Watch Live: Firefighters Battle Blaze in Compton

New York Times Stirs Debate, Controversy With Editorial Calling For U.S. to End Marijuana Ban

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

People walk by an entrance to the New York Times on March 8, 2011. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

The editorial board of the New York Times has issued a dramatic call for the federal government to repeal its ban on marijuana, saying officials should leave the question of legalization up to state governments.

“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,” said the opinion published on the cover of the paper’s Sunday Review section. “The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.”

The editorial goes on to cite the 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, which far outnumber arrests for other, more dangerous drugs. “Even worse, the result is racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals,” the editorial said.

The Times’ editorial received widespread attention from both sides of the issue.

Click here to read the full story on