Reporting on Pot: Weed sparks a different journalism


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Marijuana is now recreationally legal in two states.

There are countless editorials that debate whether this should transition to the whole nation, but consider objective reporting on the matter. It is happening.

ABC’s “The View” featured guest Ricardo Baca, the new marijuana editor at The Denver Post, and editor of the paper’s website The Cannabist. One host questioned the journalistic aspect of marijuana reporting.

“We’ve been covering the news of pot ever since it became legalized medically in 2000 in Colorado,” Baca said during his interview on “The View.”

While Baca does partake in recreational marijuana use, something he feels came with concert and other entertainment events’ coverage, that does not mean he will “be stoned all the time,” Baca said in an interview with The Denver Post’s director of newsroom operations.

Linda Sharply. To me, this is obvious professionals that review alcoholic beverages or bars are not drunks.

Though some may think these outlets (columns, websites, etc.) will slant pro-marijuana, Baca said he will approach the topic from a crucially unbiased journalistic stance.

“While our site will be a mix of news and entertainment and features and columns and reviews, we will have voices in the mix from all sides of the story.”

I think this type of journalism is necessary. With the on-going national debate about legalization, finally, someone reputable will report against recreational weed’s negative perception. This is the news.

This is objectivity. This is honest journalism.

The Cannabist and The Denver Post may stay objective, but I have a feeling these sources will open minds about marijuana in a different way.

Because federally, marijuana is still illegal, people who discourage use often have not experienced pot.

Their perception is based upon assumption, or any negative story read about the drug.

“No longer is marijuana the beat of crime reporters. It’s a consumer item now,” an article in Tampa-based WUSF news online read.
With Boca’s coverage, people in states that outlaw marijuana can learn about its benefits, deeper than the medical angle.

The informed citizen then can decide if marijuana is right for him or her. I am not here to argue against marijuana, nor promote its use.

It is a personal decision that, like alcohol consumption, should be left to the American people.

No one has died from a marijuana overdose. If the issue is vehicular manslaughter, handle weed in the way alcohol D.U.I.’s are treated.

I guess I am saying the federal ban on marijuana use should be lifted.

When the nation is informed from all angles, this might happen. Regardless, people are going to smoke weed.

According to Philadelphia Weekly, Pennsylvania marijuana-related arrests totaled 20,577 in 2012.

Taxpayers’ money goes toward these arrests. Police attention is focused on weed.

I am sure you would feel a lot safer knowing police officers are looking for the real criminals instead of busting kids with joints.

Follow @CassClarhaut on Twitter for news and entertainment updates.


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