(Denver Post file)

N.Y. Times’ Dowd on edibles: “I became convinced that I had died”

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd reported direct from Colorado’s bustling marijuana scene again on June 3. Whereas one of the popular columnist’s last pieces talked with nudist, 420-friendly B&B owners in Denver, this one takes readers through Dowd’s scary trip on edibles.

In “Don’t Harsh Our Mellow, Dude,” Dowd plans a night inside her Denver hotel room with a marijuana-infused edible. She got no guidance from the budtender on dosage, and she wasn’t familiar with the state-recommended 10-milligram dose regarding edibles. She definitely didn’t read our useful “Edibles 101: Eight tips for getting right dose” piece.

Instead she asked, “What could go wrong with a bite or two?” And then her trip turned into a dark downward spiral.

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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.

This is hardly the first newspaper columnist to eat too many edibles and land in a dark place. At least Dowd didn’t end up in the hospital after a weird trip like Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Mackenzie Carpenter.

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Dowd goes on in her piece to reference the two deaths Denver Police are linking to edible marijuana — the college student who jumped to his death and the Observatory Park man who hallucinated and allegedly shot and killed his wife. She addresses issues of edibles packaging, presentation and potency. And she asks if Incredibles co-owner Bob Eschino is “paranoid.”

But Dowd’s most pressing observation in the column was a plea for more regulations and warnings to the casual user.

I reckoned that the fact that I was not a regular marijuana smoker made me more vulnerable, and that I should have known better. But it turns out, five months in, that some kinks need to be ironed out with the intoxicating open bar at the Mile High Club.

THC levels in edibles: Potency testing is now mandatory in Colorado, but an independent Denver Post study earlier this year showed wide variances in THC levels in edibles vs. labeling