When The New York Times' Editorial Board called for the federal legalization of marijuana over the weekend, it didn't say anything marijuana activists hadn't already been saying for years. Instead, it helped make that debate even less sensational.
"It's a sign of just how mainstream this debate has become," Tom Angell, the Chairman of Marijuana Majority told The Wire. "It's very significant, and it's going to help embolden public officials," to publicly discuss an issue they've supported behind closed doors, he added.
Angell said that marijuana legalization has been seen as a "marginalized, third rail issue" politicians can't touch, but The Times Editorial Board's endorsement of federal legalization will put the issue "on the radar of political operatives." (At the same time, Marijuana Majority also tweeted out this:)
For several pro-legalization blogs and websites the High Times series adds a mainstream kind of legitimacy to a movement that has been working for years. “The endorsement of marijuana regulation from the nation’s most authoritative news source shows that we are on the right side of history,” Anthony Johnson, the head of the campaign to pass marijuana legalization in Oregon this fall, said in a statement to The Weed Blog. "It is exciting to read that the Times appears to have taken off the gloves for the fight, and is aiming for a knockout blow to legitimize this debate once and for all," wrote Toke of the Town.