Skip to comments.Maureen Dowd’s Weed Candy Experiment Personifies White Privilege
Posted on 06/04/2014 4:26:07 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Maureen Dowd, author of Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk, speaks during a panel discussion during a luncheon at the Book Expo America convention, Saturday, June 5, 2004, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey) I never smoked marijuana before, and Maureen Dowds haphazard experience with a weed-laced candy bar in her Denver hotel room certainly isnt motivating me to book a plane ticket to what is soon to be dubbed the Mile High State.
The New York Times columnist was in Colorado reporting on the states first months of legalized marijuana use when she decided to take what she later learned was too much of a bite from a caramel-chocolate flavored (marijuana) candy bar. Dowd wrote in a column Tuesday that the treat didnt affect her at first, but after an hour or so, she felt like she was dying:
But then I felt a scary shudder go through my body and brain. I barely made it from the desk to the bed, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours. I was thirsty but couldnt move to get water. Or even turn off the lights. I was panting and paranoid, sure that when the room-service waiter knocked and I didnt answer, hed call the police and have me arrested for being unable to handle my candy.
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. It took all night before it began to wear off, distressingly slowly. The next day, a medical consultant at an edibles plant where I was conducting an interview mentioned that candy bars like that are supposed to be cut into 16 pieces for novices; but that recommendation hadnt been on the label. Dowds column in its entirety is pretty innocuous, given that she wasnt doing anything illegal and, I guess, was on the job. But given her lofty status as a Times writer and the privilege that comes with such a position and the fact that she is White, there is something quite disturbing about her recreational use of a drug that has lead to disproportionate arrests of thousands of African-American and Latino people who dont have the privilege of getting high and writing about it for an international publication.
I also find it ironic that the states (Colorado and Washington) with some of the least ethnically diverse populations have legalized the drug. With a population that is 88 percent White, the only thing Whiter than Colorados population is its ski resorts.
Despite the fact that Whites and Blacks use marijuana at the roughly the same rate, a Black person is 3.73 time more likely than a White person to be arrested for possessing the drug, according to the ACLU. And even after running on a platform to end racially unjust arrests, Blacks and Latinos made up 86 percent of marijuana arrests in the city during the first quarter of N.Y. Mayor Bill de Blasios administrationeven as overall arrests declined. What is more disturbing about these figures is that arrests were significantly higher in Black and Latino neighborhoods as oppose to White communities whose use of the drug is similar, according to the Marijuana Arrest Research Project.
For me, the distinction is clear: If you are Black or Latino and in a neighborhood comprised mostly of people of color, your use of marijuana is seen as criminal. If you are White, not so much.
This is why Dowds piece disturbs me so much. Twitter reactions to Dowds use of the weed almost came across as, Aww, thats so cute, but I have to wonder what the reactions would have been had an African-American female reporter gone to Colorado and done the same thing. Sure, she wouldnt have gotten arrested, but I doubt the Twitterverse would have been as jovial.
Dowds piece also is a recent reminder of the double standard I notice when Whites and Blacks experiment with drugs. In April, VICE published a YouTube video of one of its correspondents in South Africa experimenting with a dangerous cocktail called nyaope, a drug laced with HIV medication.
Maybe its me, but I find it curious how drug use by upper-middle class White people can become an intellectual discussion on the residual consequences of drug legalization or the misuse of medication when so many Black men and women who do the same thing are viewed through the lens of criminality.
When publications like VICE or the New York Times publish pieces on their journalists reports on personal drug use who are almost always White, by the way they normalize the use of drugs by White people without considering how minorities often see the media as criminalizing them for similar actions.
I grew up in a drug house in Detroit, where any kind of drug was available. I never had an interest in them and never used. Perhaps the time when a rival gang broke in to my house when I was 12 years old and beat my drug-dealing uncle so badly it took two weeks for my grandmother to clean up all of the blood made me less than enthusiastic about taking a toke of the sticky green. The .375 Magnum one of the dealers pointed at the back of my head as they severely beat my uncle didnt help either.
While I never had any use for drugs, that doesnt stop people from assuming that I, a Black man from inner-city Detroit, used every drug imaginable.
During a get-together with a group of friends, in which I was the only Black person in a room of Whites, one of them asked us to describe our first experience with drug use. One by one, each of these middle-class suburbanites named drugs ranging from speed, cocaine, weed laced with cocaine, and other drugs that made me blush in discomfort. When my turn came, all eyes zeroed in on me as if I was going to reveal a magic cocktail for them to take home. They were very disappointed when I said I have nothing to contribute to the conversation.
Come on, Detroit! one of my friends said.
Nope. Never, I replied.
However, if Maureen Dowd and I were walking down the street in New York City, the cops would likely stop me on suspicion of marijuana possession before they would stop the Pulitzer Prize winner who wrote a national column on getting stoned in the Mile High City.
Of course, you wouldnt be able to tell if Dowd was a Times writer who wrote a piece about using marijuana; however, people always seem to be able to tell that I must have used drugs.
I wonder why?
Lol....just don’t smoke or eat the stuff and you won’t be a racist!
It’s all about Blacks and their endless problems - all caused by Whites of course.
Well at least she was candid about the candy. Some people have horrible trips on that stuff. I’d say you are a fool to use it for anything OTHER than bona fide medical purposes.
Typical lib reporter. Everything is about race.
The message I get from this story is that Maureen Dowd is a jerk.
Not that I didn’t already know that.
White liberal privilege to fly from NYC to Denver for a stoner candy bar. And I am sure she is so concerned about hungry children who could have had a few meals with the money wasted on such utter nonsense.
The message I get is that Dowd, in addition to being a jerk, is also a scofflaw.
Maureen Dowds haphazard experience with a weed-laced candy bar in her Denver hotel room...
Unless it's with the hotel-owner's permission, recreational marijuana in Colorado can only be consumed in a private residence.
A very large percentage of those in prison for mj possession weren't "arrested" for having pot. They were stopped or arrested for some other crime.
Since drug possession is more or less a slam dunk in court, the DA goes with prosecuting for possession, and drops the other charges.
Possession is also a common plea bargain down from a more serious charge.
That blacks commit other crimes in a multiple of those by other races goes a long way to explain the disproportionate rate of "arrest" for possession.
Oh, you mean like when a WHITE LIBERAL "journalist" can possess an illegal magazine, show it off on TV with impunity while a military vet who has an empty pre-ban mag in the trunk of his car gets arrested and threatened with 2 years in prison?
Maybe your problem is with WHITE LIBERALS, not normal white people. So shut up. Cause I don't care.
What are those?
I have yet to see anything really convincing in the medical literature.
Hey question I am confused what happen to Mo Dowd here
I hear she bite in pot laced chocolate bar or she drank something didn’t not agree with her
I have heard the same thing. Some very unpleasant and even frightening stories about the edibles. They (the pot stores and by extension the people who legalized their existence) are doing a lousy job of making clear to customers how much constitutes a reasonable dose, and what happens if you take more.
I have only seen her once and it was on Letterman about 10 years ago.
a scary shudder go through my body and brain. I barely made it from the desk to the bed, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours. I was thirsty but couldnt move to get water. Or even turn off the lights. I was panting and paranoid
Look what pot brownies did to Reverend Jim?
“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.”
Could have been worse. Maureen could have been straining to remember where she was and what she was wearing while staring at the mirror. The horror...the horror...
Maureen Dowd was doing bong hits in college and servicing two at a time, though she purged that memory -liberals conveniently don’t do guilt.