Weedmaps has started a petition calling for the New York Times to end its policy of drug testing for marijuana. This comes following an article by Huffington Post, among others, criticizing the paper for its policy.
Weedmaps falls under Ghost Group LLC, a venture capital firm based out of Newport Beach and founded by UCI alumnus Justin Hartfield. They have been an active voice in the marijuana legalization movement, and a boon to stoners everywhere. "The Times' current drug testing policy conundrum highlights the challenge facing our society as states legalize marijuana. People may no longer go to jail for marijuana under the new laws, but they still face an array of other life-changing consequences for using marijuana that they wouldn't face for using alcohol or prescription drugs, including loss of a job, voting rights, housing, and access to education, to name a few. The Times should change its drug testing policy to reflect its position ending marijuana prohibition," said Aaron Huston, a strategist at Weedmaps and Ghost Group.
"We reached that conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times's Editorial Board, " stated the Times editorial board in their introduction to their six part series of editorials calling for a repeal on federal prohibition. "The Times should bring its internal company policies into line with its views on the need to end legal discrimination against people who use marijuana," responds Weedmaps.
Weedmaps' response comes following Michael Calderon of Huffington Post questioning the efficacy of the Times' current policy regarding marijuana. "Our corporate policy on this issue reflects current law. We aren't going to get into details beyond that," was all a spokeswoman for the Times could say, although Jordan Weissmann at Slate was quick to note that they aren't actually required, under any law, to continue to do so.
"New York is one of the latest states to defy the tired edict of the Controlled Substances Act," wrote David Firestone in the first editorial of the series. As for the paper, in a blog post they state "the criminalization of marijuana has ruined lives." Great insight, although one not enforced by the people promoting it. It makes one wonder how many journalists have been unable to contribute to the gray lady because they smoke the forbidden herb.
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"If the New York Times believes it is wrong to discriminate against people for using marijuana, then they should stop doing so. Full stop. Forward-thinking companies in the emerging legal marijuana industry, such as WeedMaps, are leading the way toward a post-prohibition approach to hiring and human resources by focusing on job performance and not on the content of their employees' urine. The Times Company and other businesses in traditional sectors would do well to follow suit," voiced Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority. Similarly, the Times very own Andy Rosenthal said, "I've never asked the people that work for me whether they smoke pot, and I'm not going to ask."
"Whether we're going to continue testing for marijuana or not, I don't know. If they ask me, I'll say stop," Rosenthal said on MSNBC.
We at the Weekly would suggest that the Times should all head to Denver for a pow-wow to consider if drug testing is accomplishing anything positive for them. Unfortunately, they don't have the best record since, according to Huffington Post, "there was New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd's "bad trip," where she detailed being "curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours," after trying a marijuana candy bar while on assignment." At least they didn't drug test her when she got back to New York, right?