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The New York Times Just Called Obama Out On Marijuana Legalization

The New York Times editorial board has one again called for the legalization of marijuana, and this time they've directly called out President Obama to take action on the issue - with or without congressional support.

A little over a year ago, The New York Times ran a six part editorial series in support of legalizing marijuana, entitled "Repeal Prohibition, Again". Yesterday, November 5th they again ran a piece supporting an end to cannabis prohibition, citing an ever increasing consensus among state and foreign governments, politicians, doctors, and scientists. But this editorial went further than any of the previous pieces, because it called on President Obama to order the Attorney General to request an assessment by the Secretary of Health and Human Services on the scientific and medical value of the drug.

This process, while not exactly simple, would bypass the need for congressional action, and allow for cannabis to be removed from Schedule I. Due to the absolute restrictions on research and medical use that the Controlled Substances Act imposes on Schedule I substances, removing the drug from Schedule I is the single most important step for moving forward with legalization. [For comparison, cocaine, morphine, opium, and crystal meth are on the much less restrictive Schedule II.]

Hopefully the Times's piece will increase awareness of the fact that President Obama does have the power to push legalization forward, and in doing so inspire a surge of public pressure for him to act on it.

[Image: "FemaleCannabisCluster" by Bokske - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.]

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