The op-ed section of the New York Times has gone to pot—literally. On Tuesday, Maureen Dowd published a story about eating a marijuana-infused treat while in Denver covering Colorado’s legalized pot scene back in January.
As Dowd tells it, she legally purchased a caramel-chocolate flavored edible, ate it in her Denver hotel room, washed it down with some chardonnay, and then waited. About an hour later, the effects of THC set in, and the result was not good:
I strained to remember where I was or even what I was wearing, touching my green corduroy jeans and staring at the exposed-brick wall. As my paranoia deepened, I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me.
The high lasted eight hours. EIGHT.
Dowd’s conclusion is that pot candy needs to be better labelled. Newbies to the drug should only eat about 1/16 of the kind of bar she ate, according to a medical consultant at an edibles plant she interviewed. Her candy wrapper had no mention of recommended servings, she wrote.
The spokesman for NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) Erik Altieri responded to Dowd’s critique of the edibles industry in an email posted on Jim Romenesko’s blog. He wrote that Dowd was the irresponsible one, not the manufacturers:
Being inexperienced with cannabis consumption and having little to no experience with it in its edible form, Maureen Dowd should have done the resonsible thing and researched the effects of ingested cannabis.
Responding to the criticism of her column, Dowd said in a statement that when she ate the candy, she “was focused more on the fun than the risks.” She also added that most people descending on Denver are probably in a similar boat.
According to The Cannabis, Matt Brown, co-founder of tourism company My 420 Tours, accompanied Dowd as she purchased the edibles at a Denver dispensary. He said she “got the warning” about how edibles affect everyone differently.
The reactions on the Internet Machine to Dowd’s story have ranged from the generally amused to the bluntly irate:
If you stare into the abyss, Maureen, you'll find the abyss is staring back at you. http://t.co/NOWJqnetM6— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) June 5, 2014
Maureen Dowd, 1933: Reports on prohibition by taking shots of whiskey by herself in a hotel room. "this hangover will never end!"— Tim Fernholz (@TimFernholz) June 4, 2014
Dowd’s (in)famous high has also spawned a number of new buzzwords:
"Dowding": the frenetic, frantic, loquacious high that comes from weedible binging. #maureendowd— Marcie Bianco (@MarcieBianco) June 5, 2014
In related "news", Paul Krugman drinks a fifth of Jack after eating a roast beef sandwich and throws up on his couch. Imagine! #maureendowd— Adam Sorber (@adamsorber) June 5, 2014