Cool Ad Watch

She even looks a little like Maureen Dowd:

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The billboard version is even more obviously Modo:

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This is from a new ad campaign from the people who won the ballot initiative in Colorado. Among the advice given:

Don’t be a pothole.

Do not pressure others to join you in consuming marijuana, and never give anyone a marijuana-infused product without their Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 11.06.17 AMknowledge. It is not funny, and it could result in serious problems for that person and others. For example, they might end up driving or engaging in another activity that should not be done while under the influence. It could also cost someone their job if they get drug-tested by their employer. If someone would like to join you in consuming a marijuana-infused product, be sure to inform them of the amount of THC in the product, and let them know the appropriate serving size if they are unsure.

Be respectful of the people around you and do not smoke marijuana in public or in the presence of someone who would prefer not to be exposed to it. This applies especially to situations in which kids are present.

For legalization to be a success, it has to be accompanied with an embrace of real responsibility, a commitment to do all we can to prevent kids getting high, and an ethic that is better than our current campaigns to drink responsibly. Colorado is once again leading the way.

MoDo-Proofing Edibles, Ctd

First, a few of the many tweets that followed “Thomas Friedman eating brownies with his daughter’s roommate at Yale”:

 

The whole brilliant parody is here. Meanwhile, a reader gets serious:

Dowd’s edible OD sounds a bit like my experience this year in Seattle. While the legal pot retail outlets have not yet opened, some entrepreneurs just dived into the murky legal gray area and started selling pot direct to consumers. I tried out Winterlife Co-op a couple months ago after reading about it in The Stranger and experienced both the improvements and pitfalls of legalization.

The good part: I got to look up the varieties on their online menu to see reviews and descriptions on leafly.com and settled on Sour Grapes, which has lived up to its great reviews. The delivery guy drove out to my apartment and we made the trade in his truck, where he had a whole cabinet of inventory neatly wrapped and labeled. I bought a quarter ounce of pot for what seemed a fair price, and threw in one chocolate edible for laughs. It was all thrilling but felt very safe and legit. The pot quality was miles above the crud I’d had on the east coast.

The not-so-great part:

During intermission at the Pacific Northwest Ballet, the missus and I split the little chocolate edible (no bigger than a miniature York patty). It had no dosage instructions, and it was so small I figured after splitting it we might just enjoy the scenery of a Midsummer Night’s Dream a little more intensely.

Wrong. I just started feeling odd toward the end of the show, an hour later. Soon after getting home, I was reeling with dizziness, and my mind couldn’t maintain a train of thought for more than a few seconds. Kneeling down to leash the dog for a short walk, I almost just toppled over. By that time the missus was in bed, and I flopped down as soon as the dog was walked, figuring I’d fall and hit my head if I kept walking around. I watched the walls spin up into the ceiling, then reset and spin again, over and over. It reminded me of my drunkest nights in freshman year of college, but a little less nauseous. Eventually the spinning slowed down enough for us to drift off.

My takeaway? As a consumer: eat edibles in the smallest possible increments, ramping up till you get the feeling you want. Don’t think just cause you’re a big guy you’ll need a lot (or even half a York patty’s worth). As for policy: yeah, some sort of labeling, with contents and dosage recommendations, would be a great place to start with edibles. I’ve smoked pot maybe 15 times before in my life and this felt like an entirely different, more potent drug.

I do think that buying it in such a normalized manner, like a pizza delivery, made me more trusting and naive. I probably wouldn’t have tried it alone the first time otherwise; like most of my early pot experiences I would have done it with a trusted friend who could guide me through what to expect. I’m usually not an idiot but some idiot-proof labeling would have helped me out on that chocolate.

Previous commentary on the regulation of edibles here.

MoDo-Proofing Edibles

Gillespie offers a qualified defense of MoDo’s pot column:

Dowd’s column—and her admirable willingness to talk frankly about her experience in all its inglory—raises real issues about the process by which pot legalization will be vetted. The fact is, there’s a societal learning curve that’s every bit as real as individual learning curves. It takes a while, and oftentimes a lot of trials and errors, for a society to figure out how to deal with major changes (divorce, gender and racial equality, etc.).

The sooner we acknowledge that the end of pot prohibition will require a lot of conversation about what works well and what doesn’t, the faster than the new normal of “marijuana on Main Street” will be accepted for the huge leap forward in freedom and peace that it really represents.

Jon Walker suggests that “the ‘Maureen Dowd test’ be the new, unofficial metric by which [edibles] regulations are judged”:

If legalization advocates want to avoid a potential political backlash the regulations don’t just need to be sensible and easy for a regular person to understand, they need to be idiot-proof. They need to be so clear that even someone who goes to buy edibles with a Maureen Dowd level of ignorance can’t say they misinterpreted the instructions.

The Colorado legislature has already approved new laws intended to do just that. While some people might find it annoying that future labels may have extra large instructions, edibles won’t come in certain shapes, and that packaging will need to clearly separate individual doses; that is what is necessary to make something idiot-proof.

Alyssa is more sympathetic:

She got much higher than she wanted to because she made the not-unreasonable assumption that a candy bar was a single serving, eating the whole thing in one go. “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,” Dowd explains that she finds out later. “That recommendation hadn’t been on the label.”

It is one thing for experienced consumers to scoff at Dowd’s lack of knowledge. But she is not going to be alone, and asking for labeling or instructions is not unreasonable. Similarly, new marijuana consumers may look to analogous delivery mechanisms and social rituals when they are smoking joints for the first time, and expect that they ought to treat joints exactly like cigarettes.

Charles Pierce recalls “two less-than-pleasant experiences with marijuana and both of them involved eating the stuff rather than smoking it”:

These two episodes taught me two things — a) that, in terms of how quickly it hits you and how hard it hits you, eating dope is radically different than smoking it and, b) the only way to cope with the difference is to get the hell out of where you are and get out into the world in one way or another until your head settles down. The worst thing you could possibly do is determine that you will have your first serious marijuana experience by gobbling down an electric candy bar and then sitting there alone in your hotel room while waiting for the newspaper taxis to appear at your door, waiting to take you away.

Weissmann uses the the column to argue that “the cannabis business is probably the sort of industry that would be better off dominated by big, name-brand manufacturers”:

It’s perfectly fine to have government-mandated product testing. But it’s even better to have companies that mass produce a highly standardized product and are willing to invest in the technology to get it right every single time. From a safety perspective, you want a Hershey’s or Entenmann’s of edibles, rather than a hodge-podge of pot boutiques and small companies distributing locally. At the very least, we’d be better off with companies the size of large craft brewers, which tend to be more attentive to quality control than their tinier cousins, in part because they have the money to spend on it.