Our legal hotline regularly fields questions from student journalists who are writing about issues involving marijuana and want to illustrate it. Our usual advice, to avoid uncomfortable questions about why the student journalist was photographing people possessing and using illegal drugs, is to take a trip to the local police department or a crime lab in your state and ask to photograph seized marijuana.
Now, thanks to staff at the CU Independent, the student newspaper at the University of Colorado Boulder, there’s another option. The sale of recreational marijuana (with limitations on where it can be used) became legal in the state Jan. 1, and CU Independent staff have graciously agreed to make available stock photos of legal marijuana for other student journalists to use. The archive will be updated from time-to-time with fresh images.
The CU Independent is offering these images free under a Creative Commons license for anyone to publish, alter or share — provided you credit the photographer and CU Independent if you use the unedited image. (If you’re confused by the terms, brush up with SPLC’s Guide to Fair Use.)
To view more of the CU Independent’s available photographs, visit their website.