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Absurd Marijuana Prohibition and The New York Times

By Steve Fox

The absurdity of marijuana prohibition in the United States is on full display today in The New York Times. On the one hand, we have the national “newspaper of record” publishing a long, mouth-watering and entirely non-critical article about “haute stoner cuisine” in the restaurant industry. On the other hand, we have an article on their Web site reporting that a professional basketball player for the NBA’s New York Knicks was arrested last night for marijuana possession.

Beneath a headline, “Marijuana Fuels a New Kitchen Culture,” TheTimes explains that marijuana use is rampant throughout the restaurant industry – but that isn’t a bad thing.

“Everybody smokes dope after work,” said Anthony Bourdain, the author and chef who made his name chronicling drugs and debauchery in professional kitchens. “People you would never imagine…

“There has been an entire strata of restaurants created by chefs to feed other chefs,” Mr. Bourdain said. “These are restaurants created specially for the tastes of the slightly stoned, slightly drunk chef after work.”

But what is apparently a bad thing is someone actually using marijuana outside of this exclusive restaurant culture. This is the message sent by the screaming headlines in TheTimes and elsewhere about the arrest of Knicks star Wilson Chandler. Ironically, he was arrested at almost the exact time the restaurant article appeared online.

We are at a crazy time in history in which marijuana’s popularity in an ever-expanding segment of the populace has advanced far ahead of more traditional segments of our society’s acceptance of it. We look forward to the day when traditional society — and our lawmakers — catch up. Fortunately, that day is being forced upon them whether they like it or not.


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