Paper seeks marijuana reviewer
Thursday, October 22, 2009
For some it will sound like a job too good to be true - a newspaper in Colorado is seeking to hire a journalist to be a reviewer for the state's marijuana outlets.
The move follows an explosion in the number of so-called pot shops after states such as Colorado and California legalised the drug for medicinal purposes.
And the alternative Denver newspaper, Westwood, has already seen a deluge in the number of applicants clamoring to take on the role of reviewing dope dispensaries and their products for medical users of the drug.
The job is the brainchild of Joel Warner - who has covered Colorado's medical marijuana industry for several years – after noting a wide disparity in the places selling pot.
He said: "Some looked like your college drug dealer's dorm room. You know, Bob Marley posters on the wall and big marijuana leaf posters.
"But then some were so fancy, like dentists' offices. They had bubbling aquariums in the lobby and were so clean. I thought somebody needs to review these."
The applicant that lands the role will test various strains of marijuana from "White Widow" to "Afghan Gold Seal" which is cheap but as one critic warns "delivers a very heavy stone with the same degree of munchies to go along with it".
Joe Tone, web editor at Westword, said: "More and more people are having the opportunity to use marijuana for whatever illness they have. So we want to be a place they can come to find out which place is the best, the cleanest, the closest, that kind of stuff."
When the newspaper settles on a permanent critic for its new "Mile Highs and Lows" column, industry watchers say, it will be the first professional newspaper critic of medical marijuana in the United States.
But there is one condition – the reviewer has to have a medical ailment that allows them to legally enter a dispensary, and buy and use marijuana.
The drug is illegal under US federal law but has been made legalised in some states for medical use as a prescription drug.
However, the growth of the medical dope business has created clashes with local, state and federal authorities, prompting the US Attorney General to issue guidelines this week.
Under the these, federal prosecutors are informed that targeting those who use or provide the drug for medical reasons in strict compliance with state laws was not a good use of their time.