• By Bill O'Reilly

    Over the weekend the "New York Times" called for the USA to legalize marijuana all over the place. No surprise, that paper's far left on its editorial page so its stance is predictable.

    But the real reason -- the real reason many liberals want to legalize pot is not to put another intoxicant in the marketplace, although they generally don't object to that. The real reason, the unspoken marijuana play is contained in "The Times" editorial, quote: "The social costs of marijuana laws are vast the result is racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals," unquote.

    There you have it. The left believes American law enforcement targets African-Americans for drug prosecutions. Therefore, they want drug sales to be categorized as nonviolent offenses and marijuana to be legalized. It's about race not drugs.

    Now, some facts. According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission about 5,000 criminals were sentenced for marijuana offenses in 2013 at the federal level; almost 98 percent of them for sale. Average prison time, 41 months; and here is the kicker; 63 percent of those convicted on the federal level were Hispanic. Just 11 percent black.

    The legalization of marijuana still full of unintended consequence; sends a signal to children that drug use is an acceptable part of life. That's big.

    The "Times" says marijuana is not a gate way drug. That it does not lead to other drug use that is false. According to a recent study by the Yale School of Medicine, adolescents who use pot or alcohol are three times more likely to abuse hard drugs than children who do not use intoxicants.

    As for the poor precincts in America, does it make any sense at all to make intoxicants more available in those places?

    Drug use and sales have devastated poor neighborhoods in this country. Let's take New York City for example. In 1990, there were 2,245 homicides in this town -- an average of six per day. In 2013, there were 335 homicides. So what happened? Under Mayor Rudy Giuliani the New York City Police cracked down on open drug use and sales. And those convicted of selling drugs were given much harsher sentences by the state of New York. No one disputes the murder rate was driven by the drug trade as gangs shouted out all over the city.

    But now the left wants to go soft on drug use and criminal sentencing. Apparently the "New York Times" and others want to go back to the good old days where there were six murders daily in the nation's largest city. That's just insane.

    Drug use is a public menace. It helps no one. Same thing with alcoholism. Same thing with smoking tobacco. But you don't add to those problems by legalizing pot. That's stupid. What the authorities should do is decriminalize pot use. You want to do it in your house? Not bother anyone? Fine. Go outside with a joint or a pipe, you pay a fine. A hefty one if I'm running the show. But sell marijuana? You go to jail.

    America used to have standards of behavior in public. But today, they're collapsing all around us.

    And that's ‘The Memo.'

    - You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com.