The New York Times’ editorial board agrees with the majority of Americans that marijuana prohibition has got to end. In an editorial on July 26 titled “Repeal Prohibition, Again” the board outlined the many reasons to legalize the herb, drawing comparisons with the nation’s 13 years of failed alcohol prohibition in the 1920s and ’30s. Following a “great deal of discussion … inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws,” the board came to the conclusion that the federal government should repeal its 40-year ban on marijuana.
The Times editorial board noted that racist, mass-scale marijuana arrests were a factor in its decision to take a stand:
“The social costs of the marijuana laws are vast. There were 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, according to F.B.I. figures, compared with 256,000 for cocaine, heroin and their derivatives. Even worse, the result is racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals.”…
Additionally, while the herb’s healing effects are recognized in the 23 states that have legalized medical marijuana, the federal government denies it has any medicinal qualities and blocks scientific research into its potential benefits. As the Times editorial points out, “on every level — health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues — the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization. That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs — at the state level.”