About That Editorial

by Andrew Stuttaford

So, 18 years after WFB’s ”The War on Drugs is Lost”, the New York Times has finally come some of the way to acknowledging quite how disastrous drugs prohibition has been:

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. . . .

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….

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.

So let me understand this. It takes the New York Times decades to come to the right (in my view) conclusion on marijuana, but no time at all to blame “this Congress” (with all the subtext that comes with that) for being slow to take the action of which the Times belatedly now approves.

Chutzpah. Arrogance. Par for the course. 

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