by David Downs
Popular New York Times columnist made weed waves this week when she flew to Denver, ate sixteen times the recommended dose of a marijuana edible and had a bad trip wherein she thought she had died.
Twitter is rightfully mocking her apparent lack of common sense.
Here is a professional New York media figure who parachuted into Denver specifically to riff on the implementation of legalization and its chief issue — that some people are eating way more pot brownies than they should and having bad experiences.
She spends a day reporting on the issue, and learning about responsible use, then buys a drugged candy bar, and goes back to her hotel room and acts like an idiot:
What could go wrong with a bite or two? The caramel-chocolate flavored candy bar looked so innocent, like the Sky Bars I used to love as a child.
... I nibbled off the end and then, when nothing happened, nibbled some more. ...
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.
What kind of person does that after they’ve been specifically told not to?
Either an idiot, or someone looking for a story. Those are the two options here: Dowd lied and deliberately over-indulged for a zany story, or repeated consumption instructions and warnings failed to penetrate her thick skull.
The episode highlights the absolute contextual vacuum surrounding the discussion of edibles dosing in Colorado. Chief among that context: eating too much pot cannot kill you. Which is a pretty awesome safety profile compared to alcohol abuse, for which 1.2 million people are admitted into ERs each year, and 88,000 will die.
Or god forbid prescription drugs, from which overdoses kill 105 Americas EVERY DAY. No one is talking about tweaking booze or pill laws.
Does Dowd go home and drink a box of wine on accident, or regularly disregard her doctor’s orders and eat sixteen times the prescribed dose of Vicodin? Of course not, because if she did, she’d actually be dead.