Thursday, January 21, 2010

Time for juvenile cliches at Washington Post when marijuana bills introduced in Va. 79-year old GOP pharmacist makes sense; Post makes jokes.

The headline sprawling across the top of page B3 in the print edition of the Jan. 21, 2010 The Washington Post reads, "A toke of Va. lawmaker's esteem." The lede of the story by Rosalind S. Helderman reads, "It's high times in the Virginia General Assembly. The lobbyists are cracking jokes about 'joint' sessions, and the legislators are laughing that free Girl Scout cookies delivered Wednesday could prove useful."

It looks like it was take-your-kid-to-work day in the Washington Post newsroom yesterday as the obvious puns and unfunny "jokes" that were stale three decades ago were recycled in a dismissive and lazy report on two bills introduced by a 79-year old pharmacist, Republican Harvey B. Morgan, the second longest serving member of Virginia's House of Delegates. Morgan is the powerful chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Resources, a Navy veteran and former Assistant Clinical Professor of Pharmacy at the Medical College of Virginia.

Morgan's bills -- HB 1134 would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, and HB 1136 would legalize medical use -- are serious policy reforms. These details are not in the Washington Post. But the reporter, sucking up to the jokesters at The Washington Post and in Richmond, could not resist the temptation to write the story that was spiked by her high school principal as she began her career in "journalism."

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