The Downside of Smoking Pot?

(Photo:  Daquella manera)

(Photo: Daquella manera)

I am not sure how else to explain this e-mail, received from a reader whose name I shall withhold:

So there is this weird thing going on at CVS that I have to at least make record of, maybe talk about. I am constantly lured there and I walk the wiles, grab a few things, and the bill ALWAYS adds up to whatever amount of money I have in my pocket. If I have $54.32, on three occasions the total added up to exactly the amount I had, and on two other occasions it was within a dollar of being the exact amount. It’s like if I played roulette and always guessed right. Now I can’t talk about it, and these fucks know that, so they do it every time I go to CVS. I boycotted CVS but they lure me there anytime I am even close there. I swore myself to secrecy but the problem is I don’t have a lot of friends and under a condition of secrecy, I get lured to CVS constantly.


In this day and age of NSA, Facebook, corporate espionage, etc., you don't have to be crazy to think things like this are true...but it helps.


I doubt this is pot-related. It's more likely that the writer has some sort of mental disorder where coincidences are given more value than they are worth (yes, that part is a common pot smoking trait). But pot smoking does not explain the uncontrollable or obsessive urge to shop at a specific store all the time.


I can handle a massive government conspiracy to snoop inside the mundane details of my life via cyber-snooping. But if CVS and/or Rite Aid have devised some pharmacological method of luring me into their web, I am leaving America forever...


Outstanding. This guy needs to become a regular contributor. Get him signed to a contract before someone else scoops him up.


He's probably buying the same items every time he goes there. Like Picking up a script or a soda etc... we are creatures of habit.


Sounds like someone with a great-hidden counting skill. Advice: Go to play blackjack.


A modern day Nostradamus. This guy must be the first person in the world to walk into a store with a sense of the expendable income in his pocket and spend to that amount.


Amazingly, he never spends more than the amount in his pocket, either!


How much Visine does one guy need?


How is this a downside?


He seems to think they know how much money's in his pocket and either changing the prices of the items he picks or luring him to pick the items with the right price in order to capture all the money he has on him.


It would appear they do. Was he aware of that before he smoked pot, or did he become aware as a result?


To me that reads a lot more like schizophrenia than marijuana use...


Probably spends the same amount stocking up on aluminum foil for his apartment walls.


Dubner lured me into this article. Here I was expecting an informative statistical argument that shows the other side of the pot debate and instead I get a good laugh... I see what you did there, Dubner... Well played.

Dynise Basore-Ranfagni

He is lured there because that is where he subconsciously knows he is supposed to be picking up his meds...the conscious part of him just forgets to take them.


This freak is freaked out by some really freaky economics going on at CVS. Seems appropriate that he email Freak-onomics about it. ;)

Anon Y. Mous

How naive of ye who mock this man. CVS (the largest DRUG EALER in America) has been gathering data ("Do you have your CVS card?") on everyone who's bought as much as a Snicker bar from San Diego to Bangor, ME. There are camera's everywhere - ostensibly to prevent shoplifting - in reality, just another limb of their vast data mining apparatus.

CVS wants people to think they're getting out of the evil cigarette business. The truth is "smokers" have known for years that every cigarette bought at a CVS gets reported to the biggest cartel of all - BIG PHARMA who make billions in the Nicotine gum/patch biz and then sells that info to the insurance companies who double the smokers' premiums.

Hey, I'll admit it. CVS has been doing the same thing to me, only with me it's credit cards. Invariably every time they ring me up and I give them my card, they charge me for the EXACT amount of my purchase. Am I the only one this happens to? Whereas, if I go to Walgreens or Rite Aid, the clerks are so "stoned" they never charge the right amount on my credit cards.

DISCLAIMER: this is called satire. I have no reason to think CVS is "evil" or suspect that clerks at any stores are not totally sober at all times.



This person probably has schizophrenia


This seems very much like something a person with mental illness would write. Perhaps bipolar disorder. And it feels somewhat inappropriate to share it with the world.