In what some consider a bold move, the New York Times editorial board called on the federal government to end the ban on marijuana, writing in an opinion piece on Saturday, July 26, that the pot prohibition has inflicted “great harm” on American society.
The Times marijuana editorial likened the ban on pot to the era of Prohibition, in which Americans continued to illegally consume alcohol until that ban was lifted after 13 years. The Times said that alcohol is more dangerous than is marijuana.
Lifting the federal ban on marijuana use would then give individual states the right to make their own decisions about pot, noted the editorial, which is titled, “Repeal Prohibition, Again.” Many states have already addressed the issue of marijuana, with some legalizing its use, such as Washington and Colorado, and others legalizing its use with certain restrictions, such as medical need.
The New York Times said that its research showed that problems with marijuana addiction and dependence were minimal, while social costs, such as arrests, are disproportionately high.
According to Reuters, the Times marijuana editorial on Saturday is part of a larger interactive series in which the newspaper will discuss a variety of issues related to marijuana use, including health and court systems.
With its Saturday editorial, the New York Times becomes the largest newspaper in the U.S. to take a stance endorsing federal legalization of marijuana, according to Politico.
Meantime, more states are gearing up to tackle the marijuana topic.
For instance, an initiative in Oregon to legalize pot has reached enough signatures to be placed on the November ballot, the Los Angeles Times reported. And in Alaska, voters get their chance to weigh in on the November ballot, too. While Washington and Colorado are the only two states so far that have legalized marijuana, 24 states and Washington, D.C., have passed measures allowing medical marijuana use.