Credit: Emi Sasagawa
“America's Weed Rush,” an investigation of marijuana legalization in America, is the 2015 project of the Carnegie-Knight News21 program, a national multimedia investigative reporting project produced by the nation’s top journalism students and graduates. Each year, students selected into the program report in depth on a topic of national importance.
This year, 27 journalism students from 19 universities traveled through half the country to examine issues surrounding marijuana legalization nationwide. From Nevada to Maine, reporters interviewed longtime politicians, parents, patients, mothers and advocacy groups on all sides of the debate. They uncovered wide disparities in the enforcement of state marijuana laws and examined the lack of federal research for potential medical marijuana benefits.
The fellows reviewed thousands of pages of state statutes and assembled data examining marijuana laws by state, as well as law enforcement actions involving driving under the influence of drugs. The project also looked at how legalization has affected black-market dealing.
The student work began in January 2015 with a video-conferenced seminar that included reporting and research. In May, they began the 10-week investigative reporting fellowship based out of a newsroom at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University’s downtown Phoenix campus.
News21 is committed to accuracy and welcomes feedback on the accuracy of packages from sources and members of the public. Staff members and editors will correct errors of fact and clarify confusing information promptly and in a straightforward manner.
We will note significant corrections and clarifications within packages. We will correct minor spelling, punctuation and grammar errors without notice.
LOUIS A. “CHIP” WEIL
THE JOHN AND PATTY WILLIAMS FELLOWSHIP
KATHRYN GREEN ENDOWMENT
STEPHEN HOLLY BRONZ ENDOWMENT
For the first time with News21, the website was built by Arizona State University's Cronkite School of Journalism's digital production bureau, led by managing producer Steven Totten, a recent Cronkite graduate. Producers on the project were Graham Bosch, Marianna Hauglie, Mario Kalo, Carolina Lopez, Nick Marciano, Michael Nowels, Chris Wimmer and Yihyun Jeong.