What Atlantic Readers Thought About Marijuana in the ’90s

In 1994, Eric Schlosser was eating breakfast at home when he received a phone call from the Editor-in-Chief of The Atlantic, Bill Whitworth.

Eric,” Schlosser recalls Whitworth asking, “is there anyone in prison right now for marijuana?”

The call came as a surprise. It had only been a few months since the publication of Schlosser’s first Atlantic article—picked up from the slush pile—on the New York City Police Department Bomb Squad.

Whitworth told me that the idea...

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