Fusion Hires Pot Guy
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Fusion Hires Pot Guy


Fusion, the millennial targeted TV and web network, has gone out on a limb and named acclaimed journalist/author Ryan Nerz as the network’s first “Chief Cannabis Correspondent.”

The Cannabis Scoop

Okay, sure, the Denver Post hired a pot guy in December. But was it really necessary for a TV network to have one as well? Apparently it was.

Nerz, who Fusion made sure to note is a “Yale-educated journalist,” will be contributing regularly to both the network’s TV and digital platforms, “exploring answers to the biggest questions surrounding cannabis culture and the booming industry evolving around it.”

The network has, apparently, ordered some 30-minute specials to be hosted by Nerz, the new cannabis expert. The shows will be called “The Cannabusiness Report.”

Reasoning Behind Pot ‘porters

Why did Fusion feel the need to hire a dedicated pot person? CEO Isaac Lee explains, “Marijuana legalization is an issue that is taking on increasing relevance—politically, economically and culturally—and requires the kind of coverage that only someone with Ryan’s expertise can deliver.”

Fusion and The Denver Post won’t be the only media outlets with dedicated pot or drug correspondents. Progressive web magazine AlterNet.org (oh hey, I used to work there!) has long had a “Drugs” section and recently, CNN has won success in the weed-themed programming world with two specials hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

All this media pot coverage is relatively new and undoubtedly a product of the culture’s growing acceptance of marijuana, both as medicine and as, well, fun. As more states adopt laws legalizing the green stuff, it’s likely that the stigma of pot use will continue to decline as the drug gets more and more socially normalized. As a somewhat annoying New York Times article from 2012 breathlessly noted, “In some homes in Beverly Hills and San Francisco, [pot]is offered at the start of a dinner party with the customary ease of a host offering a chilled Bombay Sapphire martini.” (Blargh.)

Weed Will Not Be Ignored

The stigma around medical marijuana use is arguably declining even more. According to a report by Marijuana Policy Reform, “An overwhelming majority of voters in [U.S.] national polls support allowing medical marijuana—with the polls consistently finding 60% to 80% support.” The report also says that a majority—52 percent—of Americans generally support making marijuana use legal.

Whatever your stance on cannabis culture, it’d be a bit foolish to deny the herb’s growing relevance in today’s world—culturally, politically, and cannabusiness-wise. And it’s worth keeping in mind that, as we’ve pointed out here before, young brains aren’t fully formed until the mid-twenties so all this increasing acceptance can lead to more and more youngsters lighting up and losing out.

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About Author

Laura Barcella is a documentary researcher, author, freelance writer and ghostwriter from Washington, DC. Her writing has also appeared in TIME, Marie Claire, Salon, Esquire, Elle, Refinery29, AlterNet, The Village Voice, Cosmopolitan, The Chicago Sun-Times, Time Out New York, BUST, ELLE Girl, NYLON and CNN.com. Her book credits include Know Your Rights: A Modern Kid's Guide to the American Constitution, Fight Like a Girl: 50 Feminists Who Changed the World, Popular: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating from the Most Popular Girl in New York City, Madonna & Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop and The End: 50 Apocalyptic Visions From Pop Culture That You Should Know About…Before It’s Too Late.