Today the New York Times published a respectable article looking at the future of the marijuana movement, and what’s next for 2012. The Times used a meeting in Denver of marijuana advocates last week as the basis for its story. Overall, I have no complaints about the article. It’s the photo and accompanying caption that are just embarrassing for the times.

The photo for this story on the future of marijuana legalization is two dudes smoking a bowl in a car, with the caption, “Marijuana advocates gathered in Denver recently for an event that was partly a review of the California campaign for legalization.” Screen capture:

No. It’s a photo of two random guys getting high, not of marijuana advocates planning legalization.

More than most issues, marijuana tends to bring out the giggles among copywriters in print and online media coverage. E.g.: “Will California go to pot?” or “Politics may blunt medical marijuana support.” I tried to keep track at first, but it was just too much to handle.

It’s this kind of embarrassing, fifth-grade level jokes that are pervasive throughout media coverage of marijuana; that it reaches as high as the Times isn’t surprising as much as it’s a sign there’s a long way to go before legalization is treated on equal footing with other political issues. But with each vote for legalization, it’s another step forward.

In the mean time, send some email to the good folks at the New York Times to let them know what you think about their photo selection.

Today the New York Times published a respectable article looking at the future of the marijuana movement, and what’s next for 2012. The Times used a meeting in Denver of marijuana advocates last week as the basis for its story. Overall, I have no complaints about the article. It’s the photo and accompanying caption that are just embarrassing for the times.

The photo for this story on the future of marijuana legalization is two dudes smoking a bowl in a car, with the caption, “Marijuana advocates gathered in Denver recently for an event that was partly a review of the California campaign for legalization.” Screen capture:

No. It’s a photo of two random guys getting high, not of marijuana advocates planning legalization.

More than most issues, marijuana tends to bring out the giggles among copywriters in print and online media coverage. E.g.: “Will California go to pot?” or “Politics may blunt medical marijuana support.” I tried to keep track at first, but it was just too much to handle.

It’s this kind of embarrassing, fifth-grade level jokes that are pervasive throughout media coverage of marijuana; that it reaches as high as the Times isn’t surprising as much as it’s a sign there’s a long way to go before legalization is treated on equal footing with other political issues. But with each vote for legalization, it’s another step forward.

In the mean time, send some email to the good folks at the New York Times to let them know what you think about their photo selection.

Michael Whitney

Michael Whitney

My name is Michael Whitney. I'm a progressive online organizer working with FDL Action. Rush Limbaugh called me "clueless" once. He went into rehab two days later.