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wmfd.com - At too many colleges and universities, marijuana has unofficially been part of campus life for a long time. But at the University of Denver, cannabis, or at least writing about pot, is now an official part of the curriculum.

Cannabis One-Week Class Taught At University Of Denver

Story By: Larry Stine



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  At too many colleges and universities, marijuana has unofficially been part of campus life for a long time.
  But at the University of Denver, cannabis, or at least writing about pot, is now an official part of the curriculum.
  Britt Moreno reports.
  "Like spanibus!
  "I don't even know what that is. (laughter."
  A laid back classroom.
  "I don't think ill be judged or get in trouble," says a student.
  Full of discussion.
  "Any analogy you can make will make it better," says University of Denver Professor Andrew Matranga.
  "What is the course called?" asks reporter Britt Moreno.
  "It's called Cannabis Journalism reporting and covering the new norma," Matranga replies.
  "He says it's almost better quality than he gets here in Colorado," says  economics major Kevin Bartlett.
   Eeconomics major Kevin Bartlett is taking this class to better understand a trailblazing trend.
  "It's still very taboo and I think that having a more responsible conversation can lead to more open discussions for the rest of country," Bartlett says.
  "Being a reporter who studied journalism in college, I of course am curious about how this avant garde class gets by in academia?" says reporter Britt Moreno.
  "I grew up in Chicago in mid 90's, so this isn't something I would have ever dreamed I'd be teaching," Matranga says.
  Matranga developed the intense one-week course.
  "We are going to be open and we're going to be transparent," matranga says."We're going to share our stories. We're here to encourage ideas that are good, especially good journalism."
  As cannabis sales balloon, legislation struggles to keep pace, offering jorunalists almost too many angles of which to write.
  "A lot of this is even over my head, new concentrates and topicals and edible products." Matranga says. "There are people who are industry experts who can tell them far better than I could."
  Matranga esposes students to experts in the field, like Denver Post Marijuana Editor Ricardo Baca.
  "This is the absolutely ground zero for this beat stil, which is just really fun to be here and it's definitely a right place in right time kind of thing," Baca says.
  "Are you seeing more opportunities as a cannabis journalist?" Moreno asks.
  "The opportunities are endles,." Baca replies.
  And if you are wondering how one prepares for this line of study...
  "Do you have to smoke weed to be in a class like this?" Moreno asks.
   "No definitely not. I know I personally don't," Bartlett says.
  "Do you smoke?" Moreno asks another student, who replies, "I do."
  "Do you think that experience helps you in a class like this?" Moreno asks.
  "Ithink it gives me more a background knowledge," says the student.
  Matranga tells this to critics.
  "You're encouraging kids to smoke or ingest?" Moreno asks.
  "No. That's not on the syllabus, that's not an assignment," Matranga says. "The project is to take an objective journalistic lens."
  Bartless says most support his quest for cannabis knowlege, although he did answer to one naysayer.
  "I got a phone call from my dad last night and he was like 'what are you doing taking a cannabis class!?" Bartelle says.
  "Public safety is an issue though, right?" asks Matranga.
  The University of Denver's College of Law started offering the nation's first class of representing marijuana clients this year.
  Personal use of pot became legal in Colorado in 2012.
  It became legal to sell it commercially in January of last year.

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