Higher education: Soon you can study marijuana journalism at the University of Denver

Emily Gray Brosious

Marijuana is recreationally legal in Colorado, so it makes sense that colleges and universities in the state would be leading the way in cannabis higher education (pun!). Indeed, the private University of Denver already offers marijuana law courses, and pretty soon it will offer a marijuana journalism class as well, according to The Cannabist.

The five-day intensive course — Cannabis Journalism: Covering and Reporting on America’s New Normal — starts in mid-August.

Students will have the opportunity to investigate local and national marijuana legalization issues spanning from political dilemmas to practical concerns of medical and recreational legalization.

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“The legalization of recreational marijuana by Colorado voters in 2012 signaled a historic change that continues the debate in election referenda and in state legislatures across the country. Denver, and the University of Denver, sit at this historic crossroads, and as student journalists, we will be able to dig into all the issues that legalization poses.

Not only will we be investigating the scope of the marijuana legalization movement and its many political and practical intricacies, we also will be presenting this project with original data and multimedia elements conceived and designed to push and promote enterprising storytelling on a national level.

Students will visit and interview dispensaries, industry professionals and private citizens to produce a portfolio piece of narrative journalism using the modes and methods of their choice, with direction of the instructor. We will question this topic using Bruce Barcott’s new bookWeed the People as our lens, along with the Denver Post’s  Cannabist outlet for a local angle.”

The magnitude of the change in America’s relationship to marijuana can’t be measured in only economic or social terms: There are deeper shifts going on here – cultural realignments, social adjustments, and financial adjustments. The place of marijuana in our lives is being rethought, reconsidered, and recalibrated. Four decades after Richard Nixon declared a War on Drugs, that long campaign has reached a point of exhaustion and failure. The era of its winding down as arrived.

-Bruce Barcott, Weed the People

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