Here's more evidence about the mainstreaming of marijuana in Colorado: The Denver Post has revealed that it's adding a pot editor. And given word of today's DEA raids at marijuana businesses, there'll be plenty of news for this staffer to share. Too bad the announcement was botched in a manner capable of inspiring stoner jokes: It implied the paper is hiring someone new, when the position will actually be filled by a current (and not yet named) employee. And not all the paper's readers are thrilled by the move.
Here's the tweet in which the gig as editor of a new recreational marijuana website first surfaced. The man behind it is Post public policy/digital publication editor Steve McMillan:
— Steve McMillan (@stevejmcmillan) November 20, 2013
No surprise that interest in the position instantly mushroomed. When Westword first advertised for a medical marijuana critic in September 2009, more than four years ago, we were flooded with applications. An update to our post notes that over one-hundred came in -- and the number was actually a lot more than that. We even had a well-known national TV personality who will remain nameless apply, and as subsequent conversations demonstrated, he was serious about it. Only problem: He didn't live in Denver.
Problem is, the Post's weed editor job was only being offered to current employees, as news director Kevin Dale confirmed to media journalist Jim Romenesko. "Our contract with the Guild requires all new positions to be posted, so we did that," Dale told Romenesko. "The editor will come from within the newsroom."
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Dale subsequently wrote a blog post about the listing. Along with a good-natured dig at, presumably, McMillan ("The Post staffer who tweeted the opening without designating it as an internal hire will soon be busy replying to the resumes that are flooding my inbox"), Dale described the project like so: "We're going to have some fun -- with a mix of news, entertainment and culture stories. Say what you want about the newspaper industry, but The Post is the most powerful news organization in the region. We know how to cover big stories. And with pot, you ain't seen nothing yet."
Some of those who commented on the Post's item are less than excited by the prospect. Sample jibes include "Wow, my opinion of this paper just got lower....unbelieveable!" and "This is the dumbest thing I've heard in quite some time. You need a special editor to deal with this subject? Wow, must not have the brightest and the best on staff there."
Other reactions ranged from criticism of the Post's previous marijuana coverage to jokes like this one: "Talking about pot..writing about pot..and telling everyone in the Denver office about the best strains..He Could Be The In Office Go To Guy For Quick hookup Of Ur Daily medicine. Yea That Should Be Done In Every office."
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Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Marijuana archive circa September 2009: "[UPDATED] Calling all potential pot reviewers: Westword wants you!"