If you were a journalist reporting on the marijuana culture in Denver, what better way is there to connect to your subject than to indulge on a little weed yourself? That’s what The New York Times' Maureen Dowd did recently during a trip to the Mile-High City. But instead of buying some pot to smoke, she decided to eat an entire pot candy bar at once. Here is the result:

For an hour, I felt nothing. I figured I’d order dinner from room service and return to my more mundane drugs of choice, chardonnay and mediocre-movies-on-demand.

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.

So how could one pot bar render a perfectly healthy woman nearly catatonic? Well apparently Dowd dove headfirst into the deep end of the pool a little too quickly:

It took all night before it began to wear off, distressingly slowly. The next day, a medical consultant at an edibles plant where I was conducting an interview mentioned that candy bars like that are supposed to be cut into 16 pieces for novices; but that recommendation hadn’t been on the label.

I reckoned that the fact that I was not a regular marijuana smoker made me more vulnerable, and that I should have known better. But it turns out, five months in, that some kinks need to be ironed out with the intoxicating open bar at the Mile High Club.

These are the dangers for pot novices who decide to scarf down these bars, brownies, and cookies without thinking of their own noob status. In her article, she writes that the state is looking into ways to make these candy bars safer for rookies, but so far the cost has been found to be too prohibitive. Until then, people like Dowd will have to live with the occasional bad high.

[via The New York Times]