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It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. 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.
The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.
We reached that conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times’s Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws.
There are no perfect answers to people’s legitimate concerns about marijuana use. But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and we believe that on every level — health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues — the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization. That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs — at the state level.
We considered whether it would be best for Washington to hold back while the states continued experimenting with legalizing medicinal uses of marijuana, reducing penalties, or even simply legalizing all use. Nearly three-quarters of the states have done one of these.
But that would leave their citizens vulnerable to the whims of whoever happens to be in the White House and chooses to enforce or not enforce the federal law.
The social costs of the marijuana laws are vast. There were 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, according to F.B.I. figures, compared with 256,000 for cocaine, heroin and their derivatives. Even worse, the result is racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals.
There is honest debate among scientists about the health effects of marijuana, but we believe that the evidence is overwhelming that addiction and dependence are relatively minor problems, especially compared with alcohol and tobacco. Moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults. Claims that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs are as fanciful as the “Reefer Madness” images of murder, rape and suicide.
There are legitimate concerns about marijuana on the development of adolescent brains. For that reason, we advocate the prohibition of sales to people under 21.
Creating systems for regulating manufacture, sale and marketing will be complex. But those problems are solvable, and would have long been dealt with had we as a nation not clung to the decision to make marijuana production and use a federal crime.
In coming days, we will publish articles by members of the Editorial Board and supplementary material that will examine these questions. We invite readers to offer their ideas, and we will report back on their responses, pro and con.
We recognize that this Congress is as unlikely to take action on marijuana as it has been on other big issues. But it is long past time to repeal this version of Prohibition.
High Time: A New York Times Editorial Series on Marijuana Legalization
Repeal Prohibition Again, New York Times, July 27, 2014.
David Firestone, "Let States Decide on Marijuana", New York Times, July 26, 2014.
Jesse Wegman, "The Injustice of Marijuana Arrests', New York Times, July 28, 2014.
More editorials will continue through August 5, 2014.
A group of investors, headed by Guardian Industries President Bill Davidson, bought the Detroit Pistons on July 29, 1974, for $8.1 million.
The other owners announced that day were Herb Tyner, co-owner and president of Hazel Park Raceway; David and Eugene Mondry, operating officers of Highland Appliance; Warren Coville, president of Guardian Industries’ Guardian Photo Division; William Wetsman, movie-theater chain owner, and Oscar Feldman, partner in Katcher, Feldman and Wienner.
Source : Zlati Meyer, "Investors headed by Bill Davidson buy Pistons", Detroit Free Press, July 28, 2013.
A bill allowing "no-fault' divorces was signed into law. Prior to this law an individual seeking a divorce had to prove their partner was an abuser, a drunk, an adulterer, or had deserted.
Source : MIRS, July 29, 2014.
Mitchell Moved Voter Registration In 2013
Paul Mitchell, Republican candidate for the 4th U.S. House District, briefly moved his voter registration last year. The Thomas Township (Saginaw County) Clerk's Office confirmed that Mr. Mitchell had moved his voter registration from Thomas Township in August 2013 to Petoskey, then back to Thomas Township in November 2013.
Schmidt, MacMaster Battle It Out To The End
As Rep. Wayne Schmidt and Rep. Greg MacMaster near the end of their battle royal for the Republican nomination in the 37th Senate District, the blows they have exchanged since day one grow more vicious and it is clear neither will let up in the final push.
Courser: DeVoses Saved Opponent's Campaign In 82nd House
If there is one thought that sends shudders down the spine of the Republican establishment, it is the thought of "Rep. Todd Courser."
Cutler, Cole Take Over House 105th GOP Primary
Of the three Republicans competing to replace Rep. Greg MacMaster in the 105th House District, two have come to the forefront, and both Tony Cutler and Triston Cole have taken shots at each other when explaining they are best suited for the job.
As Haener, Linko Compete To Unseat Somerville, Linko Has Fundraising Advantage
In the battle for the Democratic nomination in the 23rd House District where the primary winner will compete against incumbent Republican Rep. Pat Somerville of New Boston, David Haener said he is the only candidate who has actually created jobs, while Brownstown Township Supervisor Andy Linko said his municipal government experience gives him the edge.
Cole Outspends Cutler In House 105th
Triston Cole has outspent his main opponent in the Republican primary for the 105th House District seat, his campaign finance report shows, but Tony Cutler has more funds on hand heading into the primary a week from Tuesday.
Sheffield Facing Uphill Battle Against Conyers
Now that U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Detroit) has his name back on the ballot, he will be tough to unseat given his strong name identification. But the Reverend Horace Sheffield III is working to convince voters it is time for Mr. Conyers to retire.
Yob To Play Leading Staff Role In Paul's PAC
Political strategist John Yob will serve as national political director and head the Michigan operation for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's RANDPAC, the group announced Monday.
Source : Gongwer News Service : Michigan Report, Volume #53, Report 145, July 28, 2014. Full access requires a subscription or a visit to a subscribing library such as the Michigan State University Main Library.
A prominent civil rights group gave Michigan's statewide civil rights curriculum an “F,” the same grade the state received in the first report three years ago.
Matthew Wesaw, director of the Department of Civil Rights (DCR), mentioned the latest report today from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) at the Civil Rights Commission (MCRC) meeting.
Wesaw called the assessment “embarrassing” for the state, given its role in the civil rights movement, he said.
The report is the SPLC's “Teaching the Movement", which was most recently released in March of this year. Michigan was one of 20 states given the worst grade. Three states scored “A” grades: Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina.
Michigan also scored an “F” back in 2011 when the SPLC first rolled out the assessment.
For the full article, see "Southern Poverty Law Gave Michigan “F” For Civil Rights Curriculum", Inside MIRS Today, July 28, 2014.
Other topics covered include:
MIRSNews.com is available via the MSU Library electronic resources page. Access is restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.
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