North Shore Rescue warns about the danger of getting high in the backcountry

Jul 24 2018, 12:34 am

Summer is in full swing in BC, leaving adventurers with no shortage of amazing places to explore.

While some outdoor enthusiasts may be tempted to enhance their experience by adding cannabis to their routine, North Shore Rescue (NSR) is advising against such practices.

“The mountains are not the place to lose yourself in a drug-induced stupor, nor are they a place to experiment and learn your tolerance,” Curtis Jones wrote in a NSR blog post on Sunday.

“The reality we face is that the wilderness is unforgiving and it can take a long time for rescue crews to reach you, even if you are only a couple kilometers up the trail.”

Jones noted that the legalization of cannabis on October 17 creates “a space for the normalization of consumption and experimentation with cannabis in the public realm.”

While neither Jones nor NSR take a “position on consumption or experimentation with cannabis as it relates to people’s private lives,” Jones stressed the importance of doing so “responsibly and safely.”

“When you’re high in the mountains, and I don’t mean elevation wise, you shift your position on the continuum between ‘Prepared Hiker’ and ‘Candidate for Rescue’ significantly towards the latter position.”

“Our plea to everyone [is] to be responsible in the mountains, and leave the weed at home, even if it is eventually legal,” Jones wrote.

Jones also listed five of the most recent rescues and recoveries that were caused by intoxication:

For tips on how to stay safe in the mountains, visit NSR’s education page and AdventureSmart.

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