"Repeal Prohibition, Again": New York Times's Andrew Rosenthal on legalization, Colorado pot

Categories: Marijuana


The New York Times editorial board is calling for the repeal of the prohibition against pot, and its stance had all the talking heads yapping yesterday. Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal went on ABC's This Week yesterday morning to discuss the "High Times" series, and host Jon Karl asked whether he'd ever smoked pot. "I've never asked the people that work for me whether they smoke pot, and I'm not going to ask," Rosenthal responded. "I have smoked pot in my life. I went to college in Colorado in the 1970′s, you figure it out." Specifically, Rosenthal went to the University of Denver, graduating with a BA in American history in 1978.

See also: New York Times' Maureen Dowd wants pot edibles stamped with stoned skull and bones?

ABC News
While he was at DU, Rosenthal worked as a sports stringer for the Associated Press and as a part-time police reporter for the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News. He joined the Times in 1987, and became the editorial page editor in 2006. He was back at DU in 2010, to speak at the annual alumni symposium -- about politics, not pot.

But that's what he'll be talking about at 2:20 p.m. today (that's 4:20 Eastern Standard Time!), when Rosenthal will be taking questions about marijuana legalization and the "High Times" editorial package on the paper's Facebook page.

Here's the initial Times editorial:

Repeal Prohibition, Again

It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.

The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.

We reached that conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times's Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws.

There are no perfect answers to people's legitimate concerns about marijuana use. 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.

We considered whether it would be best for Washington to hold back while the states continued experimenting with legalizing medicinal uses of marijuana, reducing penalties, or even simply legalizing all use. Nearly three-quarters of the states have done one of these.

But that would leave their citizens vulnerable to the whims of whoever happens to be in the White House and chooses to enforce or not enforce the federal law.

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.

There are legitimate concerns about marijuana on the development of adolescent brains. For that reason, we advocate the prohibition of sales to people under 21.

Creating systems for regulating manufacture, sale and marketing will be complex. But those problems are solvable, and would have long been dealt with had we as a nation not clung to the decision to make marijuana production and use a federal crime.

In coming days, we will publish articles by members of the Editorial Board and supplementary material that will examine these questions. We invite readers to offer their ideas, and we will report back on their responses, pro and con.

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.

Keep reading for more on the New York Times and its coverage of marijuana.

Location Info


University of Denver

2199 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: General

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
muhutdafuga topcommenter

But what about all the "job creators" that own private prisons?


the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING! 13

ENLIGHTENMENT...i was a brainwashed evil, mean, christian conservative until i tried it at 17 years old...i hated gays, immigrants, women's rights, blacks, marijuana, i was Rush Limbaugh's #1 fan....until i smoked marijuana, changed the world....hope the EVIL POPE is enjoying the marijuana revolution around the globe, keeping the flock brainwashed and against marijuana, gays, and women's don't deny ease from pain and suffering for billions of people unless you are PURE EVIL...

1000s of my friends and family have grown 30-99 plants for 20 years, thanks for keeping prices high and NORCAL wealthy...#1 crop in cali = $15 Billion Untaxed...

"any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death" - cali secret 420

from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

20 years behind us southern states and NEW YORK, sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states and more blacks are in prison then were slaves before the civil war...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...not 1….the new generations are taking over in the south and they are nothing like their freedom denying parents, let’s ride…

Deaths by Alcohol: Millions
Deaths by Tobacco: Millions
Deaths by Prescription Drugs: Quadrupled in last decade
Deaths by Guns: Millions
Deaths by the food we are fed: Millions
Deaths by Marijuana: 0, ever...they are killing my American family while denying freedom

love and freedom forever


Seraj Tannir
Seraj Tannir

war mongering fascists in the whitehouse

James Booker
James Booker

If you examine the data alcohol its way more dangerous than pot so if you were against legalization, either you don't like to read or your a complete moron! If you like to booze it up and you were against legalization, not only are you a moron, your a freaking hypocrite! And no I don't smoke pot.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Man who fed teens marijuana cookies sentenced to 3 years probation

A man who provided marijuana-laced cookies last year to two teenagers has been sentenced to three years of probation, the Denver District Attorney's Office said Monday.

Davirak Ky, 41, pleaded guilty last week to distributing a controlled substance and child abuse.

Ky was ordered to undergo drug and alcohol treatment and take a class on the effects of children as part of his probation, the office said.

On Nov. 4, 2013, two boys, ages 13 and 16, ate cookies Ky had baked and given to them. They both became sick and were treated at a Denver-area hospital.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter


Legalize Marijuana Like Oregano !!


Becca Mertens
Becca Mertens

Keep it legal!! Maybe the government should start making cigarettes- the real killer- illegal!! I'm all for stricter regulations on edibles though!

Zac Riedel
Zac Riedel

It kinda makes me happy that people like Joleen Lopez can butch about it, but there is absolutely nothing they can do to change it. We won, it's here to stay.

Clayton Capra
Clayton Capra

Probably should make peace with the fact it won't be much longer.

muhutdafuga topcommenter

Wake up from your stupor...bush is out, there's a new guy in office now....

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@James Booker "If you examine the data alcohol its way more dangerous than pot so ... "

... what IDIOTS would BEG the Government to REGULATE "harmless marijuana" LIKE DEADLY ALCOHOL ??

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault