The New York Times Endorses Legal Weed

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 25: A budtender pours marijuana from a jar at Perennial Holistic Wellness Center medical marijuana dispensary, which opened in 2006, on July 25, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Los Angeles City Council has unanimously voted to ban storefront medical marijuana dispensaries and to order them to close or face legal action. The council also voted to instruct staff to draw up a separate ordinance for consideration in about three months that might allow dispensaries that existed before a 2007 moratorium on new dispensaries to continue to operate. It is estimated that Los Angeles has about one thousand such facilities. The ban does not prevent patients or cooperatives of two or three people to grow their own in small amounts. Californians voted to legalize medical cannabis use in 1996, clashing with federal drug laws. The state Supreme Court is expected to consider ruling on whether cities can regulate and ban dispensaries. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Photo: David McNew/2012 Getty Images

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.