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The New York Times Debates Marijuana Law Reform — NORML Weighs In

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 22, 2009

    Today’s New York Times online features a round table discussion on the subject of marijuana law reform.

    Two years ago we ran a quorum debating the pros and cons of decriminalizing marijuana. Since then, a largely theoretical debate has moved quite substantially toward the realm of reality, with a growing number of states and municipalities having changed their laws.

    … So we asked a group of people — Paul Armentano, Mike Braun, Joel W. Hay, Jeffrey Miron, and Robert Platshorn — to think about a national decriminalization of marijuana … and answer the following: What would be some of the most powerful economic, social, and criminal-justice effects?

    Here are their answers.

    You can read all of the responses, including mine, and leave your feedback for the New York Times here.

    78 Responses to “The New York Times Debates Marijuana Law Reform — NORML Weighs In”

    1. ryan says:

      Seeing “New York Times” and “Marijuana law reform” in the same sentence is always a good thing. More change in the past 4 months then the past 4 years.

      Re-legalize marijuana

    2. PhilTHC says:

      Oh damn, now the new york times people are starting to see the light

    3. […] the original post:  The New York Times Debates Marijuana Law Reform — NORML Weighs In Share and […]

    4. Jeff says:

      YES WE CANNABiS~

    5. We the people says:

      Keeping marijuana illegal only helps push it and keep it in the black market which is the cartels 60% of their profit which leads to this question. Is keeping marijuana illegal not the same as suppling terrorists ? Cause keeping marijuana illegal is exactly what it is doing plain and simple …..Our drug laws aren’t working. Every year, millions of Americans are arrested on drug offenses, yet drugs are more available than ever before. High school students find it easier to get marijuana than alcohol or prescription drugs. And Mexican drug cartels have become rich and powerful, representing a growing threat to our national security.
      With our economy struggling, we can’t afford to waste billions of dollars every year on a policy that has failed. There’s only one way to eliminate the drug cartels’ profits. Not to mention that about 90% of America has smoked / still smoke marijuana despite it being illegal . Some are closet smokers while others are not. Also is not this suppose to be “WE The people” and “Land of the FREE” ?
      If that is so then why don’t our voices be heard through a nation wide vote? Trying to compare marijuana to cocaine is like comparing milk abuse and the dangers of such to that of alcohol. So if you drink milk you will become more violent and will want to turn to alcohol? Same thing with smoking a joint to becoming more stronger stuff . Yea right if you believe that then I have a great deal on the purchase of the Maccinna Bridge and on the Statue of Liberty. KEEPING Marijuana illegal does not work except to cost us the American tax pay more money by keeping it illegal besides that it is prejidouse and is also wrong for any one who keeps it illegal and support the cartel / black market and terorists . Marijuana should be legalized and taxed while we worry about more serious crimes instead of stupid things like keeping marijuana illegal wasting BILLIONS OF TAX PAYERS MONEY!!!!

    6. Jeff says:

      I found the responses in favor of legalization far more compelling; however, the problem with this debate is the whole thing IS theoretical. Both sides of the debate are reduced to trying to convince people what WILL happen IF pot is legalized. The trend seems to be moving in the right direction, but no state seems to be willing to be the first to attempt full scale legalization. It is my belief that marijuana will never be legalized at the federal level until the majority of the states have done so. All politics is local.

    7. Ed says:

      The arguments from the prohibitionist side pissed me off. Their arguments are filled with ridiculous assumptions, lies, and contradictions. The part that pisses me off is the fact that they get to spread their faulty point of views and many people don’t have the common sense to question it.

      If people knew the truth, marijuana would be legal right now, and that says a lot for the reform movement.

    8. nesomania says:

      gee, hate to be negative,but when I read the words in bracket from the third paragraph: (unlikely, let’s be honest) in reference to national decriminalization of Cannabis, I see clearly the underlying agenda of the NYT…ending Cannabis prohibition, will not happen. And for those of us who know, isn’t the phrase “lets be honest” in relation to the fedstapo’s response to any idea of ending Cannabis prohibition quite the oxymoron. We have a tough road ahead. End the prohibition of the Cannabis plant now!!!

      “So we asked a group of people — Paul Armentano, Mike Braun, Joel W. Hay, Jeffrey Miron, and Robert Platshorn — to think about a national decriminalization of marijuana (unlikely, let’s be honest) and answer the following: What would be some of the most powerful economic, social, and criminal-justice effects?”

    9. jake says:

      o ya i just read that quorum. is it just me or could anybody smell the corruption and greed on the pharm guy? hes stinky with it. you guys know how much millions big pharm companys will lose if pot becam legal. LOL no more anti depressesnts needed! Paul hella represented! We may win this damn thing yet.

    10. JERRY DROZ says:

      Why is it that i can show you twenty healthy people over 70 years of age that smoke cannabis and almost none that are alcoholics , smoke tobacco . The Gate – Way theory regarding marijuana doesn’t work nor your lies about marijuana does not work with me either . Show me facts supporting your lies . I’ve just shown you facts on marijuana . You’ve given us none .

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