1. For her latest column "Don't Harsh our Mellow, Dude," New York Times journalist Maureen Dowd got right into the weeds (or weed, as it were) of Colorado's legalized marijuana scene by testing out some THC for herself in the form of a pot-laden chocolate bar.

    The results of her experiment, which saw Dowd accidentally consuming 16 times the recommended amount of pot candy, proved disastrous. But they've also sparked an important conversation about the need for regulating the labels of legalized goods.
  2. According to her buzzed-about column, published yesterday, Dowd travelled to Denver in January to report on "the social revolution rocking Colorado... the giddy culmination of pot Prohibition."

    Upon arrival, she legally purchased a caramel-chocolate-flavoured marijuana candy bar from a local shop and ate it in her hotel room.

    "For an hour, I felt nothing," the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist reported. "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 strained to remember where I was or even what I was wearing, touching my green corduroy jeans and staring at the exposed-brick wall," she continued. "As my paranoia deepened, I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me."

    Many around the web have been poking fun at Dowd's description of her trip, alleging that she was simply unable to handle a normal trip or that she was being hyperbolic in her description.
  3. As it turns out, however, Dowd was high. Very, very high. The candy bar she had consumed in its entirety was meant to be cut into 16 pieces for inexperienced users. 

    Dowd hadn't been told about this recommendation, and it wasn't printed anywhere on the label.

    “There are way too many stories of people not understanding how much they’re eating," Andrew Freedman, the state’s director of marijuana coordination, told Dowd. "With liquor, people understand what they’re getting themselves into. But that doesn’t exist right now for edibles for new users in the market."

    Dowd goes on to explain that some government officials are taking steps to come up with packaging that "clearly differentiates pot cookies and candy and gummy bears from normal sweets — with an eye toward protecting children," but she did run into some friction from those who actually sell the goods.

    "My kids put rocks and batteries in their mouths,” said a candy shop owner named Bob Eschino, arguing that it is a parent's responsibility to make sure their kids don't get hold of his products. “If I put a marijuana leaf on a piece of chocolate, they’ll still put it in their mouths.”

    In response to Dowd's column's perceived focus on the negative aspect of weed products, the National Cannabis Industry Association's Taylor West tweeted "If @NYTDowd drank a handle of whiskey and ended up in the ER, would anyone consider a column blaming Jack Daniels credible?"

    "I don’t buy the 'gateway drug' scare tactics, but you don’t want everybody driving around stoned to the bone," wrote The Daily Caller. "They should Dowd it out in their luxury hotel rooms and then write hilarious columns about it."

    Others are accusing Dowd of "concern trolling" and likening her piece to the anti-pot legalization column penned by the New York Time's David Brooks in January.

  4. Like Brooks's piece, Dowd's column has inspired plenty of snark across the web — so much so that "Maureen Dowd" was trending on Twitter in the U.S. on Tuesday night.

    As New York Times property NYMag puts it, "the potent combination of weed and a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist appeared to be more than some people could handle."
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