Alyson Martin

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I am a journalist, editor, and photographer. I've covered cannabis since late 2009, before "cannabidiol" was such a household name that my parents started asking questions.

I'm also an adjunct reporting professor at Columbia Journalism School.

SOON: I'm relaunching Cannabis Wire, which provides smart coverage of the billion dollar cannabis industry on Civil (a blockchain platform for sustainable journalism). Sign up for our newsletter to learn about updates.

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Work with me

Get in touch if you'd like to partner on an ambitious cannabis journalism project.

I've driven my red VW Beetle six times across the country to report about cannabis. One result was A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition (The New Press), a book that Kirkus Reviews wrote was a "piercing work of sociological reportage."

I make media appearances as an expert on cannabis and cannabis journalism, including: WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show, CBS News, and the History Channel documentary Hooked: Illegal Drugs and How They Got That Way.

I'm excited about the relaunch of my news organization Cannabis Wire, which provides smart coverage of the global, billion dollar cannabis industry on Civil, a blockchain platform for sustainable journalism. Sign up for our newsletter.

For nearly a decade, I've helped shape the cannabis beat, from this Nieman Reports piece on why cannabis needs to be a serious beat, to a Covering Cannabis course for Poynter. I co-authored A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition.

I'm also an adjunct reporting professor at Columbia Journalism School.

I have written for The Atlantic and The New York Times, among other publications. For a selection of cannabis journalism clips published by BuzzFeed News, go here, here, here , here , and here. I'm proud to have worked for the Glens Falls Post-Star and the Ithaca Journal.

I speak as an expert on cannabis. I also appear on panels organized by groups I support, like Out of the Binders. I like to collaborate in settings, like NYU's ITP camp.

I'm an alumna of the Columbia Journalism School and The College of Saint Rose. I'm a member of Saint Rose's Alumni Association Board of Directors.

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If you are an editor assigning written or visual work, feel free to email me. My current beats are drug policy, aging and health.
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About the book

In November 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington passed landmark measures to legalize the production and sale of cannabis for personal use—a first in the United States and the world. Medical cannabis is now legal in nearly half the country, and more than one million Americans have turned to it in place of conventional pharmaceuticals. Yet the federal government refuses to accept these broader societal shifts and continues to raid and arrest: roughly half of all drug-related arrests involve the sale, manufacture, or possession of cannabis.

In the first book to explore the new landscape of cannabis in the United States, investigative journalists Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian present the story of how recent milestones toward legalization tie into cannabis’s complex history, thorny politics, and its impact on the war on drugs both domestically and internationally. The result is an unprecedented and lucid account of how legalization is manifesting itself in the lives of millions. Through interviews with patients, growers, researchers, entrepreneurs, politicians, activists, and regulators, A New Leaf offers the essential guide for anyone who wants to understand the far-ranging implications of this rapidly changing drug landscape.