Lionel Richie's Bassist Stabs Himself After Ingesting Pot Edible

By Paul Gaita 06/06/17

The 42-year-old bassist is currently recovering from the incident.

Lionel Richie and Ethan Farmer
Lionel Richie and Ethan Farmer Photo via Instagram

Veteran bassist Ethan Farmer, who has played on songs by and toured with such music acts as Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson and Aretha Franklin, was rushed to a Los Angeles-area hospital with self-inflicted stab wounds after consuming marijuana edibles.

Emergency services were summoned to Farmer's San Fernando Valley, California apartment on May 30 at approximately 10 p.m. There, they found the musician bleeding from an array of stab wounds. Friends at the scene said that Farmer became irrational and violent after consuming the edible before stabbing himself repeatedly. 

TMZ reported that Farmer was in the hospital until at least June 2. The tabloid also stated that they spoke with Farmer at an unspecified time, but he declined to say anything about the May 30 incident other than that he was recovering.

On June 4, Farmer posted a video on his Instagram account to update fans on his well-being. "I ain't trying to kill my goddamn self. Too fly for that. I just want to let y'all know I'm doing well. I was injured Tuesday. But God is amazing and everything's gonna be okay. And EBASSMAN is here to stay."

Farmer, a Chicago native, began his career in his family's gospel quartet before moving to Los Angeles, where he became an in-demand session and touring player for Christina Aguilera, Destiny's Child, Janet Jackson, Kirk Franklin and Brandon Flowers of The Killers. He also maintains a solo career as a jazz performer and has issued two albums, including 2015's Farmer's Vineyard.

Marijuana edibles are typically stronger than smoked or vaporized cannabis due to the way the body absorbs THC; the active ingredient is metabolized by and converted into 11-hydroxy-THC, an active metabolite which passes quickly through the blood-brain barrier and produces a slower building but more intense and longer-lasting high than inhaled THC.

Because of that gap in time, consumers have occasionally eaten increasingly larger amounts in order to speed up the effect, which has frequently resulted in adverse reactions. In several instances, the user's response was so intense that they allegedly injured themselves, even fatally.

Instances such as these and the incident with Farmer, when combined with a lack of proper and consistent dosage and packaging, have spurred states like Colorado to establish manufacturing regulations for edibles. 

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.