Tags: Marijuana Legalization | Maureen Dowd | marijuana | edible | candy

NYT Columnist Maureen Dowd Learns Dangers of Edible Pot Firsthand

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Jun 2014 11:26 AM

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd learned the hard way that eating too much pot-laced candy is a frightening experience, and says more education is needed as  Colorado rolls out its legal pot edibles.

"The caramel-chocolate flavored candy bar looked so innocent, like the Sky Bars I used to love as a child," Dowd writes in a Tuesday column about her experience in a Denver hotel.

"I nibbled off the end and then, when nothing happened, nibbled some more," she writes, saying that she figured if she was reporting on the legalization of pot, she should try some edible marijuana from a local shop.

But that bite or two turned out to be a very strange trip for the columnist, who says her usual "mundane drugs of choice" when in a hotel are "chardonnay and mediocre movies on demand."

Dowd said she ended up lying in a "hallucinatory state" for eight hours, and could not move to get water or turn off the lights.

"I was panting and paranoid, sure that when the room-service waiter knocked and I didn’t answer, he’d call the police and have me arrested for being unable to handle my candy," she writes. She also thought she'd died, but nobody told her.

The next day, Dowd learned from a medical consultant at an edibles plant that such candy bars are to be cut into 16 small pieces for novices. But, Dowd said, that wasn't on the label.

"I reckoned that the fact that I was not a regular marijuana smoker made me more vulnerable, and that I should have known better," she said.

But legal edibles are turning out to be more than just a tasty treat — people are dying as the state unleashes the now legal drug on tourists of all ages, she said.

In March, Dowd writes, a 19-year-old Wyoming college student leaped from a Denver hotel's balcony after eating a pot-laced cookie containing 65 mg of THC. And in April, a Denver man shot and killed his wife while she was on the phone calling an emergency dispatcher after he ate pot-laced Karma Kandy and was talking like the world had ended.

Colorado hospitals are treating growing numbers of people of all ages who are being sickened by too-high doses of edible marijuana, the Times reported Sunday.

"We realized there was a problem because we’re watching everything with the urgency of the first people to regulate in this area," said Andrew Freedman, the state’s director of marijuana coordination. "There are way too many stories of people not understanding how much they’re eating. With liquor, people understand what they’re getting themselves into. But that doesn’t exist right now for edibles for new users in the market. It would behoove the industry to create a more pleasant experience for people."

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and state lawmakers are working on requirements that packaging on pot cookies and candy are clearly different from normal treats. In addition, the Department of Revenue was told to restrict the amount of such foods that can be sold at a time to one person, and Hickenlooper signed legislation requiring a special stamp to be put on pot edibles.

The state also wants single serving size candies to be sold, a suggestion that industry representatives reject as being too expensive.

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New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd learned the hard way that eating too much pot-laced candy is a frightening experience, and says more education is needed as Colorado rolls out its legal pot edibles.
Maureen Dowd, marijuana, edible, candy
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2014-26-04
Wednesday, 04 Jun 2014 11:26 AM
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