Sorry, Maureen Dowd: The Paper of Record has come out in favor of legal weed (for people who are at least 21 years old). In a Sunday Review piece called “Repeal Prohibition, Again,” the New York Times editorial board called for the repeal of the federal marijuana ban, comparing the current situation to the thirteen years the United States government spent fruitlessly trying to get people to stop drinking.
In addition to pointing out that pot is fairly harmless, especially when compared to alcohol or tobacco, the editorial cited “the social costs” of today’s hundreds of thousands of marijuana arrests — which, it noted, “[fall] disproportionately on young black men” — as the main reason to change the law. “There are no perfect answers to people’s legitimate concerns about marijuana use. But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and we believe that on every level — health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues — the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization,” the Times declared. “That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs — at the state level.” The whole thing is here, along with a funny graphic of an American flag with the stars replaced by marijuana plants.