New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd may be catching lots of heat for eating a pot candy bar and curling up into a fetal position — and writing about it. But she’s not alone. Journalists in Washington and beyond have also fallen prey to bad pot experiences. Considering that and the loud buzz around her story, maybe her naysayers ought to stop harassing on her mellow.
Please note: Widespread anonymity had to be granted for this story.
The Mirror posed the question to many journalists, “Have any bad pot stories?”
Turns out, many do.
“All the funniest stories came from when I was on mushrooms or coke, but there are some good weed ones,” one journo told The Mirror. (As you can see, this is why anonymity has been granted. Who wants their boss or Google knowing this, right?)
Take the time that the above journo was super pissed at a college roommate.
“He constantly stole all my stuff,” the source wrote. “My grandma used to mail me cookies every month. And one month, he and his friends ate them all. So, I got stoned and hatched the plan to get him back. I bought a big tub of cookie dough ice cream, got high and then ate the whole entire tub. But, I was carefully sucking all the ice cream off the cookie dough nuggets and spitting them in a bowl. When I was done, I baked those spit covered dough hunks into cookies and left them out for him. He ate them all.”
There’s always an exception or four.
“No. All of my pot stories are fantastic,” remarked Hunter Walker, a reporter for Business Insider.
Another: “Unfortunately I’m that boring person who hasn’t experimented with drugs. Alcohol’s enough for me!”
And another: “I don’t have much of a pot story — I am an old and used to smoke it all the time when I was younger. When I tried it more recently I was so overwhelmed by drugginess that I fell asleep as a defense mechanism because my system couldn’t handle it. I am pretty sure I have brain damage.”
And still, another: “I’m afraid I don’t! Only tried it a few times (and never any other drugs) a long time ago & stopped cos it made me groggy in mornings!”
Asked for a bad pot story, freelancer and ex-Politico reporter Steve Friess replied over G-chat, “I don’t. I’ve never gotten buzzed by it. Tried a few times, inhaled, but it never really did anything to me. I’ve also never gotten whatever that euphoric high is said to be from exercising, the hormone release. And I get sleepy when I drink. I’m pathetic.”
Sympathy for Dowd, however, poured in. Much like the New York Times columnist, an editor recalled having to curl up and wait out the awfulness.
“The last time I ate a pot brownie, which was a year ago, it was a horrifying, miserable experience. I expected to sit around with my friend and play video games,” the journo wrote. “Instead I curled up. It wasn’t in the class of my brain is broken kind of thing, I just got super introspective and not in a good way, and had what you would describe as a panic attack. I realized what was going on, but it still felt miserable. Probably like three hours of misery. Basically pot is for children and there’s a time to age out of ‘doing pot.’ It’s not like a good or helpful thing.”
Helpful or not, a veteran Washington journalist recalled a paranoia so intense that he ruined his own munchies.
“It was late and naturally, we were very hungry, the journo wrote. “So we went to a fast food place and ordered at the drive-thru window. My friend and I were able to complete this task without laughing or drawing attention to ourselves. But seconds after we placed the order, we became intensely paranoid that the drive-through personnel knew we were high and were calling the police. Completely panicked, we drove away without picking up our food, leaving the fast-food workers quite puzzled.”
Eating often surfaces in bad pot stories. But so does vomiting. In 2008, a reporter recalled he and friends getting pulled over in Iowa with tons of of weed in the car.
“We had the most expendable member of the crew eat all the bags of weed before the cops came,” the journo recalled. “They came over and searched the car, Iowa cop-style. Meanwhile, the kid who ate the weed vomited on the side of the road and one of the bags came up, but the cops could not adequately determine that the material he expelled was still marijuana. We were cited for being in a flood zone past some government curfew. We had a court date in Cedar Rapids and pled guilty while extremely high, listening to Zion I’s ‘Coastin’ on our way to the courthouse. On our way back, we did mushrooms and the rest of my crew went into an art museum but I stayed in the car because I was freaking out that a picture of George Washington on a dollar bill I had was making faces at me. I dropped out of that college shortly thereafter. One of my friends from that very car went on to be a hotshot writer for Cartoon Network Adult Swim shows. True story.”
Truthfully, anything weird can happen when pot is involved.
“Summer after my freshman year I lived with my anarchist ex-Mormon then-boyfriend in a slum outside downtown New Haven,” a female journo recalled. “He didn’t have a job and did a lot of dumpster diving, despite my repeated admonitions that he not bring that crap into my kitchen. One night a friend of ours came over with some pot brownies, and a few hours later we’re rummaging through my pantry looking for something to eat. We found a thing of cup noodles but were so high we couldn’t tell whether it was full of worms or noodles, so we called a friend who lived across town to come over and help us figure it out. …they were worms.”
When in Amsterdam, pot must be sampled. Why even go otherwise?
“I was in Amsterdam and, naturally, we bought marijuana and smoked it at a bar. It was a Tuesday and we were in a slightly seedy area by the train station. As we somehow made it back to our hotel, the streets were barren and had this scary feel that fed into a paranoia,” the male journo explained, setting the scene.
“Back in the hotel room – one of these cheap cubicles just fancier than a hostel – the various other guests got it in their minds to send knocks like a wave around the floor we were on. (We figured all this out later and, unstoned, would have figured it out at the time). In our condition, it was truly harrowing. I can’t possibly describe the feeling. This knocking sound coming closer and closer – descending, really – then seemingly barely missing us and fading away, only to slowly reapproach. It went on forever. Should we call the police? Should we try to escape? At one point, I got on my hands and knees on the floor and began crawling around. It did not help.”
Remember that vengeful pothead who retaliated against a college roommate by making cookies out of cookie dough nuggets he had sucked on and spit out? He had one final story. While attending the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, he decided he needed to try the locally grown pot. He secured a dime bag from a student at a local community college.
“In all honesty, I was too busy to smoke too much of it, but when I did, it was fantastic stuff,” the source recalled. “At the end of the week, I made my way to Mile High Stadium for the big Obama Speech. As I approached the security line, I emptied my pockets with my phone, iPod, wallet, keys, etc. to go through the metal detector. For some reason, the detector kept going off when I tried going through. The police officer used a metal detector wand and it kept going off over the breast pocket of my blazer. I genuinely had no clue what it was until I reached inside and felt the aluminum foil that the college student had ‘helpfully’ wrapped in aluminum foil. The officer made me open up the aluminum foil and explain how I ‘could be so fucking stupid’ as to try and bring marijuana into an event of this size.”
Survival instincts kicked in and Mr. ‘Fucking Stupid’ Pothead calmly explained that no one else had seen what had just happened. Yeah, he could just gather up his stuff, turn around, walk back out, throw the weed away and come in through a different entrance.
Dude, and throw away all that “fantastic” weed?
“The officer set me aside for a few moments before telling me to leave and make sure that she never saw my face again,” the source said. “I had to leave the security line, but went into a portable toilet and smoked the rest of it before coming back in through a different security line.”