Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "marijuana" ...

  • Rocky Mountain PBS: Cultivating Crime

    “Cultivating Crime” took a deep dive into the underground world of illegal marijuana in Colorado. Coloradans thought legalizing marijuana would destroy the black market, but our investigation found it did the opposite. We revealed how law enforcement says Colorado is now a magnet for organized crime with international ties. Our investigation found that criminal prosecutions linked to the cultivation, conspiracy, and possession with intent to distribute of large amounts of marijuana increased dramatically after Colorado voters legalized the drug. Law enforcement officials said Colorado’s laws allowing home cultivation of marijuana opened the door for criminal organizations to move in from other parts of the world to grow large amounts of plants, under the cover of legalization, for sale in other states at much higher prices.
  • Insight with John Ferrugia: Marijuana Murder?

    When Richard Kirk murdered his wife in 2014, the case was stunning. Recreational marijuana had been newly legalized in Colorado. Marijuana edibles were for sale and accessible. He bought one to try. And then he killed his wife, Kris. In this 35-minute podcast investigation, “Marijuana Murder?” radio producer Leigh Paterson and television reporter/producer Lori Jane Gliha worked together to obtain a long sought-after, exclusive interview with the killer and to explore new scientific research linking marijuana edibles to hallucinations and other psychiatric effects.
  • Heroin Hits Home: A Search for Answers

    Ohio is ground zero of the heroin/opiate epidemic. More people die from overdoses in our state than any other (including California, which has three times our population.). WJW-Cleveland has covered the rise of the epidemic for years, but pivot here to where they think, at times, investigative journalism should go: searching for answers to problems that they reveal. In this case, those problems include: 1) a government policy that encourages doctors to prescribe more opiates in the middle of a heroin crisis; 2) a system that, on the federal level, treats marijuana very differently from opiates - many patients and some lawmakers believe legalized medical marijuana may well reduce the opiate epidemic; 3) a prioritization of public health policy that seems upside down: why is more money given to diseases that kill few Americans compared to one that is on track to become a "Vietnam" every year:? The DEA estimated 47,000 Americans would die from an overdose in 2016. Given that incredible number, they think that just reporting on the crisis as reporters do car accident deaths is today insufficient journalism. So we set out in a prime-time program to search for answers.
  • In secretive marijuana industry, whispers of abuse and trafficking

    For decades, California’s Emerald Triangle has provided cover for the nation’s largest marijuana-growing industry. But its forests also hide secrets, among them young women with stories of sexual abuse and exploitation.
  • Racial Arrest Breakdown

    The investigation used jail booking data to track the race and gender of every person charged with “Possession With Intent to Distribute Marijuana” in Greenville County over a period of several years. Then they used court records and law enforcement FOIAs to track the location of each arrest. Finally they used census data to understand the demographic composition of each neighborhood in the county. When they were finished, they’d found that black people were arrested for PWID at a far higher rate than white people, neighborhoods with the most black people saw far more arrests, and the rate of black people charged was disproportionate with the demographics in each area. They further established that black and white people use and sell the drug at similar rates meaning the discrepancy with arrests was due to differences in enforcement policy.
  • "America's Weed Rush"

    “America's Weed Rush” is an investigation of marijuana legalization in America, is the 2015 project of the Carnegie-Knight News21 program, a national multimedia investigative reporting project produced by the nation’s top journalism students and graduates. http://weedrush.news21.com
  • The drug war at Alabama

    This series investigated the uniquely intrusive and harsh tactics the University of Alabama and local law enforcement agencies have employed in their efforts to address drug use and abuse on campus at UA. The first installment was the first in the nation to expose a university engaged in mandatory drug-testing of fraternities. The second looked at an infamous 2013 drug raid that targeted low-level student marijuana offenders and had lasting negative impacts many students' lives. And the third piece focused on the use of UA students as confidential drug informants, including the first-person story of one student who actually served as an undercover informant for the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force.
  • The Oregonian/OregonLive's "A Tainted High"

    The Oregonian/OregonLive bought medical marijuana that had purportedly passed pesticide tests and sent the samples to two independent labs for further analysis. The results were shocking: Nearly all of the marijuana purchased at Portland dispensaries was loaded with chemicals – including the active compound in Raid and other household roach killers. http://www.oregonlive.com/marijuana-legalization/pesticides/index.html
  • Michigan prison food privatization gone wrong

    Free Press Lansing bureau chief Paul Egan produced a series of exclusive reports on Michigan’s attempt to privatize prison food service and kept the heat up throughout 2014. His headlines included such stomach-turners as maggots found on meal lines, sex between Aramark employees and inmates, inmates served rotten meat, marijuana smuggling by an Aramark employee, growing inmate unrest -- even an Aramark worker who was suspected of trying to hire an inmate to kill another inmate. The stories prompted widespread revulsion and criticism of the contractor from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder – along with calls from Michigan lawmakers to cancel the three-year, $145 million Aramark contract.
  • Cell of squalor, weeks of despair

    A Harris County jail inmate, jailed on a marijuana charge while on probation and in need of mental health care, was left in his cell for weeks without being let out, living amid heaps of trash, swarms of bugs, and piles of his own feces. When inspectors with a jail compliance team entered the cell of inmate Terry Goodwin on October 10, 2013, he was wearing a filthy, shredded jail uniform in the fetid cell. Shards of his orange uniform were hanging from the ceiling light. His sink, toilet and shower drain were clogged, not just with feces, but with toilet paper in an apparent attempt by Goodwin to cover his own waste and with orange rinds, perhaps in futile effort to mask the smell. That’s when the cover-up began.