Contest Entries

The Medical Marijuana Murder

Entrants: Frank Owen

Affiliation: Playboy

General Interest Magazines above 1 million circ.

Year: 2008

Place: Second Place

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

The murder of marijuana caregiver Ken Gorman and what the circumstances of his death say about the state of the medical marijuana movement in the United States. The article agrees that marijuana has some, albeit limited, medical utility, but debunks the notion that marijuana is a cure-all and takes to task lawmakers for allowing pot dealers with no medical training to act as surrogate doctors dispensing bogus medical advice to sick people.

Judges' comments: This provocative examination of the medical marijuana debate spotlights a growing activist-led movement that is marked by uncertain science and tinged by profiteers and crime. Authoritative storytelling highlights the unsolved homicide of a state-registered distributor, and takes readers on a gritty and informative tour that challenges conventional wisdom.

Read "The Medical Marijuana Murder."

See the contest questionnaire in which the reporter writes about how this story was written.