Shortly after the state of Colorado legalized weed, then-62-year-old New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd decided to visit a dispensary to buy her very first edibles. She purchased an “innocent-looking” caramel and chocolate bar, went back to her hotel, and ate the whole goddamn thing.
“I barely made it from the desk to the bed, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours,” she wrote at the time. “I was thirsty but couldn’t move to get water [...] 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.”
Dowd was widely ridiculed at the time (our colleagues at VICE.com called her “stupid”), but there’s at least one police officer who wouldn’t have arrested her; in fact, they’d probably trade stories about their dipshittery when it comes to dosing instructions. And since Vittorio Dominelli has resigned from the Toronto Police Service, the two of them have plenty of time to talk.
As VICE reported at the time of the incident , Dominelli and his partner, Constable Jamie Young, were part of a police raid on an illegal weed dispensary in January. While cataloging evidence from the raid, Dominelli helped himself to three THC-infused hazelnut and chocolate bars, and then the two of them went out for pizza. Although Dominelli knew he shouldn’t have grabbed the edibles, the cops started talking about how neither of them had ever tried anything weed-related and, for some reason, they decided that they should go Full Dowd while they worked surveillance.
Although the chocolate bars had specific instructions suggesting that it’s best to “begin by using a small portion,” they downed the entire thing. Twenty minutes later, Dominelli picked up his radio and made an emergency 10-33 call, which is police code for ‘officer needs assistance.’
He asked the dispatcher to send an ambulance and, when paramedics and more officers arrived on the scene, they found a sweating, panting Dominelli still pretending not to be high as shit. “My heart was pounding. I felt like it was going to come out of my mouth,” Dominelli said in a statement that was submitted as evidence in court. “I realized instantly what a stupid thing I had done. At that point, I did not care anymore about the prospects of getting caught or the professional consequences. I just wanted medical help.” He was taken to a hospital where he both threw up and tested positive for THC.
So, that bring us to last week, when he pleaded guilty to attempting to obstruct justice and resigned from the police service. (And, because of his evidence tampering, the charges against the seven people arrested at the illegal dispensary had to be dropped).
“From the point of view of public interest, the impact is profound,” Justice Mary Misener said in court. “The conduct here you cannot describe as anything other than stupid.” (She further emphasized this by calling him a “complete idiot.”)
According to the Toronto Sun, his attorney is asking for a conditional discharge and 200 hours of community service instead of jail time. Dominelli will be back in court this week to set a date for his sentencing. Maybe he can get in touch with Maureen Dowd sometime between now and then and they can talk about that time they felt, like, sooooo weird.