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Maine investigating restaurant that sedated lobsters with marijuana

SOUTHWEST HARBOR, Maine — State health inspectors are investigating a Maine lobster restaurant that tried to mellow out lobsters with marijuana. Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor remains open but has stopped allowing customers to request meat from lobsters sedated with marijuana, the Portland Press Herald reports.

Charlotte Gill, the restaurant's owner, is a state-licensed medical marijuana caregiver. On Friday, Gill said she recently started offering "smoked" lobster meat and hopes to resume sales by mid-October.

Emily Spencer, a spokesperson for Maine's Department of Health and Human Services, wouldn't say whether the state had asked Gill to halt such sales.

It's unknown whether pot smoke actually calms lobsters or has any effect on their meat. Gill said she pumped marijuana smoke into the water in some of the lobsters' enclosures.

Finding ways to reduce lobsters' pain is not a new concept. Earlier this year, Switzerland banned the common cooking method of tossing a live lobster into a pot of boiling water, deeming it cruel since lobsters can sense pain, USA Today reported.

Gill has argued that the kinder killing method will make the animal happier — and happier lobsters mean better tasting meat. "The difference it makes within the meat itself is unbelievable," she the Mount Desert Islander. "Everything you put into your body is energy."