Congratulations to Seattle Times editorial writer Jonathan Martin and retired writer Bruce Ramsey for winning the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Editorial Writing for large newspapers.
The winning entry comprised a series of editorials about Washington state’s marijuana legalization process that Ramsey and Martin wrote in 2013. Among them was an editorial calling out Washington’s congressional delegation for not taking a lead in efforts to amend federal law to accommodate the experiment unfolding in our state and Colorado. They also implored Attorney General Eric Holder to stand down on possible federal prosecution and urged reforms that would allow federally insured banks to serve marijuana enterprises legal in our state.
The Seattle Times was the first metropolitan newspaper to endorse the legalization of marijuana in a February 2011 editorial. Ramsey wrote that first editorial and a month before Initiative 502 was on the ballot in November 2012, he wrote an attention-grabbing column about smoking marijuana for the first time in 20 years. He continued to write about that issue for the Opinion pages until his retirement in December.
Martin came to the issue of marijuana as a reporter covering issues around marijuana. In a 2011 news story, he showed how easy it was to get a medical authorization for using marijuana at Hempfest. He joined the Times editorial page early in 2013.
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Martin isn’t the only editorial writer on our staff to have been honored with Sigma Delta Chi award. Writer Thanh Tan was part of a Texas Tribune team that won a 2012 Sigma Delta Chi award in the online reporting/digital video category for an examination of the effects of the Texas Legislature’s deep cuts to family planning programs.