The New York Times editorial board continued its endorsement for the legalization of marijuana on Sunday with a new push for its recreational use around the country.
The Times argued that Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia should follow suit and pass initiatives to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. In 2012, Colorado became the first state to cease prohibition of marijuana.
The Times called on Alaska, Oregon and the D.C. to take action on their own, asserting that Congress may never come around to repealing the ban.
"Decades of arresting people for buying, selling and using marijuana have hurt more than helped society, and minority communities have been disproportionately affected by the harsh criminal penalties of prohibition," the editorial board wrote. "Since Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia already allow medical marijuana, taking the next step makes good sense."
The renewed push is part of the Times' six-part series to end the prohibition and criminalization of marijuana by bringing a "national approach" to the legalization of the drug.
The Times has been criticized before for their efforts by the Office of National Drug Control Policy staff, who said that the work of the editorial board "ignores the science" and "fails to address public health problems" of marijuana legalization. The board fired back at such opponents Sunday, arguing that more widespread usage could actually bring increased revenue to states and lead to safer drug consumption. They pointed again to Colorado as an example of how legalization does not end in disaster:
"The sky over Colorado has not fallen, and prohibition has proved to be a complete failure," the board wrote. "It’s time to bring the marijuana market out into the open and end the injustice of arrests and convictions that have devastated communities."
Read the full post here.