After making history this summer by becoming the first national paper to call for marijuana legalization, the New York Times doubled down today with their strong editorial in support of the marijuana legalization initiatives on the ballot in D.C., Oregon and Alaska. Marijuana reform and mass incarceration are taking center stage in 2014’s election as public opinion has shifted dramatically over the last decade against the failed drug war.
When the Times came out for legalization in August, what made the news so huge was not only their position, but the passion and space they gave to the issue. In addition to the lead editorial, “Repeal Prohibition, Again”, there was a six-part series on marijuana legalization with long, thoughtful editorials on related issues such as criminal justice, public health, regulatory models, and so forth.
It’s gratifying to see them strengthening their commitment to this issue just as the eyes of the world are on Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C. Today’s editorial built on the Times’ previous arguments against marijuana prohibition:
“In 2012, Washington State and Colorado legalized recreational marijuana. This November, voters in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia will decide whether to do the same — effectively disregarding the misguided federal ban on a drug that is far less dangerous than alcohol. Decades of arresting people for buying, selling and using marijuana have hurt more than helped society, and minority communities have been disproportionately affected by the harsh criminal penalties of prohibition. Since Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia already allow medical marijuana, taking the next step makes good sense. There are some differences in their proposed initiatives, but they are all worthy of passage.”
– Read the entire article at AlterNet.