Maureen Dowd's experience with a marijuana-infused edible in Colorado will certainly live in infamy and the Marijuana Policy Project is using her tale for good, by helping educate people about the use of cannabis products. The cannabis community is certainly tired of seeing stoner stereotypes portrayed in the media as cannabis consumers tend to be a diverse community just like the rest of the population. It is both great and truthful that Leafly used ordinary people in a recent ad in the New York Times and that MPP uses a women who could certainly pass for Maureen Dowd, one of the top columnists in the nation, in a billboard urging people to "start low and go slow." For her part, Ms. Dowd, a supporter of legalization, is taking the billboard in stride, telling the Daily Beast that she loves the billboard and even plans to use it on her Christmas card. More from the Daily Beast:
Whether or not Dowd meant to cast herself into the spotlight, Tvert sees it as a good thing. "Quite frankly she strikes me as a sensible person. This is the type of thing where people like this should want to talk about it---and she did. The mistake she made is very common and while she made a few comments that were off-base in her column, the overarching message of it was very important," says Tvert. "There are certain people who have the ability to have a significant impact on how people think about an issue like this one, and Dowd is one of those people."
Dowd doesn't take this role lightly. "I'm in favor of legalization," she tells me. "But they needed some better warnings and portion control for edibles, with all the neophytes rushing to Denver."
If her likeness on the billboard makes waves, why stop there? "They could just run Bill Maher's funny and great instructions to me on his show at dispensaries in a continuous loop," she writes. Reassured by Colorado and Washington' s "fine-tuning" of marijuana laws, Dowd is ready to take her image elsewhere.
Education programs, funded either by the government or various groups, will certainly be needed to help educate the public and alleviate the concerns of voters. Over time, more and more people will understand that marijuana, even more so than alcohol, can be used responsibly. As the experiences of Colorado and Washington demonstrate that regulated cannabis commerce is a much better policy than prohibition, better prioritizing police resources and generating revenue, legalization will spread from state to state and the lives of millions of people will be improved. This is a campaign worth supporting and can very well be a model for other states to follow. For more info on this important campaign, check out www.consumeresponsibly.org.