What she should have written: “I went to Colorado and decided to get high. I was stupid and did no research or fact-checking. I asked no questions. I just started eating, and then ate some more. I got really sick. My bad. I’ll be smarter next time.”
Imagine the Times sends Maureen Dowd to Colombia. Would she decide to try out the coca leaves, not ask how many to chew and eat a bushel? If the Times sent her to Yemen, would she decide to chew some Khat leaves, and not feeling the desired effect, keep chewing for hours? Tens of millions of people in South America and Africa chew coca and khat leaves without overdosing or dying, just like tens of millions of people around the world use marijuana and marijuana-infused products and don’t hallucinate to the point they think they are dying. When you ingest a new substance, you are experimenting. Do a little homework and you’ll be fine. If you’re dumb enough to dive in blind, you have only yourself to blame.
*** Update ***
Pierce is a national treasure and I think I have found one of the five people (actually, Charlie Pierce, Paula Poundstone, and Alonzo Bodden from Wait Wait would be a solid starting three) I want to have dinner and drinks with:
Perhaps it would have been smart to contact the “medical consultant” prior to downing the candy bar. Perhaps it would have been smart to talk to some of the regular customers of the edibles plant. Perhaps it would have been smart — not to mention professionally obligatory — to do some, y’know, real fking research before plunging right into your own hippocampus. There are some interesting questions still to be explored in Colorado’s brave new world of legalized dope. First, what happens when legalized pot runs headlong into the highly effective — and highly beneficial — national campaign to turn public opinion against smoking anything. And second, if the anti-smoking campaign makes people more likely to treat their pot as a comestible, how extensively should the state label The Product, if only as a consumer-protection measure. (I’m in favor of as much precise detail as possible. For example, “If you happen to be a visiting dilettante from The New York Times, please don’t eat this and sit alone in your hotel room.”) But I guess it’s just easier to indulge your own fanciful trauma and then spend the rest of the column rewriting the famous Baby-In-The-Bathtub scene from Dragnet. I’m not entirely sure exactly how high Maureen got out there in Colorado but, reading this column, I am fairly sure she’s cleared The Shark by about 12 nautical miles.