When 35-year-old Andy Slatter found himself without a ride to the solar eclipse earlier this week, a weed company in Portland stepped up in a big way. But Andy wasn’t just another eclipse tourist flocking to Oregon to witness the event. This eclipse really mattered to him. With a serious brain surgery and the risk of losing his vision just weeks away, Andy knew this could be his last chance ever to see a solar eclipse.
A Once-In-A-Lifetime Solar Eclipse
Not long ago, Andy found out he had a tumor in his brain. After making the discovery, he and his doctors scheduled a surgery to remove it at the end of the month.
Surgeons reassured Andy that it would a fairly standard operation. They went on to explain that although the surgery usually goes off without a hitch, there is always a risk that, because of where the tumor is located, the operation could leave him blind.
After learning that, Andy became determined to check off as many bucket list items that required vision as he could. As it turns out, seeing a solar eclipse was tops on that list. And the timing of this week’s solar eclipse could not have been better. It arrived literally nine days before the surgery.
“There was this eclipse that I really wanted to see, and there was suddenly some urgency because I’ve got this tumor,” Andy said. “The surgeon said he’s never lost a patient to blindness, but because of the chance that it could happen, I just had to see this eclipse.
“With those two things happening at the same time, I really wanted to make sure to get this bucket list eclipse thing done.”
Craigslist Ad: Weed For A Ride
Realizing that this could be his last chance to ever see a solar eclipse, Andy was determined to make it to the path of totality. The only problem was transportation.
“I really wanted to see the eclipse, but I didn’t trust my rig to get there,” he said.
So he posted a Craigslist ad asking for help. But he wasn’t looking for a free ride. Instead, Andy’s ad offered to “donate” an ounce of what he described as “sticky icky marijuana” to anyone who could give him a ride. In Oregon, adults are legally allowed to possess up to an ounce of cannabis. It’s also legal to gift or donate cannabis to other adults.
Portland Weed Company Answers The Call
Almost immediately, the ad started getting attention. Andy said he got all sorts of calls from people willing to give him a ride. But one offer stood out from the rest.
When Portland-based cannabis tour company, High 5 Tours, heard about Andy’s dilemma, CEO Sam Rosenbaum knew his company could help. Rosenbaum contacted him and offered to bring him on their Oregon Eclipse Camp tour—free of charge.
“He’s just a great guy, and it sounded like he needed to go see the eclipse, and I didn’t want him to miss out. It was something we could provide, so we wanted to bring him along,” Rosenbaum said. “And as soon as we met him, we were glad he was with us because he was the most excited person on the whole tour. It was great to have Andy on the bus, and we hope to have him on there again.”
Rosenbaum added: “And just to make it clear, we didn’t take him up on his offer. We let him keep his cannabis.”
Final Hit: Weed Company Helps Man See Solar Eclipse Days Before Brain Surgery
On Saturday afternoon, High 5 Tours’ “yellow pot bus” picked up Andy and a few other eclipse tourists in downtown Portland. From there, they drove to a private campsite in eastern Oregon, near the town of Unity.
The group set up camp and hung out for the weekend. According to Andy, it was nothing but positive vibes and a chance to meet new people, all while smoking some grade-A Oregon bud. Because the Eclipse Camp was on private property, campers were able to consume cannabis at the campground. And when Monday’s solar eclipse finally rolled around, it was everything Andy hoped it would be.
“There’s been a handful of great experiences in my lifetime, and this one is right up there. It was quite an adventure” he said. “This was one for the ages. And it wouldn’t have been possible with High 5 Tours. The whole thing was amazing. It was quite the show.”
For many, the sense of culture and community that cannabis so often generates is one of the greatest parts about smoking weed. And, at least for Andy, this week’s solar eclipse was a powerful example of what that community looks like.