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New York Times: End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #845)
Politics & Advocacy

What is arguably the most influential and respected newspaper in the United States is ready to free the weed. In a Sunday editorial, the New York Times called forthrightly for the end of federal marijuana prohibition.

"The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana," the newspaper proclaimed. "We reached that conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times's Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws."

The Times's Editorial Board pondered whether to maintain federal prohibition while allowing the states to experiment with legalization, but decided that was not the best option.

"We considered whether it would be best for Washington to hold back while the states continued experimenting with legalizing medicinal uses of marijuana, reducing penalties, or even simply legalizing all use. Nearly three-quarters of the states have done one of these," the Times said. "But that would leave their citizens vulnerable to the whims of whoever happens to be in the White House and chooses to enforce or not enforce the federal law."

The social consequences of marijuana prohibition are "vast" and its result is "racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals," the Times said.

Meanwhile, "the evidence is overwhelming that addiction and dependence are relatively minor problems, especially compared with alcohol and tobacco. Moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults. Claims that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs are as fanciful as the 'Reefer Madness' images of murder, rape and suicide."

Coming up with systems to regulate marijuana sales, production, and distribution is a "complex" task, "but those problems are solvable, and would have long been dealt with had we as a nation not clung to the decision to make marijuana production and use a federal crime," the Times said.

Bottom line? "We recognize that this Congress is as unlikely to take action on marijuana as it has been on other big issues. But it is long past time to repeal this version of Prohibition."

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


gstlab3 (not verified)

The only reasons this is the way it is because it keeps large groups of people in fear.,in prison and ignorant of medical science.

Never mind the truth and the history of how government has been highjacked by big pharma and other big business like the big business of putting people in prison and on probation not to mention all the mandatory counciling and drug testing that is done to weed out any subversive thinking or actions by the people.


Freedom of thought and science has been squashed for decades., it is time for the people to rise up and demand the military industrial police/ judicial prison complex be dismantled for ever.


The oils found in this plant are safe and can be used in place of most if not all building blocks used by drug and chemical companies who are forced to buy from big oil companies who monopoilize the chemical and drug industry.


Big news for you that was discovered back when they introduced artificial female replacement hormones for menapause.,

Petroleum oils and a lot of chemicals used for making drugs have the opposite electrical charge of natural plant based oils causing untold and unstudied effects of human health.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 6:00pm Permalink

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