LFTE: A note on the cannabis desk’s direction


Collegian | Trin Bonner

Paul Brull, Cannabis Director

Editor’s Note: All letters from the editor reflect the views of the author only and do not represent a stance taken by The Collegian.

Dear readers,


To those wondering, I am Paul Brull, this year’s director of the cannabis desk. Up until now, Bella Eckburg, The Collegian’s opinion director, Taylor Paumen, The Collegian’s content managing editor and Grayson Acri, our (current) sole writer for the section, have been holding down the fort. They are all lovely humans, and I am deeply appreciative of their coverage so far. From strain reviews to opinion articles to guides for newcomers, these folks have covered the gamut already. 

I am writing this letter, though, not just to inform our fair readership of what they undoubtedly already know; I am writing to set the tone of the section, my place in it and what I hope for the future.

Cannabis is a topic of cognitive dissonance in the United States. On one hand, it remains federally illegal, highly prosecuted and historically tied to racism (here’s a fun tape of Richard Nixon to this point). On the other, in the states where it is legal, it proves itself a booming enterprise. Colorado businesses alone sold $2.2 billion of cannabis products in 2021 and $13.1 billion total since the beginning of 2014.

This is not to say legalization has been a perfect process. Despite minority individuals being the most impacted by historical cannabis policy, only around 17% of Colorado cannabis business owners identify as minorities, according to The Denver Post. These complexities about the substance, the culture around it and its policy deserve coverage.

The cannabis desk is, at our core, a topic-centered enterprise. We are here to celebrate the human victories and experience cannabis brings while also highlighting the inequities in its deregulation process.

Further, and more importantly, we are here to destigmatize cannabis users in the public narrative. The stories we write are important, but the underlying exposure is perhaps more so. I want the desk to tackle both hard and easy questions with equal vigor.

Also, we are local. Despite the large-scale cognitive dissonance cannabis invokes, the scope of The Collegian remains the same. We are here to report on Fort Collins and Colorado cannabis news, policy and opinions.

Though the broader dialogue around cannabis in the United States continues to evolve, our contribution will focus on the community here. If broader policy affects Fort Collins, it will be reported on. Otherwise, it may find a home in a different newspaper.

I am an odd duck to run this desk. Up until this point, I’ve been relatively uninvolved with the cannabis issue. Sure, I’ve had a few edibles and smoked a few joints, but my experience with the substance, culture and policy is very limited. I will be learning with the readership. 

Therefore, I hope to make this labor of love a community enterprise. None of us know everything, especially me. I want everyone who wishes to be as involved as possible, whether as a guest contributor, a writer for The Collegian or merely an engaged citizen. 

If this sounds like what you wish to read and be part of, welcome. I hope we can learn together. If this sounds like something you want to help build, please get in touch. Every contribution on the topic is worthy of review. Thank you all. 

To learn about the background of The Collegian’s cannabis desk, read our introductory letter from former editor-in-chief Katrina Leibee.

Reach Paul Brull at cannabis@collegian.com or on Twitter @csucollegian