Exactly six months ago, David Brooks wrote a column arguing against the legalization of marijuana because after smoking pot “for a little while in my teenage years,” he’s now over it. At the time, it seemed like a pretty edgy drug admission for a New York Times columnist, but with the paper’s top editors caught up in their own squabbling, their staffers are acting out by experimenting with more intense forms of weed.
In her latest column, Maureen Dowd worries about Colorado “unleashing a drug as potent as marijuana on a horde of tourists of all ages and tolerance levels seeking a mellow buzz.” Dowd knows the dangers firsthand, because while sitting alone in a Denver hotel room recently, she “nibbled off the end” of a pot candy bar, “and then, when nothing happened, nibbled some more.” She was left “curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours.”
Dowd reports that she felt nothing for the first hour, and then her plan to experiment with the newly legal substance — in the name of journalism, of course — went horribly awry:
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.
The drug wore off “distressingly slowly,” but obviously Dowd survived and was able to recount her cautionary tale in the pages of the Times (she says there was no recommended dose on the label, but admits “I should have known better”).
The internet, however, may never recover. “Maureen Dowd” was trending on Twitter Tuesday night, and the potent combination of weed and a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist appeared to be more than some people could handle. You can sample the Twitter reaction below, but please pace yourselves. We can’t accept responsibility if you spend the next eight hours touching your corduroys and tweeting about Paul Krugman taking peyote.