Ben Pollara and other supporters of the amendment to legalize medical marijuana are seizing on an image posted on the Facebook page of the Vote No On 2 organization which attempts to draw a line between the expected availability of edible pot and the possibility such “pot cookies” might be used to commit date rape. The image is captioned, “Will the new face of date rape look like a cookie?”
Subtle the image is not.
Pollara, who never passes up the opportunity to build a fundraising appeal around the latest controversy is in this campaign, writes to possible contributors that, “Medical marijuana edibles are for people who simply don’t want to, or can’t, inhale. This uninformed quip is not only a slight to the real plight of sick people – it diminishes the very real trauma and pain suffered by actual rape victims. Rape is not brought about by marijuana cookies – it’s brought about by sick psychopaths.”
Pollara is right: Cookies don’t rape people, people rape people.
But that’s not the point, I believe, the Say No crowd was trying to make. Their point, partially informed by a widely read piece from New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, is that a lot, if not most, people don’t and won’t know what they are doing if they experiment with edible pot.
Dowd describes eating a caramel-chocolate candy bar made with marijuana in her Colorado hotel room. Dowd admits to making the common mistake of eating too much. She started by eating a little and when she didn’t feel anything right away, ate more. Consequently, she ended up hallucinating and paranoid for eight hours, until she finally came down.
“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 couldn’t 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 didn’t answer, he’d 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.”
How many thousands of Floridians might experience the same reaction Dowd did?
Will it be easier to slip someone a pot-laced cookie than it is a roofie? I don’t know, I am not in the date rape business.
But I am in the fatherhood business and I have to tell you, the need to help sick people aside, I don’t want to have to explain to my daughter why she can’t have that particular cookie. I pray I never have to deal with a situation where my daughter mistook a good ol’ fashioned chocolate chip cookie for a pot-laced one.
Is Say No’s imagery a “scare tactic,” as Pollara describes it? If it is, it isn’t the first time today fear was used as a motivational force in a campaign. But maybe it is a scare tactic. Floridians should be wary of any drug not prescribed to them by a physician.
Otherwise, they too might end up like Maureen Dowd, in a hotel room with a belly full of edible pot, convinced they’re about to die.
Material from the Huffington Post was used in this post.