A One-Sided Parade for 'Marijuana's Moment' In The Washington Pot

The Washington Post might want to just call themselves The Washington Pot. Once again, on Friday, they adorned their front page with a pro-pot article, this one a Holly Yeager article headlined “Congress hears a new cannabis pitch: It's just good business.”

On Sunday, February 23, they splashed all-caps  “MARIJUANA’S MOMENT?” across the top of the front page. Inside were two full pages of promotional copy with the headline “Social, fiscal forces raise pot’s acceptance.” Marc Fisher wrote 4,500 words on it. On March 3 came a 2398-word front-pager from Ariana Eunjung Cha titled “'Mommy lobby' pushes for medical marijuana.”

Fisher’s article briefly turned to activists who fought the legalization of marijuana decades ago – but Yeager’s article today, as well as Cha’s, were completely, unanimously pro-pot.

Yeager pushed the usual line about marijuana's momentum in politics and culture:

If their aims seemed mundane, even technical, it was a measure of how far the marijuana movement has come in just a few years. Medical marijuana is now legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Last year, Colorado and Washington state made marijuana fully legal for adults, and similar efforts are gathering steam elsewhere in the country. Colorado collected about $2 million in marijuana taxes in January, the first month that sales for recreational use were permitted - a detail that was mentioned often Thursday.
A 'tipping point'

"This is an issue that is absolutely at its tipping point," Celinda Lake, a longtime Democratic pollster, said at a Hill briefing organized by the group in a formal room that is usually home to the House Budget Committee. She cited recent polling that shows that younger voters are the strongest supporters of legalizing marijuana, but that backing for legalization is increasing among people of all ages.

The group also heard from Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), and Jared Polis (D-Colo.), each of whom spoke out in support of some of an array of proposed marijuana-related legislation. They also lamented that Congress has not kept up with the pace of change in the states. "We're in this never-never land on Capitol Hill," Blumenauer said. "But we're watching the rest of America march forward."

Yeager spoke to pot lobbyist Dorian Des Lauriers:

[W]earing a blue suit and a tie with an American flag design, said he had used his meetings with congressional staffers to talk about Section 280E of the tax code, which prohibits companies involved in drug trafficking from deducting normal business expenses that other legal businesses can claim.

The higher tax burden he faces makes it harder to hire workers, Des Lauriers said. He added that some congressional staff members he spoke with seemed receptive to the group's proposal, which would allow standard business deductions and tax credits for marijuana-related businesses that comply with state laws.

The Post also put it on the front page when the D.C. council legalized homegrown pot on March 4.

One doesn't have to be in denial of the "marijuana momentum" to notice how much the Post wants the momentum and wants to keep it going by refusing to acknowledge an opposing view -- a moral view, a political view, a cultural view, anything.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis