Ricardo Baca has one of the most unique jobs in all of journalism. In 2013 he was designated the first-ever marijuana editor for the Denver Post after the state legalized cannabis. He appeared on mainstream television and was poked fun at during interviews and by such shows as Saturday Night Live, which he took happily. Baca says that, “Even The New York Times profile on us had a big picture of me and kind of opened up with the idea that this position is a joke.”
The paper launched a site dedicated solely to cannabis issues, The Cannabist, which features authors who are pot critics and parenting columnists, for example. Issues such as sports, food, style, and entertainment are covered as they pertain to cannabis.
A documentary has just been released, Rolling Papers, which chronicles exactly how Baca and his colleagues put together The Cannabist and how they covered the newly legal cannabis industry.
Baca, who has 20 years of experience as a journalist, was not the most likely candidate for this position. He says that “I told them flat out at that first meeting, ‘I’m far from the biggest weed nerd. We have people in this newsroom who can tell the difference between some strains of pot just by smelling them. The powers that be, and my boss at the time, said, ‘That’s exactly why we want you for this job.”