When Pulitzer-winning New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd went to Colorado to research the booming legal weed industry, she decided, “When in Rome...” The 62-year-old writer purchased a weed-caramel chocolate bar, settled into her hotel room for the night, and proceeded to trip the f*** out.
Instead of asking the seller (or anyone in Colorado, for that matter) how much THC was in the bar or what an appropriate dosage would be, Dowd bit the bullet (literally) and consumed two large bites. When nothing happened, she shrugged, ordered room service, and poured herself a glass of Chardonnay. One hour later, she was curled into a ball on her hotel bed, wondering where she was, what she was wearing, and if the world was coming to an end.
Dowd made a classic newbie mistake when it comes to edibles—hell, practiced stoners still make this mistake. She ate too much. Nearly everyone who enjoys marijuana edibles has had at least one experience when they've gotten too high. Dowd’s telling of this experience is actually hilarious, especially when you visualize the put-together, respected, polemical writer marveling at the exposed brick in her hotel room while rubbing her green corduroy pants.
The column Dowd writes includes not only her personal experience, but also a call for the marijuana-food industry to better label, warn, and inform new users about dosage and possible side effects. She references the two edible-related deaths that mainstream media has been using to condemn the legal weed experiment since they tragically occurred. She remarks that “some kinks need to be ironed out with the intoxicating open bar at the Mile High club.” And some marijuana supporters are pissed.
The National Cannabis Industry Association’s tweeted in response, “If @NYTDowd drank a handle of whiskey and ended up in the ER, would anyone consider a column blaming Jack Daniels credible?” This is a valid argument, used even by myself in the case of the student who fell off a roof after consuming a 65mg-THC edible. When it comes to all substances, it is ultimately the responsibility of the individual to research the right dosage and to know one’s limits. At least if you overdose on an edible, you’ll only think you’re going to die, as opposed to alcohol and almost every other drug, where you actually could die.
Though I do see the danger of an uninformed user with wide readership and national reach sharing her ‘horror story’ and blaming the people who make the bars instead of those who misuse them (namely, Maureen Dowd), I can’t bring myself to find anything in this situation but joy. Maureen Dowd tripped out on an edible and wrote a column about it. It’s like a story your favorite drunk aunt tells at Thanksgiving, and I find this entire situation—misinformed column and call to action included—to be simply delightful.