Two recent editorials in the New York Times and the Boston Globe called on the United States to end its prohibitions on marijuana and heroin, respectively. Both editorials expressed the view that federal bans on these drugs—both currently Schedule I banned substances—have criminalized a large portion of the U.S. population without effectively reducing drug use.
The New York Times editorial, written by the full Times editorial board, compared the 40-year ban on marijuana to the 13-year alcohol Prohibition that lasted from 1920 to 1933. It pointed out that while Prohibition did little to reduce the amount of alcohol that was consumed in the U.S., it did turn many people who had not previously been criminals into criminals. Furthermore, organized crime thrived during Prohibition.
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