New Marijuana PSA Mocks Maureen Dowd’s Pot Freakout

New Marijuana PSA Mocks Maureen Dowd’s Pot Freakout

By April M. Short/AlterNet 09/23/14

With tongue firmly planted in cheek, the Marijuana Policy Project warned edible consumers to "start low and go slow."

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The following first appeared on AlterNet.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd traveled to Colorado for some marijuana tourism this June. Then she penned a panicked writeup describing a petrifying psychological breakdown that kept her trapped inside her hotel room after munching too much of a pot-laced candy bar.

In the column, she describes herself lying there in a “hallucinatory state” for eight hours and agonizes over the fact that Colorado is "unleashing a drug as potent as marijuana on a horde of tourists of all ages and tolerance levels seeking a mellow buzz.” She claims she wasn’t warned not to eat as much of the candy bar as she did (though Matt Brown, who took Dowd on a four-hour, behind-the-scenes tour of a cannabis factory prior to her edibles experience, claims to have given her plenty of warning).

Like Reefer Madness, the 1936 anti-pot propaganda film-turned-cult classic, Dowd's freakout over the experience was so full of hyperbole and panic that it was funny. Twitter users and Times commenters alike took merciless cracks at her over-the-top lament, berating her for not doing her research before trying a drug for the first time.

“Oh, goodness. You went all the way to Colorado to try pot and didn't do your homework on how to consume your pot candy? Wow!” wrote one Times commenter.

This week the Marijuana Policy Project launched a public service announcement that takes its own jab at Dowd, as part of an educational “Consume Responsibly” campaign aimed at teaching tourists how to consume edibles safely. In a statement, Mason Tvert, director of communications for MPP said, “Like most Americans, Ms. Dowd has probably seen countless silly anti-marijuana ads on TV, but she has never seen one that highlights the need to ‘start low and go slow’ when choosing to consume marijuana edibles.”

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April M. Short is a freelance writer who focuses on health, wellness and social justice. She previously worked as AlterNet's drugs and health editor. You can find April on Linkedin.

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