In new weed-friendly Colo., alt weekly seeks pot critic, revels in applications

Some stories write themselves. This one has now written itself twice for two top publications– once for the New York Times and now once with even less effort for the Colorado Independent. The story is simply that Westword, Denver’s alt weekly, is looking to hire a reviewer of the city’s medical marijuana clinics. You tell us, though, after reading the NYT excerpts, which we happily reproduce after the jump, whether you think Westword is really looking for a pot-clinic reviewer or whether Westword just likes to read the applications. Whichever the case, Westword we salute you.

Here it is, complete with built-in requisite goofy pot-lingo wordplay!

In what may be a first for American journalism, the paper is shopping around for a medical marijuana critic.

The idea is not to assess the green stuff itself, but to review the dispensaries that have sprouted like, um, weeds in Denver this year.

“We want to see what kind of place it is, how well they care for you and also how sketchy the place is,” said Patricia Calhoun, editor of Westword. “Do they actually look at your medical marijuana card? Do they let you slip some cash under the counter and bypass the rules?”

Last week, the paper published a call for a regular freelance reviewer with a real, doctor-certified medical need — asking each candidate to send a résumé and an essay on “What Marijuana Means to Me” — and received several dozen applications within a few days.

Every time an application comes in, it’s like opening a little birthday present, because most of them are quite hilarious,” Ms. Calhoun said.

And now the requisite background for readers new to the topic:

Coloradans voted in 2000 to legalize medical marijuana, but the dispensaries boomed this year, after the state decided against taking a restrictive view of the law and the Obama administration decided to end federal raids on state-sanctioned businesses.

“It is the wild west of medical marijuana out here,” Ms. Calhoun said. “There were a couple of dozen dispensaries this spring, and now it’s over 100. We just heard there’s going to be a drive-through dispensary.”

Dude, did that story just write itself, again? I was watching the whole time and I really think it did!

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About the Author

John Tomasic

Writer, editor, teacher, web wrangler. He has worked for art, business, culture, politics publications, five universities and a UN war crimes commission. @johntomasic
jtomasic@coloradoindependent.com | 720-432-2128 |

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