New York Times: End Prohibition, Again

Tomorrow’s Sunday New York Times’ editorial calling for an end to cannabis prohibition in America, affirms in my mind, after nearly twenty four years publicly advocating for cannabis law reforms at NORML, the end of cannabis prohibition in our nation is nearly upon the rest of the country (beyond Colorado and Washington State, where cannabis is taxed and regulated like alcohol products for responsible adult use). This is the same editorial board and opinions page that would with great frequency in the 1980s/90s publish some of the most stridently pro-cannabis prohibition editorials and columns found anywhere in the world, let alone from the urbane and ‘liberal’ New York Times, led by ardent cannabis foe, former editor and columnist A.M. Rosenthal.

Also included, informative editorial writing and excellent up-to-date map of all of the variations on cannabis law reform that have happened at the state level, putting evermore upward political pressure on the federal government to both end cannabis prohibition and severely down schedule the herbal drug.

Lastly, the dramatic change in Americans’ public attitude in favor of ending cannabis prohibition is well documented here.

A great sign of the times…the multidimensional pro-reform editorial ends with this nod to cannabis culture: On Monday at 4:20 p.m. Eastern Time, Andrew Rosenthal, the editorial page editor, will be taking questions about marijuana legalization at

Andrew Rosenthalthe son of A.M. Rosenthal.

Times in America regarding cannabis have changed, and, accordingly, so too has the New York Times.

87 thoughts

  1. I remember when the Germans, East Germans and West Germans, tore down the wall that had divided that country for so long. Brick by brick we are tearing down a wall here, too.

  2. My son has a severe epilepsy, he start at1 year 8 months,now he is 30 and still with seizures, no verbal, mental retardation, no communication due to the medication, he needs the cannabis oil soon, I ask for him and another families who are suffering for this situation

  3. It should be a choice for the individual. Available for use you have Alcohol, Script drugs, Synthetics, Cigars {Havanas, excluded for political reasons}, every single different type of tobacco, they’re chemicals really, Clove cigs., Chewing tobacco, RUSH!, Poppers, Inhalants, Sugar, Corn syrup, GMOs, think about some of the foods that are available, whats in your US Inspected food, is it really healthy? That is available, if you ever had any of these and then smoke a joint, what is the healthy choice, now you have none. That goes for all the players in this game of life. It’s a leaf from a plant, grown from mother earths soil. All natural high. Cannabis makes sense. Legalize this so the insanity can stop, make it legal like cigarettes and alcohol, so this can be over already, it’s a choice. If you don’t want to use it, you don’t HAVE to. Tobacco is not even tobacco, it’s chemicals, and in the “old days” {before 1964} less than 50 years ago was promoted by doctors and presidents {actors at the time} saying how healthy it was to breath the tobacco smoke deeply into your lungs. They’ve changed there stance on smoking cigarettes, now they say they cause cancer, it’s about time they change there opinion of cannabis. Freedom of Choice, NO! I think the best reply is why are all these things a choice but not cannabis? The reason Cannabis would be a gateway drug is that your local drug dealer, begs you to buy the harder drugs {more ca$h for them}, which would not happen if legal.

  4. I am a 75 year old elder living with excruciating pain 24/7. I have never tried pot or any illegal drug. I am surprised that more attention isn’t given to possible pain relief for seniors since so many of us are keeping the drug companies going with pain pills of some sort. A day without pain would be something to look forward to.

  5. Finally, some of the barriers in pot legalization are coming to an end. After going to Denver for a vacation recently in my opinion legalization is going very well. Most of the people I talked to told me they didnt smoke it due to their employers stance but if I wanted it I could by it right over there. I have been waiting 41 years for legalization and cant wait till it happens in Texas also. Thanks NORML for your perserverance.

  6. If it wasn’t for all of the greed in our Government, it would be legal already! It is still going to be long battle.

  7. Recreational Cannabis is the pursuit of happiness and health!
    On a medicinal note one thing that needs to be stressed more is how some states who are currently allowing or beginning medicinal marijuana have qualifying conditions being made by politicians,it should be top priority that these decisions on what conditions qualify are being made by medical professionals.

  8. Recreational laws will solve all current problems and restrictions with medicinal laws.American Recreational Marijuana must be given to the people to have the right and choice for responsible adult consumption from coast to coast.

  9. This is such truly great news !!! Marijuana should have been legal all along. This is such wonderful news today, thank you all who fought the good fight.

  10. Im a huge fan of this actical . Lets just pray this actical changes the minds of some of the ignorant people in our society. Wish I could help with a donation but money is tight. Best of luck .


  11. This is nothing less than an editorial epiphany. I’ll bet A.M. Rosenthal is spinning in his grave, and the folks at the DEA and ONDCP must be reeling.

  12. As America’s workforce, and economy continues to suffer at the expense of foolish govt policy, the time has come to eliminate one more component that helps to fuel violence. We are wasting resources with the fake War on Drugs and losing tax dollars.

  13. I need to find a doctor who will prescribe medical marijuana for chronic back and shoulder pain

  14. One really has to wonder what the hell it’s going to take to get America’s politicians on board with ending prohibition. Just how far are their heads stuck up their a$$es anyway? People like Chris Christie, in particular, comes to mind when I make that statement. I salute those few politicians that have managed to see the forest in spite of the trees blocking it like Mason Tvert! He is an example of a fine American who is also a politician. I wish I could say that about more of them…

  15. I’m still blinking and trying to assimilate what I’ve just read … shocking … it shan’t be long now for good sense to prevail across this nation. I’m barely able to wrap my mind around it but I think this qualifies as a miracle and a testament to the staying power and persistence of NORML and all the other pro-cannabis organizations everywhere.

  16. @claudia – Why haven’t you tried marijuana? Millions of us have tried it and it works quite well for many of us. At age 75, I wouldn’t recommend that you continue waiting for our govt to finally do the right thing and legalize it.

  17. Thanks to the oil I am skin cancer free, no longer obese, and no longer a diabetic. Lied to for 50 years, It’s about time. How can laws that were based on lies still exist?

  18. Legalize marijuana NOW! Why, I’ve been smoking pot for 35 years now, law or no law. With all of the money that is to be made from this, I still can’t believe that all politicians everywhere haven’t jumped onboard; after all, isn’t that what they care about the most?!!

  19. The NYTimes has made a paradigm shift on the war on drugs. This is truly monumental. We have entered the climax of our American Prohibition Tragedy, and it’s going to last right through November.
    Here is what I wrote on part 1 of the series, “Repeal Prohibition,”
    “Marijuana and hemp prohibition are tied to border security, health care costs, renewable cellulosic products, fuel, shelter, food, creating jobs without “spending a dime,” and the prison-military-industrial complex. The Department of Health and Human Services patents and prohibits. They take children into state custody if parents claim marijuana posession. The same Department owns patent 3380507 for “cannabinoids as neuro-protectants.” Tax drugs and regulate; Spend the revenue to educate. Thank you New York Times. I would love a story on timber and petrochemical patents Koch Industries purchased from Dupont in 2004 competing with an open domestic industrial hemp market.”
    This is education. This is the point of no return for prohibition. As Don B. states above, the Times is in defiance of the ONDCP and DEA. The stakes are high. And so are we.
    I wonder how much influence the story over the root cause of child drug war refugees had on this editorial decision?
    Think of what this means for the legislation we have riding in the Senate right now! It’s almost safe to say that the Times may not have made this editorial shift if they didn’t believe that the DEA was going to get smacked in the wallet with what’s pending in the Senate. All the Senate needed was a little push, but damn NY! Way to knock’m down the aisle!

  20. It only makes sense! With the GOP refusing to feed the poor, house the homeless, create jobs for the unemployed, cutting Social Security & milk to Headstart’s children AND refusing to pay taxes on their insanely greedy incomes—Taxing weed will give USA an income to take care of her own & the immigrants too!!! It will also keep a generation of kids out of jail for smoking pot!!

  21. The dominos are falling so quickly now. I was heartened to see the overwhelmingly positive response to the NYT article, no just from young potheads but from people of all ages and professional levels. the few that positioned themselves against legalization mostly held up the same old stale arguments or had an “I know this one person who…” type of anecdotal argument. I think it will only be a couple of years now before it becomes legal in a state within driving distance of me, maybe even in my own police state of Ohio!

  22. In fact, I think WHEN it becomes legalized, we should allow all those with simple possession convictions to have those convictions erased from their records. give people back their civil rights.

  23. I say forget the high cost of dispensers! I myself have grown no more than 3 plants at a time and had enough left over to give over two hundred people with close to an once. I say people can grow it them selfs if they only knew how easy it really is.

  24. Finally we are becoming smart on this issue. Why is the greatest herb ever made by God not legal, whether medical ,commercial or industrial applications,its uses are endless. To think we still incarcerate people over this health herb, is it because so many people throughout history have not been killed by this herb….sounds stupid doesn’t it. Look if this had anything to do with our health and well being as experts against state,then fast food and sugar products would have been illegal eons ago. Whats not dangerous if abused,drink a bottle of soy sauce and you will have some problem,drink 10 glasses of water and you could have a serious problem. One is not supposed to be stupid about limiting his comsumption. Smoke to much and you simply go to sleep and have a wonderful relaxing slumber….hmmm, some side effect.

  25. I am 61 years old and have chornic back pain and both feet burning nuerophty I pray every night that GOD will help me ease my pain and let me enjoy what life I have left. Please let this come true that I can smoke marijuana and live life with a smile and laugh again…..

  26. WHAT, pray tell, will we do to/with/for those poor individuals SO terminally & tragically addicted to this evil weed (THANK YOU, brothers DICK Nix On & William “Rudolph the Pulp Pirate” Hurtz!)? I am SO concerned that the DEA will have little or nothing to do if they can no longer engage in true domestic terrorism – seizing property & ruining the lives of countless families & individuals… Hmm, MAYbe repurpose them into a (at least tacitly) legitimate law (sic) enforcement agency: protecting our borders. Let’s see if they can pull THAT off without morphing into the ski mask-wearing, Kevlar-enshrouded thugs they’ve become. After all, we’ve already paid THEIR price of admission…

  27. Well, I had almost mercifully forgotten who A. M. Rosenthal was, fortunately we still have Ed (ask Ed) Rosenthal, guru of ganja.

  28. Big Pharma is going to have a stroke, and raise conniptions when they lose market share for their toxic potions that will be rendered redundant with un-patentable, non-toxic weed.
    Thank you NORML for your tenacity. May your fame be heroic in the history books!

  29. I would just like to tell my story. I am a retired Police officer 48, who spent my entire adult age from 18 in Law Enforcement. I also worked Undercover Narcotics for 18 years. I am one of the ones who was made to believe that Cannabis would lead you to harder drugs. I never tried it until I was 47,Yes One year ago.
    I was shot in the line of duty and have had over 16 operation on head back leg and hand.5 on my back.I have dealt with pain that would make you vomit. I was on everything from Morphine Methadone and Oxycodone, all at the same time.Nothing worked anymore and I was at wits end. I have 2 small sons who I am a single father and both my sons are sports freaks and I coach them and their teams.
    Long and short of the story. I tried Marijuana last summer. Yes I was scared, IT CHANGED MY LIFE FOR THE GOOD. I AM NOW A FATHER WHO IS NOT JUST EXISTING BUT NOW LIVING. DO I still have pain? OMG yes but I can live again without being committed to doctors. I no longer spend my time with the anxiety of running out of meds on a weekend,holiday,or whenever the MD decides to take off,I was also in a National Renown Spinal Center so i was not at a pill mill,
    I love my life now,I am not so Isolated,I have friends again,and mostly I SEE A FUTURE as a Man now that I am happy to look in the mirror.
    I live in the south,with a backward GOV. who puts more energy on putting more guns in COLLEGES<CHURCHES<SPORTING EVENTS<COURTHOUSES<oh and the airport, It has start with someone stepping up and passing a National Federal Law to repeal the war on Marijuana. Their response is" we dont want kids to get to it" Are they kidding,when I worked Undercover I cant tell you how many lives i messed up by doing my job. That part of my career I would take back to use more discretion. God Speed, and Keep it going,although still illegal I tell everyone and anyone who will listen my story and how it changed my life.

  30. There is nothing quite like an idea whose time has come–and hung around for two generations.

    The California marijuana vote of the 1970’s — had its vote held up in Orange County and then the vote failed as it was leading it was called out by CBS at the time.

  31. @Eric … the real reason weed is illegal is that so many big businesses would lose money overnight. Hemp can be used to make clothing, textiles, building materials, petroleum products, etc, etc, etc…. not to mention all of the medicines that cannabis could replace… hundreds of billions of $$$ hang in the balance. The answer is… if there were no greed, we’d all have weed…. LOL but seriously, rich people would lose money… thats why its such a battle ….

  32. Great news – I am sure full legalisation (allowing states to set their own regulations) will be done by the next presidential election. You now have the support of the press and the public and I can see no way any politician can go against that (well not without loosing their office and public support anyway).

  33. Passage of Medical Marijuana laws have proven that Marijuana has medical use, it’s also helped show that America didn’t fall down around our ears from it’s use. At the same time, many who are helped by it tell their family members and friends, that may have been against it before, that it isn’t the devil and they see it hasn’t turned them into some type of crazed zombie.
    Though I don’t agree it should just be lowered in tier in the controlled drug act, but given the same standing as alcohol is in subtitle E of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

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