In Defense of Maureen Dowd Getting Too High and Writing About It

Comments

2
I can't stand Maureen Dowd, so when I caught her column last night I had to step back from my disdain for her to seriously consider the hidden dangers of edible pot she raised. One passage I found especially troubling:
In April, a Denver man ate pot-infused Karma Kandy and began talking like it was the end of the world, scaring his wife and three kids. Then he retrieved a handgun from a safe and killed his wife while she was on the phone with an emergency dispatcher.

After I got over my initial horror and really thought about this incident for a few moments, I realized, "Didn't the handgun play some role in this incident too? Maybe now the NRA can say, 'Guns don't kill people. Edible pot kills people.'" Then again, even that thought is a bit trite. Delusional people have no shortage of means to do permanent damage.

Anyway, I appreciate Ms. Dowd's responding to Dominic's query, and her opinion expressed to Dominic as to the policy takeaway is just perfect. It's just a shame she didn't express that opinion in her opinion piece, rather than never rising out of to the sensational "Reefer Madness" tone.

I'm writing this as someone who, perhaps unlike Bill Clinton, actually didn't inhale and who has no interest in taking advantage of legalization, but who doesn't begrudge other folks doing so.

P.S. As to the question of whether weapons kill people or intoxicants kill people, today I stumbled across an interesting piece in the Atlantic's new City Lab site, What If the Best Way to End Drunk Drivin….
3
Well said Dom.

@1: I've done shitloads of drugs. I've got over 40 years experience of doing shitloads of a wide variety of drugs (got high on pot the first time at 13). My single worst experience bar none came off of one fucking cookie (and I'm including a seriously bad episode with mushrooms and a cocaine overdose in here). A cookie that rendered me basically incapacitated for the better half of a day.

I know several folks that have had similar experiences. You couldn't pay me to eat pot infused product.
4
I smoke everyday and even I think that edibles should be 1-2 serving sizes per bar/brownie/cookie instead of the 10-12 that most contain. Medical patients can still get highly infused edibles at dispenseries but the inexperienced recreational user is playing with fire if they eat more than a nibble of these bad boys. If you have to eat the whole brownie to get high, very few people will have too much unless of course they eat several brownies in which case they're asking for it.
5
I kinda need to qualify my comment @2. I was chiding Maureen Dowd for not putting the policy prescription in her column, but then I thought about Dominic's take: It's the classic personal story, big picture, solutions column.

And I went back and re-read the column. And Dominic's right. I just didn't quite realize that Dowd's description of Colorado's policy response was itself an implicit endorsement. And her "endorsement" wouldn't have nearly the force without the sensational details that preceded it.
6
Still, if she didn't know what she was doing, shouldn't she have asked the people at the dispensary for guidance *before* she started eating it? Seems like asking the people who know might just give her a chance to eat an appropriate amount.

Asking afterward? Not as useful.
7
Another tell is the line "or people who don't realize how much more potent pot is these days". I took my last hit twenty years ago because even then the stuff that was available was so incredibly much stronger than the dope I smoked in the 60s; knocked me on my ass and left me there for a couple of hours. At this point, I'd rather sit next to someone who's used to it and just fly on the contact high. Or knock back a finger of gin and call it a Martini.
8
I'm with Maureen. When I want to eat a cookie (with pot or without), I want to eat the whole fucking cookie. I don't want to eat 1/16th of a cookie. One cookie = one serving. Please, please do this. Thank you.
9
I want reasonable brownie with small THC so I can eat more. Yes I understand that the brownie is a medium. But I like brownies.
(No misogyny implied.)
10
I think Dowd's asking for some pretty common-sense precautions here. If I bought a pot brownie that was the size of a normal brownie, I might assume I was supposed to eat the whole thing. That's how portion sizes normally work in the food and drink industry, so it hardly seems crazy. It's either crystal clear labeling or required dosage/portion sizes like @4 suggests.

Alcohol has a bunch of labeling standards, plus we all have a lot of familiarity, and still people get more drunk than they mean to all the time. Especially inexperienced drinkers. So, it will happen. All the more reason to give clear guidance on what to expect from unfamiliar products.
11
Maureen Dowd is a ninny, but she has a point about dosing. When I eat a cookie (with or without pot), I want to eat the whole fucking cookie. And I'm pretty much going to eat the whole thing regardless, because it's a delicious cookie. One cookie = one serving. Why is this so hard to figure out? Dear Pot Industry People, please figure this out. Thank you.
12
If you get too high you could stand up too fast and black out and hit your head on the side of the washing machine like I did the night my mother died. Fortunately it was the night before laundry day and my fall was cushioned by a ton of dirty clothes.
13
As for the alcohol analogy everyone seems so keen on making, what she recommends is what alcohol already does. Dosages should be clearly marked like liquor so you can consume accordingly.
14
Ten years ago I was a regular pot smoker but grew out of it. Hadn't touched it for several years. Last fall I was in Amsterdam, and for the novelty as much as anything, ate a pot cookie. Jesus fuck. I am out of practice, sure, but no novice to getting stoned, and I was completely fucked up from that cookie. I almost threw up, I *fainted*, I was 20 times higher than I ever realized possible from marijuana (except perhaps the very first time I got stoned as a teenager, which was pretty bad.) Anyway. Who knew? Eating it is a whole different ballgame I guess. Maureen, I feel you.
15
Remind me why I should care about a privileged columnist for the corporate rag of the 1% who made her name sniffing Monica Lewinsky's underwear and slagging on Al Gore as a Presidential candidate because of earth tones?

Cry me a river.
16
I'd like to try pot (well, it's been since my 20's, so 20 years) when it's sold in stores, and as a triathlete I don't want to smoke anything, so I was planning on some edible.I'll be looking for mild buzz rather than hold onto the bed for dear life, so this article was enlightening. I'm sure I would have eaten the whole thing, because I've never put down a candy bar partially eaten. Now that I've read her column I'll be more careful. 16 does per bar? I wound't have expected that. They should really consider dosing info for new years, how will that be a hardship to the industry?
17
Great column, Dominic. I read my NYT every morning, in print, and of course MoDo's column is on the top of the list. I immediately shared this one with my Burning Man camp. Our leader had just (yes, here in legal and oh so experienced Seattle) inadvertently afforded someone an experience sort of like Maureen's. The edibles are powerful, and different from the puffs.

Thanks for getting in touch with her, and sharing the response! I am very few degrees of separation from MAUREEN DOWD!!
18
Sounds like she had a lengthy discussion with a Denver cannabis expert before the nibbling began...

http://www.thecannabist.co/2014/06/04/wa…
19
People do overdose on alcohol because they don't know the relative strength of whiskey versus beer, but it sounds like this is an order of magnitude worse than that.
20
@15: no one is asking you to care about Dowd or cry a teardrop or a river because she got too high.

But, if you choose to ignore the fact that she is making an incredibly valid point about the possible harm from edible cannabis, then you're just being an idiot.
21
On the one hand, yes, legal pot needs clear dosage statements and warnings on the edibles. This has nothing to do with any "danger" from edibles (other than having a bad time, there statistically is none) and everything to do with customer service. A predictable product is a good product. And yes, we're gonna have to figure out something about keeping kids from accidentally eating the edibles: again, basic customer service here.

On the other hand, fuck Maureen Dowd. Fuck everything to do with that weaselly, passive-aggressive, ass-kissing enabler of the worst president in living memory. "Worst person writing a New York Times op-ed column" is a tough, vicious competition, but Dowd takes it running away.
22
I'd like to try pot (well, it's been since my 20's, so 20 years)

A couple of weekends ago, I had the pleasure of blazing with a group of hot French MILFs, a few of whom hadn't smoked in 20 years either.

My suggestion - go with a pen vaporizer. They are relatively easy on the lungs, you will get just a teensy bit stoned, and it will be absolutely perfect.
23
Experiences like the one Maureen Dowd had are exactly why I don't consume pot anymore. I'm way too sensitive, I get completely paranoid and freak right the fuck out. People who say that she's making this up just aren't wired the same. I don't like Maureen Dowd, I don't read her column. Her language is a bit hyperbolic here, but fundamentally I think she tells a common story -- too much pot = 8-10 hours of paranoid misery or total dissociation (see: Michael Ian Black's honeymoon). None of these bad experiences, however, mean that it shouldn't be legal. Some people don't like roller coasters, either, but I've never interpreted a distaste for thrill rides as a call to ban them outright. Calm the fuck down, potheads.
24
There’s been more of a focus on this in Colorado than in Washington state, but the pot industry well aware of the inconsistency in potency when ingested pot is ingested, rather than smoked, and the resulting problems that can result. As Dominic says, better for the industry to deal with the problem, rather than attacking one of the messengers.
25
I was that high about 3 weeks ago. My brother made these awesome cookies with infused coconut oil. I ate one and got a real cool body high. I was feeling great and I decided to have another. About an hour later I was incapacitated. I almost crawled to my bed where I laid for hours just trying to focus on the wall in front of me. I then fell asleep and woke up with a hangover. I couldn't think clearly, my vision was blurred, and I was exhausted. I had another cookie a day later. Only one this time.
26
Maybe she didn't make her point clear because she's a shit journalist?
27
I agree that some sort of serving size information should be included. However, I think one key difference is missing from the "handle of whiskey" comparison: If you drink that whole bottle, you may very well kill yourself by alcohol poisoning. From the drug (yes, alcohol is also a drug) alone. Whereas the whole candy bar would not have killed anybody.

You can argue that getting way too high can cause people to do things that kill themselves or others, but the same is true for some people when they have just a few drinks. The potential for harm is just not even the same order of magnitude. Sorry Maureen had a bad trip... actually, no, I'm not; she probably deserved it... But feeling shitty for a few hours is barely any harm at all.
28
@25
"About an hour later I was incapacitated. I almost crawled to my bed where I laid for hours"

Shit, my 20s and 30s are such a marijuana feeling sick blur. Your sentence about sums it up. Wouldn't change a thing though, I think marijuana is great for delving into the id-ego-superego snaggle.
29
@1 -- Doesn't sound at all like bullshit to me, based on my own experiences with edibles. I once tripped balls for the better part of two days after eating too many pot brownies. My friend ate some from the same batch and ended up missing two days of work and getting fired since she was too paranoid to call in sick.
30
What a weak mind.
31
I think the whiskey comparison is apt - and not stupid in the least - because it can be dangerous to chug a lot of whiskey in one sitting, but it's not illegal and I don't think there's any major warning or regulation about warning people on a bottle of whiskey. So, the people making a lot of noise about this aren't consistent in their criticism; it seems to be the usual pot hysteria and prejudice, and in this case, a backlash with the onset of legalization. So many people smoke or ingest this stuff, to begin with. These critics weren't worried about the degree of consumption before, were they? I am not a big fan of "Nanny State" measures. I think morning after pills should be available over the counter, and I think people who swallow entire bottles of aspirin have (usually) only themselves to blame if they are adults.
32
What she is speaking of is akin to being puddled, except I've never felt any sort of negativity - just a desire for the brain scouring to end sometime soon so that I can hold a thought for longer that a minute once more.

Again, what an astoundingly weak-minded individual this Dowd must be.

33
I ate some weird cookie at a hemp festival and ended up sitting in a field staring at a single blade of grass for a couple hours.... I can see where she's coming from.
34
@GermanSausage CLEARLY you have never eaten a too-strong weed brownie, or you would know exactly what the f#@$ she's talking about. I had a similar experience when I was 17 after eating two full brownies and it scared my straight from trying any other drugs for years. My brain turned to complete mush and I was shaking uncontrollably for a couple of hours before finally passing out. I thought I was going to have a heart attack; I was scared shitless that my body would never feel normal again. Edibles ain't nuthin' to fuck wit - she makes a very important point that smoking weed does NOT = ingesting weed, and dosages should be marked as such.
35
It's two == or you're assigning smoking weed the value of ingesting weed.

And you're really fucking weak-minded.

Gangsta.
36
I'll chime in on this as well. I'm experienced enough with acid and MDMA and mushrooms and the like, but the most FUCKED UP I've ever been was when I simply ate too much of a weed cookie. OMFG. It was completely unpleasant, and it lasted for hours and hours. To this day, just looking at an edible makes my stomach lurch.

So I'll join the throng of people who back up Ms. Dowd's experience, and that proper dosing is everything.
37
Nice commentary, Dominic; thanks for taking the time to counter the attacks on Dowd's column. By being honest about potential problems, we not only avoid needless misery (or worse), we help secure the incredible advance in basic liberties voters in Washington and Colorado staked by substituting regulation for prohibition in the failed war on drugs.
38
I learned the hard way that if the hippie girl in the parking lot at the Gov't Mule show at Red Rocks tells you to only eat half, don't eat 2 because you didn't feel it in the first 10min.
Labeling is good. I choose the 10mg dose candies from the dispensary, because I know exactly what I am getting.
39
#36 either ate mislabeled rat poison or is a liar.

I'm hoping for both, as you are most definitely a liar.
40
@27: Agree for the most part, with one exception: marijuana edibles can, and do, kill pets. Dogs are especially susceptible both because they're more likely to ingest your pot cookies in the first place and because the ingredients people use to make pot cookies aren't good for dogs. Anyway, death from marijuana toxicity in dogs was basically unheard of before legalization, but when it happens it's primarily caused by the dog's inability to access food and water while they're stoned out of their gourd (ataxia is a primary symptom of acute marijuana intoxication in dogs), and consuming a bunch of cookies often leads to diarrhea and/or vomiting, hastening the onset of dehydration. Compound that with the pancreatic burden of consuming excess people food...
Anyway, I guess I'm saying that eating the whole candy bar could have killed a dog. So, that's not "nobody." Although, if you don't count dogs as "somebodies" the whole point is moot. Carry on.
41
Guys, weed is being legalised because every now and again a total badass who was given nothing in the way of an upbringing shows up, makes his way to the top of a city, eats cunts for dinner both literally and figuratively, and is unwittingly damned en masse for his actions.

It is not a sign of enlightenment, rather quite the opposite.

So, let's grab our maps. If weed is legal, there is a running blood feud.

The Netherlands would be making a mistake were they to go back on this.

We're catching up!

Honestly, while it is not such a problem in Seattle, mushroom production should be regulated for the public good.

Gangstas.

Quite truly,

-Zach
43
I had a similar experience many years ago and the thought of an edible SCARES THE SHIT OUT OF ME. My husband has been a regular consumer (smoke) for over 30 years & avoids edibles for the same reason. It's ludicrous not to clearly label any product that could render you a speechless, drooling, comatose, ultra-paranoid zombie for several hours at a time. And who in the hell would assume that a tiny little "fun bar" would need to be split between themselves & 15 of their closest friends? Label that shit!
44
I don't see why people have a problem with options.

Option A) Edibles in a variety of strengths (2 doses, 4 doses, 16 doses) that could be available for purchase.

Option B) Marking up the edibles to better help newbies to discern how strong a dose is.

Because, to me, 16 doses seems like a pretty strong high, if somebody eats the whole edible. Not that it's wrong to eat the whole cookie, or even to sell things that strong (if the body can indeed handle it), but more information on a new product is not terrible.

The difference between a brownie and a bottle of whiskey is that the shot glass is an extremely dominant feature in society. We all know from an early age that 1 shot is one dose of alcohol. And we also know there are a variety of shot glasses.

However, there is no subconscious information that 1/16 of a brownie = 1 dose. I would have thought 1 brownie = 1 tasty dose, if it's the size brownie I'm thinking of. Or, 1 cookie = 1 dose.

Very strong edibles are a necessity, though. They're for medical patients who have absolutely no appetite. Eating a whole brownie for them isn't nearly as easy as it is for the recreational user who have a healthy appetite. Which is why I think there should be a variety of strengths of edibles. Not everything is one size fits all, people.
45
I think the FDA should regulate edibles, since you can't depend on people to make the safest decisions for themselves. I am serious. It's way too easy for people to end up like Maureen Dowd did, especially when they are uninformed. And then that gives legalization a bad rap. Are you following me?
46
@44 - Exactly. Who here hasn't ripped through a box of Girl Scout cookies without thinking about it? Or Pepperidge Farms or whatever snack it is that is your particular weakness? Eating 1/16 of a brownie almost sounds like a hazing ritual.

And I'll chime in. My first attempt with a pot brownie, carefully prepared for a newbie, left me pleasantly blissed out. Lovely time.

The second time, however, I bit off more than I could chew (literally) and spent a number of hours in that fun paranoia of "How certain am I that I am actually thinking what I'm thinking or am I only thinking that I'm thinking what I'm thinking and... have I been sitting here for an hour?" I'm game to try again but with a bit more control than that next time.
47
Why all the outrage? Isn't weed supposed to mellow out criticism?

While Tom Friedman's comments to his Polyanna observations are worth ignoring in favor of skipping ahead to readers' responses for a few laughs, and Paul Krugman is actually worth reading, Ms. Dowd has almost always gotten me skimming, until now. Give her a break; at least she got us skimmers to stop and give her a second look.
48
Half of one of the segments of chocolate bar that Winterlife delivers is sill too much for me. I recognize there is a wide range of tolerances, but I really don't see the advantage to having it that damned strong -- to the consumer *or* the manufacturer! That's so strong I'm paying less than $1.50 per high. You could charge way more than that in a more dilute product, and we'd both be happier!
49
"As someone who's eaten way too much of a pot brownie, the worst part of a pot overdose is that you don't die—you just endure the misery."

Is this a typo?

Did you really mean to say that the *worst* part of the overdose is that the effect wears off WITHOUT YOU DYING?

I'm completely confused by this. I'm confused by the entire conversation. She ate too much, she laid down, eight hours later, she got up, shook it off, wrote her column and sold it. I don't see the "harm" she endured.
50
"As someone who's eaten way too much of a pot brownie, the worst part of a pot overdose is that you don't die—you just endure the misery."

Is this a typo?

Did you really mean to say that the *worst* part of the overdose is that the effect wears off WITHOUT YOU DYING?

I'm completely confused by this. I'm confused by the entire conversation. She ate too much, she laid down, eight hours later, she got up, shook it off, wrote her column and sold it. I don't see the "harm" she endured.
51
#42, I am not sure if I should apologize to you for calling you a "fucking idiot" twice over.

Anyways.

I just took a shower, and while in the shower I decided that I would respond to someone in the form of a space-age, audio-visual poem.

Your response, however, doesn't merit much in the way of being mean in return. Which really ruins any incentive to making something awesome.

Anyways. This is what came out.

--

I am right :/

This is Zelda.

youtube.com/watch?v=c4bvZZa5Mtg

I have no reference to how things were before I ate hallucinogens. The first time I ate mushrooms I stood on a front porch with my arms outstretched while the transformer on a nearby powerline sang to me, and, for lack of a better parallel, played sim city on the concrete.

It fucking ruled.

I remember all of the preconstructed rules that were built in to me being pulled away, like 3D isometrical boxes around my being breaking into pieces and floating somewhere up and off to the right.

The lesson learned was this - "The animals are right."

And somehow, I've always kept that with me.

Since then. well.

That's a pretty shitty poem.

Anyways. Have a good night.

52
Each time you go back to read @41, @42 becomes even funnier. Wonder if this will continue indefinitely.
53
I've explained to people point blank how much to take and why. They never listen. Or at least, they never listen the first time.
54
I've definitely had a similar experience eating way too much zombie zuchini bread (a quarter slice, it turns out), which was unlabeled, of course. It left me a brain-dead idiot, paranoid that my girlfriend was going to leave me immediately, so I spent the next hour quoting Spaceballs to her via text, because that's pretty much all I could do (I put on Spaceballs to distract myself from extreme paranoia. It somewhat worked.)

Anyway... label that shit!
55
First I have to say I am for the total legalization and decriminalzation of pot. My middle guy has traumatic epiletic siezures from being stabbed over 200 times in the head, neck, and torso. One of the few things that helps to reduce the amount and severity of his siezures is taking pot regularly with his other meds. Well I haven't smoked anything in over 20 years, since I became an instant parent to 3 boys. I work for the federal government so when congress refused to approve a budget for the new year I was at work and at midnight they sent us home no matter how late you are scheduled because the gov shutdown. I came home that night and was so angry I could hardly see straight. Seeing how pissed I was my boy gave handed me a half a brownie then went into the kitchen to get us something to drink. I knew it was an edible but I had no idea about dosing so I killed the darned thing while he was out of the room. When he got back he freaked because I finished about 4 servings worth. Well it took a bit to hit me but when it did holy cats! It mixed poorly with my Cymbalta and I lost my shit. The poor kid was really upset so he put like 4 bottles of my protien water by my bed and made sure he stayed with me until I stopped crying and babbling and fell asleep. I woke up 13 hours later feeling like Dracula's leftovers. I totally agree that like all medications a dosing label should be on all edible products and possible drug interactions. It was totally my fault that the high went bad but good labeling can stop problems before they start.
56
Also, pot industry, if you get on board with options and responsible labeling and information dispersal on your own, you may avoid a huge push for the Feds to step in to limit the products you sell.
57
It's funny, but in over forty years of drug use, I've never had a bad experience. But then, I've always been pretty careful about dosage. And I've never eaten pot because I don't like getting even a little too high and I never knew what was in edibles. She didn't use common sense. But it should be noted, she recovered nicely.
58
I don't understand all the 'experienced user' comments, and I call bullshit.

Experienced user? You always knew what the dose was then? Oh, you claim otherwise? Right. Here's a dose of something. Might be 100mg. Might be 1000mg. Here's a 10,000mg dose. Absolutely everyone can be expected to deal with whatever dose it actually is, right?

If you're an experienced user, you know that drugs affect people differently. Due to a physical, emotional, or psychological reasons? Who fucking knows? Who fucking cares? One persons good high is anothers bad trip, and you can only infer the dose from someone who tried it and related their experience.

An 8 hour negative psychological experience for a non-experienced user who took multiple doses of a drug which can be expected to affect users for 12+ hours? Not surprising.

It's not an attack on legalized weed you idiots. It's the same thing as labeling alcohol percent on the bottle, or knowing how many mg per pill or tab.

Decide on what '1 dose' is, and label the product accordingly. No one is losing out if it's a small dose. Just take 40 'doses' if the unit is too small for you, like we see with booze in every bar every night FFS.
59
True story: I visited Seatlle w my wife and kids a few weeks ago and bought pot truffles. The dude told me to start with a corner and I did. Didn't feel much and went to bed an hour later. Next night I decided to try it again and just finished the rest of it. I was so fucked up I could barely move (that is, after I woke up the next day at nearly noon). Couldn't do anything but get up to puke repeatedly and then crawl back into bed. I was cold but couldn't gather the gumption to get a sweatshirt. This lasted the whole day. My wife had to take the kids out to do stuff without me. Thank God we weren't flying back til the day after that. So, yeah, it happens and some dosing info would be helpful.
60
if they don't get edibles in check it will totally doom legalization. i had a horrible experience earlier this year, and i've been smoking pot for 20 years. i passed out while trying to brush my teeth and hit the deck...hard. i still don't know what i hit my head on but when i regained consciousness i had 3 gnarly gashes in me noggin.

NEVER AGAIN.
61
If we want to stick with the alcohol analogy then great. Let's have all pot items labeled with what "proof" they are. All liquor and wine, and most beer, has to tell you on the label how much alcohol it has. Why not do the same with pot? I understand that in a single batch of cookies some may be stronger than others but you can certainly give a rough average for the batch and I'm sure that as the industry gets practice they'll get better at keeping their dosages consistent.
62
More information is always a good thing.

I'm very much looking forward to being able to buy legally soon, but I really, REALLY want proper dosing information. I don't like to smoke, and would prefer to consume a very mild dose of something edible. Emphasis on mild. But I'm used to eating a whole candy bar. If someone hands me an infused candy bar, I'm gonna assume I can eat the whole thing unless it is well labeled otherwise.

Label that shit, pot industry. Seriously. Label it clearly and prominently. Don't make me guess and have a shitty experience.
63
What I find strange about all this is as a naive outside to the current pot community I had assumed edibles would be way safer than smoking. I would have thought the dosing on marijuana brownies would be about four brownies. Don't pot users get munchies?

The industry really should make a distinction between medical grade products and retail products. Don't sell more powerful products to people unless they know what to ask for. Dilution is easy.
64
Agree about labeling, but I think people will make mistakes anyway. My wife ate 1/5 of a bar. I knew this was about enough to give me a pleasant body high for a couple hours. Well, she was sprawled out on her bed unable to move for many hours. She'll never touch it again. Personally though, I've come to prefer eating it to smoking. Once you get the dosage right, I think many people prefer this high.
65
Look, if you guys want to be legal (and I certainly think that's for the best!) you need to grow the fuck up and deal with adult things like proper dosage. Every bottle of booze has dosage info on it, pot should as well.

You guys are shooting yourselves in the fucking foot here. Get your shit tested and labeled, it's not that fucking hard. Christ.
66
In defense of Maureen Dowd, she, as an investigative journalist, should have thought to ask questions about the drug she consumed prior to consuming it, not after.

So on that note, her investigative journalism skills are on par with that displayed at The Stranger: She has none.
67
I see no problem in partaking in a little Mary Jane.

Edibles are no joke. Especially for people that don't use cannabis regularly. I made some cannabis tea recently and I got high as a motherfucker! It was a tad intimidating at first but in my younger days I'd done it all so I just told myself that I was high as a motherfucker on herb and I was going to be high as a motherfucker for a few hours (but I wasn't going to die) so I'd better settle in.

It all worked out. but next time I'll drink less tea. Anyways, that shit can really be strong. People need to treat it with respect. I imagine there will be more poor moppets that OD and freak out on edibles.
68
Maureen Dowd is full of shit. I believe she is lying.

First of all she was warned not to eat too much. She had a tour guide who was with her for up to 4 hours who told her to eat 1/16 of the amounts she did :

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/to…

I'm with #1. The kind of experience she says she had is associated by ingesting too much LSD or mushrooms. And even then it seems extreme.

I've eaten way too much pot brownies, especially the first time when I didn't realize their potency. I didn't hallucinate, I fell into a deep sleep.

That said I realize that every drug affects everyone differently (one of the major failures of the drug war) and I suppose she could have had such a bad trip, especially if her body is not use to marijuana. But even then she was stupid for not listening and for doing way too much her first time. And frankly I think she is exaggerating her experience or outright lying about it.
69
I wish I could still get high of any cannabis product. n/envy n/
71
THC and the other associated molecules are a funny thing. Ther are about 85 chemicals in pot that exist nowhere else. Pop an actual bud in your mouth, chew it up and choke it down with a glass of water, and you won't get high at all. Eat that with slice of cheese or butter and blammo, because the chemicals are soluble in lipids. This is also the reason that the metabolites of pot stay in the body so long, they are kept in the fat cells and slowly break down there, rather than breaking down in water and being flushed out of your system within a few days. So a cokehead can snort an 8 ball on friday night and pass a drug test on Tuesday, while someone who smokes a joint in March might get popped on a drug test in June.

Another thing about those chemicals is they break down under high heat. This is the reason for vaporizers, they only heat up the pot to turn the chemicals gaseous form without breaking them down. So when you smoke a half gram bowl in a pipe, a lot of the THC is broken down by the flame. I.E., you are not getting all of the chemicals you would if you were eating a the same amount of pot in a lipid solution. Even a vaporizer isn't perfect, as some of the chemicals exclusive to pot don't become gaseous at the temperature the vape runs at. The way these chemicals (Cannabinoids) react together is why pot of different types has different effects. Creeper bud, heady bud, body high, etc are all effected by the combo of chemicals in the pot AND the method of ingestion. Smoke the same amount of pot on thursday as you vape on friday as you eat on saturday, and the high will be different each time.

Properly prepared edibles do not destroy most of the active chemicals so your are getting the FULL effect. Also, with a smoked or vaped ingestion, the chemicals are hitting the bloodstream much faster than by eating, so it is much easier to say "wow I don't feel anything" and take another hit than with edibles.

Personally, I think the only way to make edibles it to buy your own pot, make butter from it, and make your own stuff.

Know your shit before you take your shit, and shit is less likely to get shitty.
72
I ate two homemade pot cookies once and was HIGH AS FUCK for 12 hours. I had a friend with me who was experienced in pretty much all types of pot consumption and she was able to mostly keep me from freaking out, but it did last a LONG time. I didn't hallucinate (although when we were watching TV, I swore my eyes were closed even though I could see what was happening on the TV), but I kept having to convince myself I wasn't dreaming, so I did things like draw on myself with makeup ("So in five minutes when I don't know what time it is and need proof it's not really two hours ago, I can look at the drawing and remember doing it and I'll know I'm not dreaming!")

So I believe her. Asking the people who make the edibles to put a dosing label isn't that big of a deal. Everyone has an idea of how much booze is too much booze. But with edibles, especially if they taste good, you don't really know how much you're ingesting.
73
@12 and if it wasn't for my horse, i wouldn't have spent that year in college.
74
I use pot 3-4x/week, but I like the '2 beers' equivalent of being high and loathe 'couchlock'. I neither smoke (how barbaric!) nor eat (because I don't know the strength). Instead, I make my own alcohol tinctures. I bake (decarboxylate) the weed in the oven, soak it in a steady 170-degree Everclear for an hour, strain with an Aeropress coffee maker. A teaspoon of the resulting liquid is an effective dose, which contains a trifling amount of alcohol. I use it the same way most people add bitters to a drink. A splash is great in peppermint or chamomile tea, or in lemonade. The best thing about it? I take it to Analytical360 and get the resulting THC analysis so that I know the exact strength, and it's easily scalable for newbies and potheads alike using a simple dropper. No crazy brownie surprise.
75
I don't usually enjoy Maureen Dowd's articles, but thank god for this one (and all of the subsequent comments on Slog). When I try pot for the first time, it will be an edible since I find the smoke smell kind of revolting. I'm pretty sure I would have eaten the whole cookie, or whatever, and her experience sounded hellish (even if it was only half as bad as she wrote). One very small bite is the important lesson I'm taking away from this whole discussion.
76
My take from Dowd's column was not "This is a call to arms for people in the pot industry to label their products more sensibly." It totally read "OMG POT IS DANGEROUS AND THE PEOPLE WHO SELL IT ARE IRRESPONSIBLE." She can backtrack all she wants. She knows what she wrote.
77
As Hunter Thompson used to like to repeat, "even a blind pig finds an acorn now and then." Sounds like Dowd tripped and fell teeth first onto a truth sandwich, for a change.
78
@74 - I would love to have dosage accuracy like that. My husband and I have wildly different reactions to the same amount of pot (one cookie will put him at the maximum level of high he is comfortable with, and I need three to achieve a high that's even noticeable), and I wonder how much it has to do with the way we metabolize it as an edible. Maybe we'd get more similar results with the tincture you describe. Might be something to try with the next batch.
79
First time I made pot brownies, I thought I was going to die. We ate two after the first didn't seem to work yet. Then BLAM... learned my lesson.

Several years later, my mother was given a prescription to aide with her dying intestines. It is the only thing she can have that actually works. Anyway, she ate a brownie and thought she was dying too. She was actually scared away from edibles for about a year before she'd try them again. I think with some guidance, she would never have experienced that. She now knows to cut her weekly brownie into 16 pieces and eats one when needed.
80
The thing is Ms. Dowd's piece starts off exactly like any scare piece about drugs written in the last 100 years or so. Given that Editorial writers for the New York Times (and other big papers) have made a habit of fictionalizing anecdotes to support their arguments I don't trust the piece.

Many years ago the NYT ran a piece by someone who visited my college on graduation weekend. The piece described a very uniquely dressed student having a pleasant conversation with her conservative looking parents and contrasted it with a more conventional family that was arguing. The unique student was an acquaintance of mine and her parents were not there that weekend.

So yes, accurate dosage information on marijuana products would be a very good thing. And also I don't believe Ms. Dowd had a bad trip from two bites of brownie.
81
Bullshit, Holden.

Isn't Down supposed to be a "journalist?"

The fact that so many people have had negative experiences with edibles proves not that Dowd needs defending, but that she is a piece of shit journalist.

You know. Maybe do some fucking research, you hacks.

A five minute Google search on edibles could have brought up all this information and more and told her exactly what to expect and how much to take.

I realize Down is used to just tripping into her stories like a gapped tooth moron — having her stories handed to her by Republican PR flacks — but you know maybe she needs to get back to basics and research her stories a little before sitting down to type like some mouth breathing cretin.
82
One of the funny things about this is talking to a couple people I know who are seasoned pot users and getting the same story. Over consumed the edibles and found themselves flat on their backs, miserable for hours. Amusingly, not a story I've ever heard before from these people who are very pro-pot. Somehow the negative gets lost in all the marijuana is completely safe haze.
83
I recommend new users who don't want to smoke use a small vaporizer. It's not 100% safe to your lungs, but it's a lot safer than smoking.

http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf…

Vaporizers let you control how much you're using VERY well, as long as it's not a giganto vaporizer like the Volcano. It takes effect pretty quickly and it's a small amount at a time. Edibles are just about impossible to control because it takes so long from when you eat some to when you feel anything. If you buy an edible in the store, you usually have no clue how strong they are.

I also recommend a vaporizer that actually vaporizes marijuana plant, not e-cigs that vaporize hash oil or a weird glycerin mix. But that's just personal preference.

If you do use edibles, I recommend making your own with cannaflour, which is just ground up marijuana put in the oven for a few minutes (google for specifics). Just put some in a baking recipe or anywhere else. It's a lot easier to control, in my experience, than coconut oil, and I don't like using that much oil regardless. Then you get to make whatever you want, whatever dietary needs you want.
84
Literally a million other people here have already said it, but it would never occur to me not to eat a whole brownie, cookie or candy bar (other than one of those 500 gram chocolate paving stones from TJs).

If the average user is not supposed to eat the whole thing, the wrapper should definitely be emblazoned with "WARNING: 16 standard doses" in red 32 point type.
85
I've smoked a ton of weed, dabs, etc. I *like* that shaky, breathy feeling of blowing the top of my head off.

That said, I avoid unknown edibles like the plague, after one too many nights spent trying to pretend I'm not feeling like I'm going to die in front of friends and family during the holidays. That stuff can totally incapacitate you. Even a reasonable looking bite off a brownie can wreck you, when you have no idea how potent the whole brownie is.

There is NO telling how much to take, because many of these edibles are simply not consistent.

Until the doses are consistent and accurately labeled, this is going to keep on happening.
86
I'll hop in here as well to give props to Dominic for highlighting this issue.

I was the campaign manager for the medical marijuana campaigns in the 90's. I'm no stranger to pot, though it's not my drug of choice.

Several months ago I had a really severe reaction to an edible that left me incapacitated and laying on the floor next to the toilet for several hours. It was awful and I haven't returned to pot since.

The industry needs to act like an industry and standardize in some way. Now. Or you'll seriously damage yourself.
87
Hallucinogenic not so much, but add me to the list of people that have gone full Dowd after a single brownie. Even after the crippling cold sweats, palpitations, and anxiety were gone, damn if I didn't feel stupid as a bad of rocks for the next 3 days.

Nothing wrong with selling edibles, but perhaps THC content should be listed—if that's an unreasonably exact request, a well marked suggested serving size would be fine (as others have suggested).

The alcohol comparison doesn't make sense, unless the inexperienced drinker reasonably assumes a handle of Jack Daniels is to be finished in one sitting.

Stoners can be so goddamn sensitive about pot.
88
I've had the same experience as Dowd, but 30 years ago. Its a learning experience, and it actually shows why education and openess about all drugs is essential. My pot experience, one of probably 10000 pot experiences, didn't dissuade me, but it made me aware. And of course it was a bummer. Had the same thing happen on LSD> but, if those same things happened on more dangerous drugs, I'd be dead. Thats what is good aboout the greenage.
89
Also consider that the prescription drug industry doesn't need to test for or warn consumers about adverse side affects arising from marijuana usage. For instance, serotonin syndrome is a potentially deadly reaction that can occur when taking marijuana (especially when unsure of the THC doasage) in combination with anti-depressants.

@87 - "gone full Dowd" awesome coinage!
90
@15: Remind me again why I should give a shit about your opinion when you don't give a shit about this "privileged person" (your description) and why the hell you feel that your opinion is worth more than this so called Privileged" person. Don't be a twerp.
91
publicity stunt.
92
@16 I'd very much recommend anyone wanting to try pot for the first time to smoke or even better, use a vaporizer.

Why is is not better known that eating is typically a drastically different high than smoking? It is a deeper, way longer-lasting, more physical, and significantly more intense high. It also comes on much slower than smoking (which is pretty much immediate), causing people to eat even more when they think it isn't 'working'.

It is impossible to know how much THC was infused into your purchased edible. Even if 'dosed', unless you've had that specific pot before, and know how much was used for the whole batch, you really have no idea what you're getting.

Just because it seems like a more benign choice doesn't mean I is. I can't dissuade inexperienced users from experimenting with edibles enough.
93
I doubt Dominic would agree with this stupid woman if he himself hadn't foolishly over-consumed himself. It's weed. It can't kill you. You got too high? Boo hoo, get over it and eat/smoke less next time.
94
The NCIA does not speak for everyone.
95
Once I was really hungry, and ate a lot of a chocolate orange bar. It was gross, but I was starving, and talking on the phone. Such a bad experience. I slept just fine, but could not function when it was time to. Probably 5-6 hours later. I'm more of a gummy type of person now. Am I NEVER eat them because I'm hungry for food.
96
I had a similar experience, not really understanding the difference between a couple of puffs and a brownie. It was fucking horrible for a very long time. It's not the same for everyone, but everyone should use caution before chowing down on edibles. If the pot industry is smart, it'll get the word out about adverse effects before too many people go through these kinds of experiences.
97
Yes, him warning her doesn't change a thing because she never intended to listen in the first place. She wanted a piece that people would outrage over and she got it.
98
@87: "The alcohol comparison doesn't make sense, unless the inexperienced drinker reasonably assumes a handle of Jack Daniels is to be finished in one sitting."

Congratulations. You just described EVERY person's first few times drinking, regardless of whether they are with experienced parties or not.
99
Oh, good grief. I'm not a fan of Dowd, but the fault here lies entirely with the idiots who sells marijuana products without clear dosing information on the packaging. A candy bar is normally eaten all at once. If you've infused it with a drug and a candy bar is actually 16 doses, you _have_ to put that on the freaking label. If you're smart and a decent human being, you'll point it out when you sell it, too.

Only a dishonest asshole would blame Dowd for her experience, or for describing it.
100
You are right Dominic. I just want to know why Maureen Dowd didn't write this and had to have it come from you.
101
Anyone who uses pot and tells you they've never had too much like this is lying. The reason pot's MUCH safer than other drugs is that you can do this and the only bad thing that comes out of it is one REALLY awful night and a lesson learned.

Attacking her only makes it look the the pro-'s have something to hide. This happens. Acknowledge it, use it as an object lesson, and move on. Sheesh.