NBC News senior editor Al Olson has been named managing editor of marijuana.com, a cannabis news and analysis site owned by Weedmaps.
“I’ve been a journalist for as long as I’ve been a marijuana advocate,” says Olson. “My first byline was at the age of 14, the same age I smoked my first joint. Since then, I’ve been frustrated with the uneven media coverage of the marijuana industry.”
Olson left print journalism in 1995 – his last newspaper employer was the San Jose Mercury News – to become an MSNBC.com founding editor. He joined NBC News two years ago.
Olson (left), who started his professional journalism career as a Mother Jones fact-checker, says: “Growing up as a young journalist, two of my heroes were Walter Cronkite and Hunter S. Thompson. I admired Cronkite’s integrity and Thompson’s dramatic flair. Although these two journalists were on opposite ends of the news spectrum, both understood that the War on Drugs was a colossal failure. My goal is to make both of my heroes proud of the journalism we will produce at Marijuana.com.”
Olson will build Marijuana.com’s reporting team and expand coverage areas, according to a release.