke before cooking them, according to the Mount Desert Islander.

Owner Charlotte Gill explains that she tested the effects of weed smoke on a lobster named Roscoe, placing the lobster in about two inches of water inside a covered box, and then pumping the smoke into the liquid in sort of a water bong scenario. Roscoe was then returned to his tank, sans restrictive claw bands, with other lobsters for three weeks, and Gill observed that he totally mellowed out. Roscoe never once wielded his claws as weapons toward his tank mates following the hot-box session. Gill hopes to have a process in place to sedate all of her lobsters before cooking by next season.

The inspiration for this groovy experiment comes from Switzerland, which banned the practice of boiling lobsters alive earlier this year. The Swiss government suggests stunning methods such as electrocution or a stab between the eyes prior to cooking the shellfish. Gill doesn’t like the sound of that: “These are both horrible options,” she tells the Islander. “If we’re going to take a life we have a responsibility to do it as humanely as possible.”

So, henceforth, Gill will smoke her lobsters up with her own homegrown — she has a medical marijuana caregiver license — to ensure they die happy. There isn’t any hard science behind her theory, and her restaurant is known to engage in stunt-y marketing gimmicks, but she believes marijuana sedation will result in tastier meat and give her cooks and diners peace of mind. However, she notes her Legendary Lobster Pound is not a purveyor of edibles, but not without a wink and a nudge to any potheads who may have newfound interest in her restaurant.

“THC breaks down completely by 392 degrees,” Gill tells the Islander, “therefore we will use both steam as well as a heat process that will expose the meat to 420 degree extended temperature, in order to ensure there is no possibility of carryover effect (even though the likelihood of such would be literally impossible).”

As for Roscoe, he was reportedly set free and returned to the ocean as a thank you for participating in Gill’s study.

‘Hot Box’ Lobsters Touted [MDI]
Boiling Lobsters Alive Is an Act of Cruelty, Says Switzerland [E]