During a recent trip to Colorado, I sat on the cold hard floor of my hotel bathroom in the middle of the night, thinking about Maureen Dowd. The New York Times columnist had been widely mocked for eating too much marijuana-infused chocolate, which left her “curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours.” And not in a good way.

“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,” Dowd wrote in June. “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.”

My own marijuana overdose was not nearly so dramatic. But I clearly had eaten one sour gummy candy too many. When I got up from bed to use the bathroom shortly after midnight, I was so dizzy that I had to sit down. I sat/fell hard enough to leave an impressive-looking bruise on my lower back. I know because during my massage with cannabis-infused lotion a few days later the masseuse remarked on it, which prompted me to tell her the whole embarrassing story, the moral of which is that edibles are indeed tricky, but consumers are not quite as helpless as Dowd portrays them.

‘Start Low and Go Slow’

Toni Fox, owner of 3D Cannabis Center in Denver, does not discount the unpleasantness of Dowd’s ordeal. Although “you’re not going to die from it,” she says, “you can feel absolutely horrific if you’ve never had an experience like that.” At the same time, Fox thinks Dowd should have known …read more