The New York Times editorial board launched the first in a six-part series on why the prohibition on marijuana should be repealed. Here's their first kicker from the introduction:
We recognize that this Congress is as unlikely to take action on marijuana as it has been on other big issues. But it is long past time to repeal this version of Prohibition."
Over the course of the next week or so, the other five parts will be published, each highlighting a different angle of the argument (history, criminal justice, track record, health, and regulation).
But perhaps knowing how they might first get the skeptics on board with this half-baked project, the inaugural editorial focused on states' rights. Here was a bit from a section on how to end the federal ban on marijuana:
Allowing states to make their own decisions on marijuana — just as they did with alcohol after the end of Prohibition in 1933 — requires unambiguous federal action. The most comprehensive plan to do so is a bill introduced last year by Representative Jared Polis, Democrat of Colorado, known as the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act. It would eliminate marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, require a federal permit for growing and distributing it, and have it regulated (just as alcohol is now) by the Food and Drug Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The board went on to outline other proposals, pointing to a "changing sentiment" in Congress.
While the Gray Lady has been all over this topic, this series does mark a departure. Earlier this summer, Times columnist Maureen Dowd ignited a controversy/comedic meme when she wrote, with great alarm, about losing control after eating a weed edible in Colorado.
This latest Times crusade is already inspiring some fan fiction in which all of the paper's editorial voices are stoned:
Friedman tugs at mustache. "It's like the whole world is *connected,* man. Interdependent."— Lizzie O'Leary (@lizzieohreally) July 27, 2014
The Times seems ready to stoke those fires:
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.