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New York Times Endorses All Three Marijuana Legalization Initiatives

Marijuana legalization efforts this year got a boast from one of America’s largest and most prestigious papers. The New York Times endorsed the three marijuana legalization initiatives which are on the ballot this November in Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia. From NYT:

In 2012, Washington State and Colorado legalized recreational marijuana. This November, voters in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia will decide whether to do the same — effectively disregarding the misguided federal ban on a drug that is far less dangerous than alcohol. Decades of arresting people for buying, selling and using marijuana have hurt more than helped society, and minority communities have been disproportionately affected by the harsh criminal penalties of prohibition.

Since Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia already allow medical marijuana, taking the next step makes good sense. There are some differences in their proposed initiatives, but they are all worthy of passage.

This move is not surprising given that the New York Times came out in support of the general idea of marijuana legalization earlier this year, but it is an important validation for all three initiatives that they are reasonably well written and sensible. Often what brings down ballot initiatives is not opposition to its general principle but opponents targeting one poorly drafted problematic provision.

We will have to see if the New York Time has much impact on the West Coast but as a D.C. resident it is a refreshing counterpoint to the Washington Post’s error-filled and logically inconsistent editorial against the D.C. initiative.

 

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New York Times Endorses All Three Marijuana Legalization Initiatives

Marijuana legalization efforts this year got a boast from one of America’s largest and most prestigious papers. The New York Times endorsed the three marijuana legalization initiatives which are on the ballot this November in Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia. From NYT:

In 2012, Washington State and Colorado legalized recreational marijuana. This November, voters in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia will decide whether to do the same — effectively disregarding the misguided federal ban on a drug that is far less dangerous than alcohol. Decades of arresting people for buying, selling and using marijuana have hurt more than helped society, and minority communities have been disproportionately affected by the harsh criminal penalties of prohibition.

Since Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia already allow medical marijuana, taking the next step makes good sense. There are some differences in their proposed initiatives, but they are all worthy of passage.

This move is not surprising given that the New York Times came out in support of the general idea of marijuana legalization earlier this year, but it is an important validation for all three initiatives that they are reasonably well written and sensible. Often what brings down ballot initiatives is not opposition to its general principle but opponents targeting one poorly drafted problematic provision.

We will have to see if the New York Time has much impact on the West Coast but as a D.C. resident it is a refreshing counterpoint to the Washington Post’s error-filled and logically inconsistent editorial against the D.C. initiative.

Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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