Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Reefer Dowdness

Dowd, on her bad THC chocolate trip in a Denver hotel room:
Sitting in my hotel room in Denver, I nibbled off the end and then, when nothing happened, nibbled some more....

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.
She's lucky. In another era she would have been wearing an above-the-knee skirt and wound up virtually instantly showing her legs as she danced the jazz, engaging in carnal intercourse with persons of a race other than her own, and generally falling into a life of shame and degradation from which there is no return.

It's not nice to laugh. Last time I got high, which must be close to ten years ago, and one of maybe three times since the days of long ago when I did it sort of a lot, I was literally on a rooftop, four stories up, in downtown Manhattan. I was not at all under the impression that I could fly, as so frequently happens in your monitory drug fiction, but I wasn't very interested in going down the stairs either. It seemed best to me to lie on my back on the unfinished concrete, murmuring, "OK, OK, I accept the universe," and wait for it all to pass, which it did, though not before my companions made me go downstairs after all.

It's terrible about the 19-year-old student from Kinshasa who fell to his death from a Denver balcony last March after a sextuple dose in the form of a cookie. I really can't understand why anybody would sell a cookie that needs to be divided into six pieces before it can be safely enjoyably ingested (maybe nobody ever thought it would be unsafe, but somebody must have understood that it wouldn't be fun). Imagine, if you will, a six-pack of dry martini in 12-ounce cans sold without instructions to a Pepsi-drinking kid who has never tasted alcohol. Not that weed would ever be as dangerous as that.

Even worse is the story of the Denver father of three who shot his wife dead when he may have been high on a mixture of orange-ginger-THC Karma Kandy and prescription pain medication, except that we don't know whether he was or not or, in fact, anything else about the case, which has gone entirely quiet since the murder warrant was issued April 18, except that the police are comfortable with calling it a murder case, and it happened when the victim had been on the phone with a 911 operator for 12 minutes, so that they really should have been able to get there before anybody got hurt, and the dispatcher has been suspended, so our judgment should really be suspended as well.

It remains a fact that the cookie case is the first time in medical history that marijuana has been implicated as a contributing factor in anyone's death, in spite of decades of research, and it's bizarre to me that it takes this well-mythologized form of a leap from a balcony, the exact way people have been dying in drug-war fiction since the 1920s. Was this image present in the mind of the kid who died? Could he have been, effectively, killed by propaganda?

What is clear is that better regulation is needed, not a return to prohibition. There should be some effort at controlling dosage, especially for the edibles, and neophytes need to understand that if you don't feel anything for an hour or two that doesn't mean you need to eat some more. Dowd is very clear on this, too, and says it, but she always has to have it both ways, so she fills her column up with Reefer Madness anyway. Just because she knows it's sensationalism doesn't mean she won't sensationalize her heart out.

Also, not to get too personal, I'm sorry she had a bad time, but why was she alone? Not that she should have had a doctor present, you know, but it's a social drug. Then again, so's Chardonnay. Right, Maureen? Maureen?
Alan Cumming in the 2005 musical remake of Reefer Madness. All illustrations from wifflegifs.
Driftglass, going full Driftglass, doesn't resist the temptation to build on that theme of Dowd's hallucination of being among the Undead. He thinks it may not have been a hallucination.

Also, as we've been hearing all over the place today, she was in fact fully warned and then lying about it.

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