The internet was abuzz this weekend about the announcement from the New York Times regarding a series of editorial articles to be released in the upcoming week covering the argument in favor of legalizing marijuana nationwide.
Though the title of the series may not be too creative, “High Time” will consist of a week’s worth of interactive articles, web-based seminars, and Q&A sessions that promise to take an honest look at all sides of the debate.
In their announcement however, titled “Repeal Prohibition, Again”, the NYT Editorial Board leaves no room for misinterpretation of their stance on the matter, bluntly stating, “The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.”
Citing the same statistics that we here at Toke of the Town have been shouting from the rooftops for years, the Times’ piece clearly and concisely lays out a damning case against the prohibition of cannabis in a way that is sure to sway the opinions of many readers who may be on the fence on the issue.
They call out the fact that 2012 alone saw 658,000 Americans arrested for possession of weed. Compare that to just 256,000 arrests made for coke, heroin, and their derivatives… combined. Added to that imbalance is the fact that the scales of justice consistently fail black males, who are being arrested for weed in incredibly disproportionate numbers.
Rightfully, the comparison is drawn to the fact that booze and tobacco are legal and readily available, despite the fact that they both absolutely lead to the negative side-effects that marijuana is often unfairly, and incorrectly, associated with.
Their initial announcement states that they are calling for an age limit of 21 and up be imposed on pot, similar to alcohol. However, the publication known industry-wide as “the newspaper of record” pulled no punches when they dismantled the age-old argument of weed being a gateway drug by comparing those claims to the now punchline-worthy film Reefer Madness.
The road to a workable solution for the legalization, and subsequent regulation, of marijuana on a national scale will not be easy, admits the Times board, but they correctly put it into perspective by saying that we could have had it done years ago if not for bullshit propaganda and weak-knee’d politicians.
Speaking of which, the Times concluded its announcement about the week’s upcoming discussion by taking to task the Do-Nothing 113th U.S. Congress. Led by a pack of seat-sniffing Tea party zealots, nothing good will happen for cannabis advocates until the current power structure in Capitol Hill gets shaken up.
The discussion that takes place over the course of the next week could potentially have a huge impact on the timeline we see placed on the inevitable legalization of cannabis in this country. It is exciting to read that the Times appears to have taken off the gloves for the fight, and is aiming for a knockout blow to legitimize this debate once and for all.
New York Times Editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal will be hosting a live chat on the Times Facebook page today at 4:20pm eastern time (giggity), in which he will outline the discussion to come in the following days.
Keep it locked in here on Toke of the Town for our continuing coverage of the reactions to, and impact of, the work being down this week by the Times.