SXSW 2012: Send our medical marijuana critic to spread the gospel in MMJ-free Texas!

I get high with a little help from my friends, and now I need your help getting to South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference next March. SXSW Interactive precedes the more famous music conference and lacks pretty much all of the sex appeal, cool bands and secret shows. But for blogger nerds like Westword web editor Nick Lucchesi and me, it's an awesome opportunity. [jump]

The conference is for media-types -- hence the catchy businesslike title of "Big Business: The Future of Marijuana Journalism." And I'm sure Nick will have plenty to say about things from the editorial side.

But I see it as a good forum to discuss the benefits of cannabis deep in the medical marijuana-less heart of Texas -- a state that has some of the best cancer care facilities in the world, but won't allow patients to use one of the most effective medicines we have.

(In the interest of full disclosure: it's also a great way to get to warm Austin during the cold Colorado March and possibly stay on for the music conference.)

Since online voting is 30 percent of what the panel looks at, we'd really appreciate some votes from fine readers of our marijuana blogs. Did I mention how handsome or pretty you look today? Well, sir or ma'am, you do.

Here's the full text of our proposal:

Gawker says William Breathes, the nation's first medical marijuana critic, has the "best job in journalism," which may be why he's been featured by the New York Times, CNN and The Daily Show. Meet him at our panel about how to cover the medical marijuana industry. Breathes and Nick Lucchesi, a Village Voice Media web editor, work for Westword, based in Colorado, the Wild West of "MMJ," where there are more dispensaries than Starbucks'. We'll show you how to report on and earn revenue from the medical marijuana industry in your community in a way that's useful to all involved. We'll share advice about handling MMJ politics, culture and how the multi-million dollar industry sprang up around it. And yes, how to cover pot culture without pandering. MMJ still remains a taboo subject for the old guard of journalism, who at best cover pot with a wink and a nod. And finally, we'll talk about being a pot critic -- which may not always be the best job in journalism, but it sure beats writing obits.

If medical marijuana is a topic you think should be discussed at SXSW, click on this "Big Business: The Future of Marijuana Journalism" link to vote for us. You have to sign up for a login, but it's free and only takes a second.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana patients who only need caretaker for pot can't have one, new rules say."