Marijuana Coverage Increases in the Media

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

By Zach Jevne

With medical marijuana being discussed across the country, many major media outlets have begun featuring more articles related to the "hippie lettuce".

This month's Fortune features a cover story titled "Is Pot Already Legal?" It features a man who gets his marijuana straight from the government and smokes 10-12 joints a day, legally. It discusses how more states are tolerating the use of pot for medicinal purposes.

Thirteen states have legalized medical marijuana, with 15 more considering it, pending legislation and/or voter initiative in 2009-2010.

The mainstream media picking up the more weed-related stories and discussing legalization more openly have re-opened the long debated topic. With more states accepting the medical benefits of the plant, many are looking at the possibilities of what benefits legalization could have on our struggling economy.

"I think the recession is making people take a second look at our current prohibition - marijuana," Bobby Black, a senior editor at High Times, said. "Weed is recession proof."

California would be considered the most "pot-friendly", based the hundreds of thousands of medical marijuana patients and 700-plus dispensaries. In Los Angeles alone, there are 186 legal marijuana dispensaries.

It's not just the Wall Street Journal, Harpers and Fortune that are featuring stories about pot. Television is now using weed as the subject of shows. Showtime's "Weeds" is a popular show about a mother of two who sells marijuana. KDOC-TV in LA airs a 30-minute show called "Cannabis Planet" weekly. The show "explores the merits of cannabis as a medicine, industrial resource, agricultural crop and more".

Personally, I have seen much more coverage of marijuana, through magazines, documentaries, and news Web sites. If legalization isn't the next step, decriminalization might be. I think we will also continue to see more states considering medical marijuana.

I feel that the more people know about it, the more likely it is to separate from other drugs, like heroin and cocaine. It is completely different from those chemical substances, yet is still classified with them as "Schedule I controlled substances" by the federal government, which describes those drugs as having "no currently accepted medical use".

The article in Fortune is very informative and can shed more light (a lot more, it's fairly long, but in-depth) on the subject than I can. I recommend reading it. The debate over medical use, decriminalization and legalization will not be going away any time soon, it will rage on for years. But based on my own experiences and "research", I don't need any more convincing on the subject.

(Photo Credit: Fortune Magazine)


Exploring News by the Amish Online

By Laura Reid

The Amish have their own newspaper, called The Budget, which is located in Ohio. Because of the move of newspapers moving online, The Budget feels like this is a good move for them as well. Except they have been years ahead for about 100 years.

Their newspaper consists of scribes, or people who write stories to the paper about events taking place in their local community. Their method is like our modern day blogging.

Currently, The Budget is only in print, but the staff of The Budget, who are not Amish, want to get the newspaper on the internet, but are having a rough transition to get it there. Scribers, who are mainly Amish, are skeptical about having their work published on the internet for the whole world to be able to see.

For a small paper, which has about 9,000 subscribers,I think they are doing pretty well for themselves. Their rules are more lax than the bigger news corporations that have to print every day. While we talk about how important it is for newspapers to make the transition from print to internet, should these more traditional newspapers really have to worry about their readership going down if they don't make the switch? Especially since the majority if not all their readers are Amish and probably would not have internet, much less computers to look up the newspaper online. In fact for The Budget, they might actually lose readership that way, and for the skeptical scribes, gain readers who have become pros at attacking every issue that comes their way- the descendants of the scribes, the bloggers.

(Photo credit: Klingerman Information Services)


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