New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd came to Denver recently to write about pot. And, she reasoned, how could she truly write about the state’s legalized sales of limited amounts of pot to adults 21 and up without actually sampling some of said pot?
So Dowd ate a candy bar, which led to a Reefer Madness-like bad trip. Read on for more.
Here’s her summation of her night:
“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.”
Her account reminds us of wild, turn-of-the-century reports on cannabis meant to scare the bejeezus out of readers, like this one from 1890, or this one about tripping through New York on THC from 1893.
Dowd doesn’t say which candy bar she purchased, but does mention that the budtender at the dispensary didn’t tell her how much she should have started with. Granted, she should have known to start small, but she does bring up a point: budtenders need to be talking with customers more and asking about tolerance levels and dosing because the customers aren’t going to be doing it themselves.
In fact, Colorado has had somewhat of a problem with edibles lately. Or, at least a perceived problem with edibles. So far in 2014, officials have questionably attributed two deaths to people eating pot-infused foods then doing horrible things. One man killed his wife and another jumped off a balcony.
Those incident prompted emergency legislation as well as new rulemaking committees to iron out ways to make edibles more controllable by the consumer including further limiting potency, regulating packaging and doing away with pot candies that look like commercially available foods. The governor has even suggested putting marijuana leaf stamps on all pot-foods.
In the end, though, it does come down to personal responsibility. Unlike Dowd and her bad trip, if you haven’t eaten pot food in decades (or ever) be sure to talk with the person selling it to you. Start out slow and with small amounts and take your time and don’t try eating more thinking it isn’t working – the buzz might not kick in for an hour or so. The medical marijuana producers should only be expected to do so much before it falls on the consumer.
As Bob Eschino, owner of Incredibles (Editor’s note: easily one of the best edibles in Colorado) told Dowd: “My kids put rocks and batteries in their mouths. If I put a marijuana leaf on a piece of chocolate, they’ll still put it in their mouths. … Somebody suggested we just make everything look like a gray square so it doesn’t look appealing. Why should the whole industry suffer just because less than 5 percent of people are having problems with the correct dosing?”