David Downs is an award-winning freelance journalist and best-selling author whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, Rolling Stone, The Onion, San Francisco Chronicle, Billboard Magazine and many other publications.
Downs is the author, co-author or contributing writer of three cannabis-related books, including best-seller, Beyond Buds (2014), The Medical Marijuana Guidebook (2016) and Marijuana Harvest (2017).
Most recently, Downs became Cannabis Editor at the San Francisco Chronicle where his duties include editing, story development, reporting, writing and content strategy. Downs continues to do investigative reporting, while covering cannabis policy and legalization at the publication.
Downs pioneered the award-winning, syndicated column “Legalization Nation,” published by the East Bay Express newspaper in Oakland, CA in 2009. Downs also edited the popular cannabis culture blog, “Smell the Truth” on SFGate.com. Downs was also a reviewer of cannabis products and covered national stories as a contributing writer for CULTURE magazine. Additionally, Downs also co-founded leading cannabis podcast, The Hash.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from UC Santa Barbara and was a fellow at the Medill School of Journalism’s Academy of Alternative Journalism in Chicago. Downs is a guest lecturer at UC Berkeley and a contributor to Continuing Education of the Bar’s Marijuana Law Hub, sponsored by University of California and the State Bar of California.