The Grey Lady is high on the idea of marijuana legalization: The New York Times' editorial board today comes out decidedly in favor of decriminalizing pot in an editorial headlined "Repeal Prohibition, Again." In it, the board likens the 40-year-old ban on marijuana to America's ill-fated ban on booze, noting that the current one is "inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol." Citing "a great deal of discussion," the board writes that while "there are no perfect answers" to the question of marijuana, "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."
The board compares marijuana to alcohol at some length, and likewise advocates prohibiting sales of pot to those under 21. Sure, it says, regulating marijuana "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." Over at Politico, Mike Allen has some back story on the paper's decision to publicly back pot. Andrew Rosenthal, the Times' editorial page editor, tells Allen the issue itself was mostly a non-issue. "We mostly had to consider whether it was time for the Times (meaning the editorial page) to make this kind of statement and how to do it." Click for the Times' full piece, or check out Maureen Dowd's disastrous experience with pot candy.