New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote a piece about her recent experience with legal marijuana in Colorado, warning new users about "the darker side" of the drug after having a bad trip.
The piece instantly went viral across social media sites, with many mocking Dowd's alarmism. "Watch Out, The New York Times Has Discovered Eating Pot" wrote Complex
. "New York Times Columnist Maureen Dowd Is Very Bad at Getting High" read the headline of an article from Gawker.com
, which likened her naïve response to the 1936 "Reefer Madness" film.
In her article, Dowd takes to Denver with journalistic derring-do to "report on the social revolution rocking Colorado" after the state legalized the drug in January.
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She bought a candy bar infused with THC from a licensed dispensary, and settled into her hotel room for a night of movie-watching. After taking a few nibbles and feeling nothing, she ate the whole bar.
"For an hour, I felt nothing . . . But then I felt a scary shudder go through my body and brain. I barely made it from the desk to the bed, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours," she wrote.
"I was thirsty but couldn’t move to get water. Or even turn off the lights. I was panting and paranoid . . . 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."
Dowd eventually recovered, obviously, and after consulting a medical expert realized she'd eaten 16 times more than is recommended for people new to marijuana.
Following the discovery, she takes it on herself to raise the alarm, warning novice pot-ingesters that other people have committed suicide and murder while high!
Excusing herself of all responsibility for her own bad trip, Dowd consults Andrew Freedman, the state’s director of marijuana coordination, who offers her the sympathy she's looking for. "There are way too many stories of people not understanding how much they’re eating . . . It would behoove the industry to create a more pleasant experience for people," he tells her.
Dowd concludes by advocating better labeling for, of course, the children's sake.
After her column was published, readers took to Twitter and other social media to lampoon Dowd's gonzo adventure.
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