As much as I hate to plagiarize myself, it’s been a busy couple of days putting our special post-repeal issue of DigBoston together, and frankly I don’t have the energy to re-summarize the relevant thought that I spent a week whittling for a guest op-ed on the WGBH website three years ago. Offered the platform of a major NPR affiliate, I pitched an argument that (respectfully) dissed the publishing outlet and (hopefully) helped foster a deflation of the cannabis taboo bubble that so many people, including countless journalists, somehow still exist in. Here’s the nut of what I wrote at the time:
As the news editor of the only aggressively anti-prohibition paper in town [DigBoston], I can proudly say that our coverage reflects the majority public opinion. There are no absolutes … But we universally apply an underlying belief, affirmed to varying degrees by Massachusetts voters, that green is good. Sort of like how nearly everybody to the left of Limbaugh appropriately covers warming oceans and gay marriage these days, with the benefit of the doubt going to progressive, not regressive forces, and to researchers instead of rhetoric. Too many [mainstream reporters] enter from the other side, holding marijuana guilty until proven innocent … That’s when they’re not making jokes about the munchies and giggling like rookie smokers, or shamelessly sensationalizing with stock footage of grandma taking bong hits.
We get a lot of reader mail at DigBoston, and some of our recent letters and emails have noted that our writers (myself included) can sometimes get juvenile in our vitriolic assaults on “prohibitionists.” That’s probably accurate, but it doesn’t change the fact that “prohibitionist” is a designation we slap onto anyone who wastes their energy trying to hobble the movement, as well as onto idiotic pols and other hopeless souls who keep inquiring about pot 101 basics that they can easily answer by Googling, or by asking any of the several million freaking people who get high about their trials.
I’ll be doing just that all this coming weekend at the New England Cannabis Convention (NECANN) at the Hynes Convention Center in Back Bay. In addition to having a stunning booth with a whole bunch of sweet giveaways, our teams from DigBoston, The Tokin’ Truth, and our marijuana newsletter Talking Joints Memo (subscribe for free at talkingjointsmemo.com) will be mingling, engaging, and interviewing everyone from industry execs to new patients.
If you end up reading the Dig this week and finding yourself overjoyed by so much deep and topical coverage, then make it a priority to join us on Saturday and Sunday. It’s a rare opportunity to learn from and hang around people who legitimately care about cannabis and to spend time in a place where progressive forces overshadow the regressive naysayers who are still unfortunately given a voice in the popular media.
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.