One of my favorite things to do is play video games. I have won a handful of gaming competitions over the years, with the first one being when I was 7 years old roughly 30 years ago. My first competition was at a G.I. Joes chain store, which I am fairly certain has since gone out of business. I won the competition, with the first place prize being a copy of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out for the original Nintendo. I think I still have the cartridge somewhere.
Zoom forward to today, and I own a handful of arcade games and I still have a lot of my old consoles and games. I don’t play nearly as much as some people, but I make regular appearances at my local arcades, bowling alleys, and other locations that house arcade machines. I obviously also love cannabis, which is why a particular story in Tom Angell’s daily newsletter really stood out to me.
Apparently, an accomplished speedrunner was recently kicked out of a charity gaming event after he shared a cannabis edible with another attendee. For those that aren’t hip to the lingo, a speedrun in the video game world is when a person tries to complete an entire game as fast as possible. You can Google it. Many of the performances on YouTube are really entertaining to watch.
A speedrunner named BubblesDelFuego was banned by the charity organization Games Done Quick from all events due to the gifting of the edible. Per Kotaku:
BubblesDelFuego, a speedrunner known for Fallout 4 and Dark Souls speedruns, said Friday on a Twitch stream that he had been taking marijuana edibles to treat chronic pain. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at age 17, surviving the condition thanks to early detection and later beating the cancer again at the age of 19. Since then, he has been taking medical marijuana to help alleviate lingering pain.
BubblesDelFuego said he shared a portion of his edible with a friend. Eight hours later, as the edible’s effect wore off, BubblesDelFuego’s friend experienced a panic attack and was taken to a local hospital by paramedics. As police arrived on the scene and GDQ staff became aware of the situation, GDQ staff asked BubblesDelFuego to leave the venue. During a live run for Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy where he was providing commentary, you can see BubblesDelFuego checking his phone before leaving the commentator’s couch.
The event took place in Virginia, where cannabis edibles are currently illegal. Possession of less than a half-ounce of cannabis in Virginia is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. I don’t know how big the edible was that was shared, but I do think that the event overreacted. The friend that received the edible obviously couldn’t handle his/her/their THC, and should have known better than to ask for it. I feel bad that they had a bad experience, but I don’t think that means that the edible provider should be so harshly punished (assuming that the person that received the edible was an adult).
I fully appreciate that the event organizers want to maintain a safe atmosphere that is family friendly, but I think that banning BubblesDelFuego from all future events is way too harsh of a move. I think that the matter could have been handled in a less extreme fashion. According to the previously-linked-to article, the organization does allow cannabis consumption by participants as long as it’s legal locally.
How would this situation have been handled differently if it occurred in one of 8 states that cannabis is now legal for adult use or one of the over two dozen states where medical cannabis is legal? If the organization does not deem cannabis to be a problem in one of those states, and they are not law enforcement, why does it all of a sudden become a problem in a prohibition state? The sad irony of the situation is that the event is organized to benefit cancer, and BubblesDelFuego is a cancer survivor. Cannabis has been proven to help cancer patients, but now a cancer survivor is not allowed at these cancer charity gaming events due to cannabis. That sucks!