Paper of Record Makes History, Calls Marijuana Less Harmful than Alcohol, Calls on Federal Government to End Ban on Marijuana
The New York Times editorial board made history today by calling for an end to marijuana prohibition. The paper of record broke new ground by calling for the federal government to end the ban on marijuana.
The forceful editorial linked marijuana prohibition to the failed alcohol prohibition policy of the 1930’s, and said marijuana is a less dangerous substance than alcohol.
The Times cited mass marijuana arrests and racist marijuana law enforcement as further provocation for the paper's position on this issue: “The social costs of the marijuana laws are vast. There were 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, according to F.B.I. figures, compared with 256,000 for cocaine, heroin and their derivatives. Even worse, the result is racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals.”
Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance commented on the groundbreaking editorial:
“This is of historic consequence – far bigger than most people assume. Some people in the country may perceive the Times editorial page as a liberal organ, but they should know that on this issue they've been cautious to a fault, even conservative, said Nadelmann. “So for them to write what they did, at this juncture, demonstrated intellectual and moral clarity as well as courage.”