Drug Legalization

Colorado Weekly Employs America's First Marijuana Critic

Sweet job


William Breathes is the envy of every pot smoker in America—he reviews marijuana dispensaries in the Denver Westword for a living. He talks to Melissa Leon about living the high life.

Believe it or not, when an unemployed, 20-something, marijuana-loving William Breathes first got the chance to smoke pot for a living in 2009, he balked.

The alt-weekly Denver Westword was looking for someone to cover the recent boom in medical marijuana dispensaries around town, and Breathes was basically perfect for the job. He had a newspaper background and a degree in journalism, and he'd recently been laid off. He had a medical marijuana card to help deal with a stomach condition, and he had even grown his own cannabis before. Still, at first he dismissed the "Marijuana Critic Wanted" ad he found on Craigslist.