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New York Times Calls for Ending Federal Ban On Marijuana

The paper's editorial compared the federal ban on marijuana to the failed prohibition of alcohol, and said states should be free to decide the issue.
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The New York Times on Saturday called for the federal government to repeal its ban on marijuana, likening the federal law outlawing the drug to the failed prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s and '30s.

In the editorial, posted to The Times’ website Saturday and which will appear in print on Sunday, The Times said the federal ban on pot has resulted in enforcement that is “racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals.”

“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. That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs — at the state level,” The Times wrote.

The paper noted that there were 658,000 arrests for marijuana in 2012, compared with just 256,000 for cocaine, heroin and other drugs derived from those substances. The Times said marijuana should only be available to people over 21 years old. Washington and Colorado have legalized recreational marijuana use, and other states are considering it.



— Phil Helsel