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Maureen Dowd's bad trip

By Kevin Conlon, CNN
updated 8:02 PM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
Public perceptions about pot have come a long way, from the dire warnings of "Reefer Madness" to growing acceptance of medical marijuana to the legalization of recreational weed use. Public perceptions about pot have come a long way, from the dire warnings of "Reefer Madness" to growing acceptance of medical marijuana to the legalization of recreational weed use.
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History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd's experiment with legal pot didn't go well
  • She says she was "curled up in a hallucinatory state" for eight hours
  • Dowd is largely being mocked on social media

(CNN) -- She's an acerbic columnist who's made a living lighting up politicians and public figures in the opinion pages of The New York Times, but the only lighting up that Maureen Dowd did for her latest piece was the type typically done by her brethren over at High Times.

(OK, fine, her story was about the kind of marijuana that you eat, not smoke, but you get the point. Don't be such a buzz kill.)

In her column published Tuesday, Dowd examined Colorado's growing pains with its exploding marijuana industry.

Her objective was to point out that for all of the revenue, tourism and cases of munchies that have made it an economic windfall for the state, legalizing pot hasn't been without problems -- she quoted health officials who say hospitals are treating "growing numbers of children and adults sickened by potent doses of edible marijuana," and she brought up cases in which overly potent pot candy may have led one man to kill his wife, and another to leap to his death from a hotel balcony.

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Gauging by the chatter on social media, her point was lost amid the cautionary tale she told.

While she was in Denver, she decided to experiment with edible marijuana for the first time. From the sound of it, it will probably be her last.

"I figured if I was reporting on the social revolution rocking Colorado in January ... I should try a taste of legal, edible pot from a local shop" she wrote. "What could go wrong with a bite or two? Everything, as it turned out."

Dowd said that after eating pot-infused chocolate-flavored candy, she "lay curled up in a hallucinatory state" in her Denver hotel room bed for eight hours, paranoid that a room-service waiter would narc on her.

"I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me" she wrote, invoking memories of the Dearborn, Michigan, cop who called 911 to report that he and his wife may have died after consuming pot brownies.

That call, which occurred in 2007, went viral at a time before everyone had a Twitter account.

That's not the case anymore; Dowd's long, strange trip has been retweeted thousands of times.

"Maureen Dowd has a Pulitzer but this is what she'll be remembered for on Twitter," @conradhackett tweeted.

" 'I really want to get high with Maureen Dowd' - said no one ever," cracked @kelly_carlin.

With the skewering she's taking, Dowd may be wishing for short-term memory loss so she can forget all about it.

CNN's Justin Lear contributed to this report.

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