The only time I've seen Maureen Dowd in the flesh was on the roof of the W Hotel in Washington in 2009. Drinks are $14 and the carpet feels cheap and you can kind of see 1/5th of the White House's roof through the trees, which is a pretty apt metaphor for the town (that one's on the house MoDo). She was drinking red liquid from a martini glass and when I looked at her I recognized the same, knowing, mysterious countenance that's in her bio photo. A serious woman surrounded by silly people, she seemed in control. This was someone who had spent time in proximity to power, who could chew it up and spit it out. This was someone who could obviously handle her weed candy. Sadly, I was wrong.
Today Maureen Dowd explains how she ate too much of a marijuana chocolate bar in Colorado and spent the rest of her evening in a Ralph Steadman cartoon.
I figured if I was reporting on the social revolution rocking Colorado in January, the giddy culmination of pot Prohibition, I should try a taste of legal, edible pot from a local shop.
What could go wrong with a bite or two?
Everything, as it turned out.
Not at first. For an hour, I felt nothing. I figured I’d order dinner from room service and return to my more mundane drugs of choice, chardonnay and mediocre-movies-on-demand.
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. I was thirsty but couldn’t move to get water. Or even 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.
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.
This experience is supposed to be a schema for the problems the state is having with a few Colorado residents (and their children) who have ingested too much edible cannabis and have wound up in the hospital or worse.
Yes, we've all been there. And I will leave more substantive criticism of Dowd's work to professionals. I would merely posit that a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, who is "not a regular marijuana smoker," might think to ask the dispensary's shopkeeper how much of this candy she should eat. As a reporter for The New York Times. Maybe it was too loud in there?