New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has a message for the Colorado pot industry: Label your pot products for rookies.
In her latest op-ed, Dowd wrote about a paralyzing and paranoid mental breakdown she suffered after she “nibbled” on a caramel-chocolate flavored candy bar loaded with THC for the first time. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist was relaxing in a hotel room in the state, where she was reporting on the booming business in January.
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“For an hour, I felt nothing,” Dowd wrote. “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.”
“As my paranoia deepened, I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me,” Dowd wrote. “It took all night before it began to wear off, distressingly slowly.”
Dowd shared her traumatic experience following a Times article exploring “the downside of a legal high,” which cited hospital officials as saying they are treating growing numbers of children and adults sickened by potent doses of edible marijuana.
After suffering through the paranoid freak out, Dowd says a medical consultant who worked for an edibles plant told her during an interview that beginners should cut candy bars like the one she ate into 16 pieces.
“But that recommendation hadn’t been on the label,” Dowd pointed out.
Andrew Freedman, the state’s director of marijuana coordination, seems to agree with Dowd’s point.
“The whole industry was set up for people who smoked frequently. It needs to learn how to educate new users in the market,” Freedman said. “We have to create a culture of responsibility around edibles, so people know what to expect to feel.”