Media Getting High on Pot Legalization

It may be too soon to call it a movement.But when two of the nation's most revered columnists write columns on the same day advocating for the legalization of marijuana there's definitely something in the air.

Legendary Time magazine columnist Joe Klein and Pulitzer Prize-winner Leonard Pitts both did so today.

The cost of policing marijuana users is too high for the struggling American economy to handle - and the stigma against marijuana is a fading tradition that's dying out with the baby boomer generation, Klein said.

"We spend about $150 billion on policing and courts, and 47.5 percent of all arrests are marijuana-related," Klein wrote in his piece "It's High Time."

"That is an awful lot of money, most of it nonfederal, that could be spent on better schools or infrastructure — or simply returned to the public," he wrote.

Taxing marijuana could rake in serious revenue for flailing states, Klein wrote.

Miami Herald newsman Leonard Pitts wrote in another Thursday column that the reason marijuana often affects smokers' lives negatively is because of the consequences attached with using the drug - not the drug itself.

"The conviction makes it nearly impossible to get a job, go to college, or even rent an apartment," Pitts wrote.

President Barack Obama said in a town hall meeting last week that he won't support marijuana legalization, even as an attempt to revive financial markets.

"No, I don't think that is a good strategy to grow our economy," he said when asked about legalizing pot.

Columnist Margery Eagan of the Boston Herald flat-out rejected Obama's claim in a March 31 pro-pot legalization piece, saying that allowing citizens to toke up could boost the economy and redefine a new age of consumerism.

"A different generation’s in charge now," Eagan wrote.

"Millions of Americans understand that you can get stoned in high school, in college, every post-collegiate Saturday night, yet remain a responsible, upstanding, taxpayer. They know because they’ve done it," her column read.

Several states have recently reconsidered anti-drug laws -- Attorney General Eric Holder said he'll only go after users who violate both federal and state regulations, meaning states like California, with medical drug dispensaries, have essentially decriminalized the drug.

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