By Ricardo Baca

The New York Times on Saturday digitally published a bold editorial saying that “the federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.”

The paper’s message was straightforward and -- surprising to many -- thoroughly in line with what many marijuana activists have been saying for decades. While some readers may have been taken aback by the July 26 editorial, activists from DC to Denver say they saw this moment coming.

“I wasn’t really terribly surprised,” said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, one of the largest trade groups in the American marijuana industry. “Colorado especially having taken the lead in replacing the criminal market with a regulated one has demonstrated to the world that not only does the sky not fall when marijuana is legal and regulated, but there are huge benefits to the economy and the community.

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