November 28, 2013

Denver Post

Denver Post has announced the appointment of entertainment editor and music critic Ricardo Baca as its first marijuana editor as Colorado braces for the legalization of recreational marijuana in the new year.

News Director Kevin Dale provided details in a memo to the newsroom on Tuesday:

I’m happy to announce that Ricardo Baca has been appointed the editor of the marijuana website we are building. In this new role, Ricardo will be responsible for building the community and engagement around the site much like he did with Reverb in its early days. Ricardo will be working with editors and reporters in every department to ensure the site is lively, authoritative, in-depth, educational and packed with content spanning regulations to reviews.

Marijuana legalization will be the newspaper’s biggest story in the coming year, Dale said.

In a Q&A posted Wednesday on, Baca was asked if he partakes in pot:

The short answer: I’ve covered concerts for a living over the last 15 years. That means hanging out with musicians, working with people in the industry, attending music festivals in Austin and the Coachella valley and New York and L.A. So yes. And though I’ve never been a full-on stoner, I’ve shared concerts and conversations and late-night sessions at the bar, and had Twitter wars with thousands of them.

It’s uncharted territory for the newsroom, no doubt. The Post’s Missy Miller, senior vice president of human resources, noted the paper’s policy on marijuana use:

As with alcohol, you are not allowed to ingest (either via cigarettes or food) marijuana in the office or come to the office “reeking” of marijuana. If you do imbibe marijuana in the course of covering it for your job, we expect you to take necessary steps to ensure you do not drive while impaired or put anyone at risk.

The Post also plans to hire a freelance pot critic and a freelance pot advice columnist.

Get in line, dude.

Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled Ricardo Baca’s first name.

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