Alyson Martin



I am a 2014-15 recipient of a Magic Grant from the Brown Institute for Media Innovation. I am working on a news game and on the nonpartisan news site Cannabis Wire as a fellow in the incubator space of the Made in NY Media Center.

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A New Leaf (The New Press, Feb 2014) received great praise, including a review in The New York Review of Books. I appeared as an expert on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show, among other radio shows, and on the History Channel documentary Hooked: Illegal Drugs and How They Got That Way. I’ve spoken about the book at The Cato Institute and at universities from coast to coast.

About Me

I co-authored a book, which was published by The New Press in February 2014. Read more about A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition under the book section.

I have written for The New York Times, The Nation, and The Atlantic, among other publications, as a freelance journalist. I worked for the Glens Falls Post-Star and the Ithaca Journal, too.

In my free time, I appear on panels organized by great groups like Her Girl Friday and Out of the Binders (upcoming). I participate in events like the Hacking Journalism gathering at Condé Nast. And I collaborate and create in settings like NYU's ITP camp .

I'm a proud alumna of both the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and The College of Saint Rose.

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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.



Outstanding Writing, Gannett Award of Excellence -- First place, Hostile Waters

I wrote a detailed account of the life and death of a Cornell University student in a gorge in Ithaca.

Judges said: "Alyson Martin artfully captured and recreated a drowning victim's last moments, weaving together a heart-wrenching and suspenseful story of life and death. The pacing and details made the reader feel as if he or she was watching the drowning unfold, while the reporter seamlessly juxtaposed the victim's happy life before that fateful day. This smartly crafted piece triggered a range of emotions."

Associated Press award -- First place, multimedia package Solving Autism's Puzzles, Post-Star

Associated Press award -- Second place, feature writing, Solving Autism's Puzzles, Post-Star

Associated Press award -- honorable mention, multimedia, CompEat online cooking series, Post-Star

New York State News Publishers Association -- First place, Solving Autism's Puzzles, Post-Star