#CannabisJournalism — Policy, history and more policy

Today we had the pleasure to speak with Mason Tvert, one of the authors of “Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?” and also one of the founding fathers of cannabis policy in the United States.

A true cannabis advocate and a man who is well versed in both political and media based battles, Tvert was a wealth of knowledge on the topic of cannabis legalities and cannabis news coverage.

Very well known for his interactions with Nancy Grace in which Grace argued that “marijuana is a horrible idea”, Tvert is often the face behind many broadcasted interactions on the topic of cannabis legalization and frequently, he is at the center of news attention when it comes to the discussion of legalities and policies of weed legalization.

Working with the Marijuana Policy Project, Tvert has definitely made waves, along with incredible change, when it comes to the cannabis discussion in our nation.

Living in Colorado since the early 2000’s, Tvert worked heavily on lobbying for the legalization of cannabis in the Mile High City and was even one of the writers of the famous Amendment 64.

Needless to say, it was incredible to have an intimate and informative conversation with such a figurehead in the cannabis industry (and world, for that matter.)

Like the majority of us in this course, Tvert studied journalism in college and his take on the media was fascinating, especially when it comes to cannabis, which is a rather taboo topic and beat.

Throughout his journey as a cannabis advocate and policy maker, Tvert has had his fair share with journalists, which have been both good and bad.

From getting under the skin of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, to creating conversation-starting billboards that featured half-naked women and their affection for the federally illegal substance, Tvert has learned how to work the media in a way that warranted both controversial and appropriate coverage.

Photo courtesy of cannabis.wikia.com

To make a long story short, Tvert had amazing stories of how sometimes messing with the media is the only way to get what you want: coverage.

As someone who is still getting their feet wet with the cannabis industry and culture, it was definitely unique to hear a person like Tvert and his perspective on the industry, as things like policy around cannabis really interest (and most of the time confuse) me.

Our conversation this afternoon was a lot and I’m still processing all that Tvert had to say, so I’m looking forward to touching more on some of his stories in the coming days. It was certainly a day to remember, though!

As far as my final project goes, it’s coming along and I feel confident in my sources and story.

Until next time…