Marijuana Story Leaves KUSA with Tough Ethics Choices

By Andrew Gauthier 

Poynter Institute, RTNDA

KUSA 9News in Denver recently found itself on the trail of a great story, but the trail also lead through an ethical minefield.

The station’s investigative reporter Jace Larson learned that Colorado’s medicinal marijuana laws allow licensed growers to cultivate pot for customers holding prescriptions, but nobody anticipated what would happen next. The station learned that the growers are raising plants in their homes. Right there in neighborhoods, in high-end gated communities and neighbors have no clue.


The station gained the trust of a grower who allowed cameras in his house, showing a stunningly elaborate ventilation, lighting and irrigation system. More…