'Wanted, marijuana critic': Newspaper sparks controversy

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Jun 21, 2007
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As jobs adverts go, it is one of the more controversial. Which might explain why the response has been stone cold.

Southern Arizona local newspaper the Tuscon Weekly has come under fire after advertising for a medical marijuana critic.

Only seven people have so far applied and critics claim the paper is glorifying drug use by advertising for the position, which would require visiting all the area's clinics and sampling the local produce.

The paper, however, insists the position will provide the local community's unwell with an important 'service', finding out for them which medical marijuana businesses are the most legitimate.

The move comes after medical marijuana was approved by voters in the state of Arizona in November 2010. Patients with chronic pain have already started applying for marijuana cards and businesses will be able to apply for licences from June.

There are now 16 U.S. states which have legalised marijuana for medical purposes, after, coincidentally, Delaware's governor today signed the bill into law.

The Tuscon Weekly advert, which is still running in the Tuscon Weekly and its online edition until early next month reads: 'Wanted: Marijuana critic.'

Applicants must have a legitimate condition which allows the use of medical marijuana, a clean driver's licence and some writing experience.

Despite having received just seven applications so far, Jimmy Boegle, the paper's editor, insisted the position will provide a valuable service for the community.

He told MailOnline: 'There's going to be a bunch of sick people trying to get medical marijuana and there will be a lot of new businesses where they will be able to get their prescriptions. They are not going to know what these businesses are like.

'It is like a restaurant review. The readers want to know what the food is like. That's exactly what we are doing. We will review the prices, what kinds of things are offered, how good the stuff they are selling is in terms of helping them with symptoms.'

Boegle said accusations that they were being irresponsible by advertising for a drug reviewer was just 'social stigmatism'.

He said he was not concerned that the critic might fail to meet deadlines because they are using drugs and said the move was, in part, aimed at combating stereotypes.

While few applicants have come forward, the paper has received a lot of feedback after posting the advert.

One correspondent accused the paper of promoting drug use. Another local resident, Cesar Lopez, told TV station KGUN9: 'I'm not interested in a job with the Tucson Weekly as a medical marijuana critic. Although, I would like to work with the Tucson Weekly. Maybe that's a way to start.'


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