[dropcap]N[/dropcap]ew York Times Columnist Maureen Dowd has become the poster child for taking it slow when munching marijuana edibles. The Marijuana Policy Project, one of the groups behind Amendment 64 in Colorado, which legalized recreational pot, unveiled the Dowd billboard Wednesday as part of its new “Consume Responsibly” campaign.
A woman with red hair cut like Dowd’s is pictured sitting alone exhaustedly stoned on a hotel-room bed. “Don’t let a candy bar ruin your vacation. With edibles, start low and go slow,” reads the text.
The ad refers to a column Dowd wrote in June about a visit she made to Denver. She bought a pot-laced candy bar, took a few large bites and descended into full Willy-Wonka freak out, lying on the bed in her hotel room and turning extra-conscious mental pirouettes for hours.
The piece made a splash. It reads like an entry from the diary of a sixties ingenue:[blockquote]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….
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.[/blockquote]
The column was an effort to raise awareness. In the months since it published, the state has taken measures to make sure edibles are better labeled to warn inexperienced users not to overindulge.
“I love the billboard,” Dowd told the Daily Beast. “I’m going to make it my Christmas card.”