Maureen Dowd of The New York Times has attracted attention with her column about eating a marijuana candy bar and remaining in “a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours,” as she began “panting” and becoming “paranoid.” Some commentators are laughing about it. Not so funny are the reports of deaths from ingesting marijuana that Dowd cites in her column about marijuana legalization in Colorado.
“In March,” she noted, “a 19-year-old Wyoming college student jumped off a Denver hotel balcony after eating a pot cookie with 65 milligrams of THC. In April, a Denver man ate pot-infused Karma Kandy and began talking like it was the end of the world, scaring his wife and three kids. Then he retrieved a handgun from a safe and killed his wife while she was on the phone with an emergency dispatcher.”
The Wyoming college student, 19-year-old Levy Thamba Pongi, was an exchange student from Congo. Richard Kirk is the Denver man who killed his wife, Khristine Kirk, with a gunshot to her head.
“Two Denver deaths tied to recreational marijuana use” was the headline over an Associated Press story. It didn’t take long for the claim that marijuana never killed anybody to be debunked.
Regarding her own experience with the drug, Dowd said, “As my paranoia deepened, I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me.”
I discussed both of the deaths cited in the Dowd column in my May 1st column, “Colombians Move into Colorado Marijuana Business.” On March 27th, we ran the column, “Media Continue Cover-up of Marijuana-induced Mental Illness.”
Nevertheless, the House of Representatives recently voted 219-189 to block Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) raids on so-called “medical marijuana” businesses. The Marijuana Policy Project reports that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), its “longtime ally,” led the charge to protect the marijuana businesses in Colorado and other states. It passed mostly with liberal Democratic votes.
“Already in Colorado, there is evidence of Colombian cartel involvement in the legal medical marijuana industry,” notes the group called Smart Approaches to Marijuana, whose co-founder, drug policy expert Kevin A. Sabet, recently authored the book, Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana.
But now that liberal columnist Maureen Dowd has tackled the subject in a serious manner, connecting the dots between marijuana and mental problems, others in the media may follow suit and the rush to legalize the drug may encounter difficulties.
Most of the media reaction to Dowd, at least so far, has been amusement. On the NBC Today Show, the hosts joked and laughed about marijuana’s effects as the words, “All the pot fit to eat,” were featured on the TV screen. It was a play oN words from the Times’ slogan, “All the news that’s fit to print.”
Dr. Christine Miller, who has written about the relationship between marijuana and mental illness, says, “What’s so funny about it? She [Dowd] was out of her mind.”
“I was saddened to see Matt Lauer and The Today Show crew make light of Maureen Dowd’s experience, particularly in view of the fact that the symptoms she experienced were not dissimilar to those that prompted the young college student to jump off a Denver hotel balcony after eating a pot-laced brownie,” Miller told AIM.