Speed Reads

Reefer Madness

Maureen Dowd had a really bad pot trip, then wrote a column about it

Getty Images/Meet the Press

On Wednesday, Pulitzer-winning New York Times writer Maureen Dowd came out with a doozy of a column. "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," she begins. "What could go wrong with a bite or two?" Well, nothing, for an hour, Dowd recounts:

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. [New York Times]

The fact that, as Dowd learned the next day, she was supposed to eat just a bit of the pot-laced candy bar sets up the moral of the column: Colorado is "coming to grips with the darker side of unleashing a drug as potent as marijuana on a horde of tourists of all ages and tolerance levels seeking a mellow buzz," but unclear on the right dose.

For a while on Tuesday night, Dowd's bad trip is all anyone was talking about on Twitter, mostly in a mocking tone. But I'll sign on to this half-compliment, from The Week's Sergio Hernandez. --Peter Weber