Yesterday the New York Times published a column from opinion columnist and America's self-anointed fun city aunt Maureen Dowd wherein the Are Men Necessary? author and Pulitzer Prize-winning Monica Lewinsky bully traveled to Colorado and then ate a fuckload of pot and then got so high she thought she was going to die. Sources confirm: Maureen Dowd is a big fucking dork.
The column itself, which will undoubtedly live on in the collective memory of the internet for at least a week (a very long time, in terms of internet), is pretty much a primer on How to Take Drugs Like Indiana Jones' Awful Screaming Girlfriend From The Temple of Doom. In other words, How to Take Drugs Like Somebody Who Has No Business Leaving The House Unassisted, Let Alone Taking Drugs. How to Take Drugs Like Someone Who Will One Day Go On To Be The First Person Eaten After a Plane Crash In The Wilderness. How To Take Drugs Like Someone Who Has No Idea What The Hell They're Doing.
Maureen Dowd's ill-fated foray into weed begins with Maureen Dowd eating way too much of a weed candy bar procured from a legal weed dispensary in Denver, which indicates to me that not only is Maureen Dowd not a drug user, she does not know anyone who is a drug user, and if she does know anyone who is a drug user, none of them cared enough to warn her that she should not assess the success of legalized pot in Colorado by eating way, way, way, way too much weed.
Like many nights that end poorly for stand-up comics working a tired joke premise about getting way too high, Dowd's account started with eating a little bit of the weed candy bar. And then,
For an hour, I felt nothing. I figured I'd order dinner from room service and return to my more mundane drugs of choice, chardonnay and mediocre-movies-on-demand.
If this were the joke currently in use by — I swear — a good third of the stand up comedians I've seen perform in the last year, it would end with the comedian hallucinating or doing something else that's totally irrational or silly or dangerous, and everyone in the audience laughing at what an idiot the comedian is and was. What a fool they were to not heed the warnings of everyone who has ever eaten a pot brownie! What amusement we're extracting from their ignorance! Dowd's night continues apace:
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.
"I think we're dead. Time is going really, really, really, really slow."
Maureen Dowd tripped the fuck out all night long, and then, the next day, she was told by someone more experienced with weed that she wasn't supposed to eat the entire candy bar. Dowd then proceeded to blame everyone but herself for her terrible experience. Nobody told me, she insists. Society told you, Maureen Dowd. That viral video from 2008 told you. Alt-comedy told you. You just didn't listen because you were too busy writing about your sexy car.
Dowd goes on to cite her bad experience in making a point about how many post-legalization marijuana users will likely not be regular smokers and thus, like Maureen Dowd, be unfamiliar with how to handle themselves when given access to pot. Which, I suppose, is an important consideration.
Baby Boomers like Dowd might not be strangers to ganja, thanks to the weedy years of the 1960's and 70's, but what they were smoking then and what people are smoking now are worlds apart from each other. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, in 2012, the average sample of marijuana making its way around the US had a THC concentration of about 14.5%, but in the 1980's, marijuana only boasted 4% concentrations of THC. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that a person who last smoked weed as a pre-Bill Clinton administration youth might be unpleasantly surprised by the tripled intensity of their high from a pre-Hillary Clinton administration joint. Or brownie.
Of course, Maureen Dowd is far from the only person who doesn't know how to achieve a pleasant high from marijuana; her inability to just be cool, man is the point of her critique of legalized marijuana. A lot of people don't know what they're doing. As legalized marijuana gains popularity and more years separate Boomers from the last time they smoked pot, we can bet our favorite one hitters that this won't be the first midlife brownie OD we'll see committed to print; our parents are essentially an entire generation of Maureen Dowd freakouts-in-waiting. Heaven help us.