USA TODAY - In Maureen Dowd's latest column for the New York Times, she describes her scary experience eating a pot candy bar while reporting on legalized marijuana in Colorado.
She sat in a Denver hotel room experimenting with the legalized edible, "nibbling" on some of the chocolate-flavored bar.
"For an hour, I felt nothing [...] 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," Dowd said.
She goes on to explain how her paranoia deepened, saying the high wore off "distressingly slowly."
"I had been convinced that I had died and no one was telling me," Dowd said.
A medical consultant told Dowd later that these types of candy bars should be consumed by inexperienced users by cutting them into 16 pieces. That recommendation, she said, was not on the packaging label.
Months after Colorado legalization took effect on Jan.1, Dowd cautions in her column that the state is "coming to grips with the darker side" of marijuana, especially when it comes to dealing with tourists and children.
Media organizations, including USA TODAY and the Times, have reported on kids getting sick from ingesting pot-infused edibles. The Rocky Mountain Poison Center reported a statistically significant increase in the number of parents calling the poison-control hotline to report their kids had consumed pot.
However state inspectors are conducting stings at pot stores to ensure they're not selling to minors, Julie Postlethwait, a spokeswoman for the state's marijuana enforcement division told USA TODAY. And regulations require pot edibles to be sold in child-resistant packaging.