By Padua, Pat Washington Post, 19 Feb 2016 – The legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and the District has led to a so-called “green rush” of prospectors looking to cash in. Can the commercial potential from this newly sanctioned vice revitalize a newspaper industry struggling in the Internet age? Documentarian Mitch Dickman’s “Rolling Papers” follows Ricardo Baca, marijuana editor at the Denver Post since 2013, to find out. Yet despite slick production values, this look at the intersection of two potentially fascinating subcultures – journalists and stoners – yields only half-baked results. ALCHEMY Jake Browne’s journalism job: Pot critic, writing reviews of such strains as Glass Slipper and Banana Kush for the Cannabist, a publication devoted to marijuana in the Denver Post. Denver Post editor Gregory L. Moore picked Baca from the ranks of his music writers, confident that he would be equally at home with pot. This logic points to one of the film’s weaknesses. “Rolling Papers” is scored with a variety of pot-friendly music, from stoner hip-hop to reggae. Unfortunately, the cues come off as increasingly flip when the film turns from its recreational subject to more serious matters, as when shots are fired at an outdoor cannabis festival.
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