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The New York Times Endorses Oregon’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative


new york times washington post marijuanaThe New York Times, the most authoritative newspaper in the United States, on Sunday endorsed Oregon’s Measure 91, which would regulate, tax and legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older.

“Decades of arresting people for buying, selling and using marijuana have hurt more than helped society,” the editorial board wrote, “and minority communities have been disproportionately affected by the harsh criminal penalties of prohibition.” With Oregon’s Measure 91, “legalization will not be a big change. As The Oregonian editorialized in August, the measure would ‘be worth supporting for reasons of honesty and convenience alone.'”

Oregon ballot measures rarely win endorsements as high-profile as The New York Times, but Measure 91 has also won endorsements from Oregon’s two largest newspapers — The Oregonian in Portland, and The Register Guard in Eugene — as well as from smaller news organizations, such as The East Oregonian in Pendleton.

Ethan Nadelmann, the executive director for the Drug Policy Alliance, has called Oregon’s Measure 91 “the new gold standard” of marijuana reform laws and “the No. 1 priority” for the marijuana reform movement. Oregon is the largest state in the lower 48 where a measure to regulate, legalize and tax marijuana is on the ballot.

Alaska and the District of Columbia also have marijuana regulation measures on the ballot that won the endorsement of the most authoritative newspaper in the United States. “[T]here are some differences in their proposed initiatives, but they are all worthy of passage,” the editorial board said.

More info: Two retired citizens groups, the City Club of Portland, several unions and several racial justice groups have also joined Measure 91’s growing list of endorsing organizations. Individual endorsers include Richard Harris, the retired Director of Oregon Addiction and Mental Health Services; Richard W. Riggs, the retired Oregon Supreme Court Justice; and Kris Olson, the retired Chief Federal Prosecutor for Oregon.

What’s next: Starting Wednesday, travel guru Rick Steves is launching a 6-day, 10-city tour called “Travel as a Political Act: Ending marijuana prohibition in Oregon.”

What else is news: The Measure 91 campaign last week officially launched its $2 million plus advertising blitz, debuting a veteran law enforcement officer in the first prime time TV spot.


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Johnny Green


  1. Here they endorse this effort but the release this today in New York!!

    “This is your Brain on Drugs”! By Abigaile Moore

  2. we are confused by the end of the measure that states the sale of so much stuff to help grow cultivate use ect section 75 sale of drug parapharnalia prohibited….so this is confusing

  3. It’s a great endorsement. However, living on the West coast, I personally consider the Los Angeles Times my national paper of record.

  4. Captain Obvious on

    The New Your Times wants to stay in business. America’s overlords along with millions of people will see it. Better late than never. I would venture to guess they probably have a hard time hiring decent writers that can pass a ‘drug’ test.

  5. Only speaking for myself, I’ll take my help where I can get it. It’s a much better headline than “NYT Opposes Oregon’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative.” Besides, it’s about effin time that the NYT redeem itself for it’s sins of the past, namely for their patently false report of WMD in Iraq penned by the scurrilous neocon shill, Judy Miller.

  6. stellarvoyager on

    Great news, Johnny! The endorsements for measure 91 just keep rolling in! On a more local level, I just read that measure 91 was also endorsed by the East Oregonian, a great sign since that newspaper represents the most conservative part of the state.

  7. This is insulting. Like we should care about establishment support from out of state news papers.

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