The New York Times Will Continue Drug Testing Despite Pot Legalization Stance

07/27/2014 05:35 pm ET | Updated Jul 30, 2014

NEW YORK -- The New York Times came out in its Sunday editorial in support of legalizing marijuana, kicking off a six-part series to make its case.

But the editorial board’s new stance doesn’t mean incoming Times employees can partake. As Gawker recently noted, the Times is one of several big media companies that require prospective hires to take a drug test. A Times spokeswoman told HuffPost that the paper's policy for drug testing hasn’t changed, despite the editorial board's decision.

“Our corporate policy on this issue reflects current law,” the spokeswoman said. “We aren't going to get into details beyond that.”

The Times editorial board would like to see that current law changed, arguing that the federal ban on marijuana inflicts “great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.” As with the earlier prohibition on alcohol, the Times is calling for repeal.

In a blog post on the series, editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal said that the paper's publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., supports the board's decision, which "was long in the making."

The Times has called in the past for legalizing medical marijuana, but Rosenthal said the current position came “as more and more states liberalized their marijuana laws in open defiance of the federal ban” and it “became clear to us that there had to be a national approach to the issue.”

During a Sunday appearance on ABC News’ “This Week,” Rosenthal acknowledged that he's smoked pot in the past and indicated he wouldn't be bothered if colleagues do now.

"I’ve never asked the people that work for me whether they smoke pot, and I’m not going to ask," he said.

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