A Century Later, The New York Times Rejects The Anti-Marijuana Propaganda It PeddledHere is an excerpt from its scathing critique of the New York Times:
“In their gratitude for the belated support of a venerable journalistic institution, anti-prohibitionists should not overlook the extent to which the Times has aided and abetted the war on marijuana over the years. That shameful history provides a window on the origins of this bizarre crusade and a lesson in the hazards of failing to question authority. In an essay published by the Times on Tuesday, part of a series fleshing out the case for legalization, editorial writer Brent Staples exposes the ugly roots of marijuana prohibition: The federal law that makes possession of marijuana a crime has its origins in legislation that was passed in an atmosphere of hysteria during the 1930s and that was firmly rooted in prejudices against Mexican immigrants and African-Americans, who were associated with marijuana use at the time. This racially freighted history lives on in current federal policy, which is so driven by myth and propaganda that it is almost impervious to reason. Unfortunately, [the piece] overlooks the role the Times itself played in building that atmosphere of hysteria and disseminating the propaganda that supposedly justified the ban on marijuana. He mentions “sensationalistic newspaper articles” that tied marijuana to “murder and mayhem” and “depicted pushers hovering by the schoolhouse door turning children into ‘addicts.’” He does not mention that such stories appeared in The New York Times.”Forbes provides this 1925 example of New York Times demonization of marijuana:
"In 1978 the Times said marijuana 'shows great, though not fully proven, potential as a therapeutic agent.' But legalizing marijuana for medical use 'would be premature,' it said, calling for more research. Eighteen years later, responding to the passage of medical marijuana initiatives in California and Arizona, the Times was still calling for more research. In the meantime, it said, the Clinton administration’s 'aggressive campaign to combat the state initiative makes sense'...*This piece came courtesy of the Hubby.
It took almost a century for The New York Times to go from credulously accepting anti-marijuana propaganda to contemptuously rejecting it, along with the ban built on that foundation of lies."