Don’t Harsh Our Mellow, Dude
By Maureen Dowd, New York Times columnist | June 3, 2014
The caramel-chocolate flavored candy bar looked so innocent, like the Sky Bars I used to love as a child.
Sitting in my hotel room in Denver, I nibbled off the end and then, when nothing happened, nibbled some more. I figured if I was reporting on the social revolution rocking Colorado in January, the giddy culmination of pot Prohibition, I should try a taste of legal, edible pot from a local shop.
What could go wrong with a bite or two?
Everything, as it turned out.
Not at first. 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.
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.
It took all night before it began to wear off, distressingly slowly. The next day, a medical consultant at an edibles plant where I was conducting an interview mentioned that candy bars like that are supposed to be cut into 16 pieces for novices; but that recommendation hadn’t been on the label.
More at Miss Dowd’s original.
Colorado’s legalization of marijuana possession and usage has been something of a mixed blessing. The New York Times reported last Sunday that Colorado hospitals “are treating growing numbers of children and adults sickened by potent doses of edible marijuana,” and that neighboring states are seeing more stoned drivers.
But the question that occurred to me, as drug tests are a routine part of my industry, is: does the Times drug test its employees? If it does, then the lovely Miss Dowd has just admitted to using a substance illegal in New York, and for which drug screens normally test. If the Times does test its employees, some of whom operate serious machinery,1 can any of them now be discharged or require to go through rehab to remain employed, now that a high-profile columnist has just admitted to it?
What about the guy who lives around Laramie or Cheyenne, Wyoming, who decides to drive down to Boulder for a weekend party, uses some perfectly legal weed, and then gets drug tested by his employer on Tuesday morning. That marijuana would have been illegal in Wyoming, but if he used it in Colorado, such would have been perfectly legal.2
Count on this to get messy.
- If there are any Times employees who have to have commercial driver’s licenses for their jobs, it is mandatory that they be subjected to pee-employment and random drug screenings. ↩