In a column published Tuesday, Dowd described the paranoid, "hallucinatory state" she wound up in for eight hours after eating the candy. The next day, a medical expert at an edibles plant told her that candy bars like the one she'd eaten were supposed to be divvied up into 16 pieces for novices.
"I reckoned that the fact that I was not a regular marijuana smoker made me more vulnerable, and that I should have known better," she wrote.
Perhaps she did know better.
The Cannabist, a website run by The Denver Post and dedicated to marijuana culture, spoke on Wednesday with My 420 Tours co-founder Matt Brown, who said he spent three to four hours giving Dowd and her friend a behind-the-scenes tour when they made their January trip to Denver.
“She got the warning. She did what all the reporters did. She listened," Brown told The Cannabist.
"We talked about edibles and how they affect everyone differently," he added. "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."
Then Brown said Dowd called him out of the blue Tuesday, just hours before her column ran. They spent another hour or so discussing her extreme reaction to edibles and whether or not it was common, he said, but none of the information he offered made it into the piece.
Among the topics he and Dowd discussed in that phone conversation was how to avoid the kind of bad trip she said she suffered in her Denver hotel room.
"I don’t see a way for people like Maureen Dowd, who want to try (marijuana) and want to have a good experience, to be able to socialize around others and talk with others and get a better feel ahead of time of how much you should eat and what you should feel," Brown told The Cannabist. "All of the problems that happened in her hotel room as she’s breaking off pieces of the infused candy bar … there’s something missing. When she was learning how to drink alcohol she could have seen other adults using moderation and other adults in bars puking and making an ass out of themselves — because it’s enjoyed communally and legally in bars. How do we have events and hotel rooms that are more open to this?”