Maureen Dowd's Weed Shaman Says She Was Warned

Maureen Down speaks during a taping of "Meet the Press" in Washington, D.C., on May 25, 2008. Alex Wong/Getty

When New York Times columnist David Brooks confessed his stoner past in a confoundingly moralistic January column, an old weed buddy of his quickly emerged to tell tales of their “moments of uninhibited frolic” together.

Like pretty much everything else on the Internet, it turned out to be fake. But now there’s another storied Times scribe laying bare her weed manifesto in the paper of record, and unlike Brooks’s stories, The Curious Incident of the Dowd in the Night-Time took place only a few months ago, when she “nibbled” on some weed chocolate and found herself “curled up in a hallucinatory state” for eight hours.

So the guy who claims to have showed her around Colorado’s newly legal recreational marijuana industry is probably for real. Matt Brown, who co-founded the company My 420 Tours, tells The Denver Post’s The Cannabist that Dowd was amply warned about the particularly potent edibles:

"She got the warning,” Brown said. “She did what all the reporters did. She listened. She bought some samples—I don’t remember what exactly. Me and the owner of the dispensary we were at and the assistant manager and the budtender talked with her for 45 minutes at the shop.

“It wasn’t all, ‘Be careful of edibles.’ We talked about the difference between shatter and bubble hash. We talked about edibles and how they affect everyone differently. In the context of covering all the bases with a customer, we really went into depth to tell this reporter, who would then tell the world, about marijuana in Colorado.

By Brown’s account, Dowd meant to smoke a joint instead but didn’t know how to roll it and had to run to a film screening.

But that miscalculation made for a much more colorful column, and so, as Colorado irons out its new marijuana market, The New York Times is exploring a new and seemingly lucrative industry of its own: letting its columnists get stoned as hell. This, the Grey Lady has learned, is one way for a newspaper to turn a profit in 2014:

We look forward to VICE’s forthcoming #longread, We Did Peyote With Nick Kristof in the Mountains of Bolivia.