Video Archive: Buying Pot in Duluth in 1972

In this 1972 clip from WDIO-TV, reporter Stu Stronach enlists cameraman Mark Ryan to buy an ounce of marijuana on Fourth Avenue West and Superior Street.

Ethan Freel transferred this film to video and added the music.

1 Comment

Jacob Jacobson

about 4 weeks ago

You have to adore Stu Stronach's rather ham-fisted take on the evil weed. In 1972, pot in Duluth was as common as waves on Park Point. Most of the Channel 3, Channel 6 and Channel 10 newsrooms were staffed by potheads. Yet the management of those stations did nothing, said nothing and relied on reporters like Stronach to fulfill their FCC-mandated "news" so as to keep their licenses. Remember ... in 1972 there were three TV signals in Duluth. Four if you count WDSE. In those days, TV stations were strictly regulated, both technically and for program content. Those who failed to support the then-Nixonian anti-dope fervor were at risk of losing their license.  

When there were only three stations, those were really licenses to print money. Stronach was at the forefront of this "license-protection" effort for WDIO. There were others, including one locally-famous news reporter who worked for all three stations and defied the silliness Stronach was flogging. These stoned newsroom employees were perfectly content to hide behind a station's public anti-dope face, while all along they were as stoned as the subjects they seemed to condemn.

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