Illustrated by Gabriela Alford.
Marijuana users have an unlikely new ally: the Gray Lady.
An op-ed from today's New York Times' editorial board called on the federal government to repeal the ban on marijuana, comparing it to Prohibition, after which the "United States [came] to its senses."
The Times, which has been running a multi-part series on the drug, said that its support of a repeal was "inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws." It also noted that marijuana was a substance "far less dangerous than alcohol."
"There are no perfect answers to people’s legitimate concerns about marijuana use," the op-ed states. "But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and 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."
There is one caveat. Citing the impact of drug use on adolescent development, the Times argued that marijuana should be prohibited to those under 21 years of age.
The paper hasn't always been so open-minded about marijuana. In June, Maureen Dowd reported on Colorado's legalization of pot, noting incidents and hospitalizations linked to the "potent" drug.
Dowd's dalliance with a pot-laced candy bar may have left her "panting and paranoid," but the paper now seems clearheaded about the stance it's taking. Whether or not lawmakers will take heed, however, is another matter.