The Editorial Board of The New York Times has endorsed national marijuana legalization. The media outlet, which was created in 1851, has won 112 Pulitzer Prizes, and is the largest metropolitan newspaper in the country. The Editorial Board had the following to say in a recent article:
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.
There is honest debate among scientists about the health effects of marijuana, but we believe that the evidence is overwhelming that addiction and dependence are relatively minor problems, especially compared with alcohol and tobacco. Moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults. Claims that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs are as fanciful as the "Reefer Madness" images of murder, rape and suicide.
This is an impressive move by The New York Times. They are going to be releasing in-depth articles discussing marijuana legalization by members of the Editorial Board. The first one, written by David Firestone, can be found at this link here. I wonder how many other media outlets will come out in support of reform after The New York Times. Mainstream media has been an opponent of marijuana for a long time, but more and more of them endorse marijuana every month it seems like. The winds of change are at our backs, as we stand at the edge of history. National marijuana legalization is not a matter of if, but when.
On Monday at 4:20 p.m. Eastern Time, Andrew Rosenthal, the editorial page editor, will be taking questions about marijuana legalization at facebook.com/nytimes.