July 28, 2014 Last Updated 7:46 am

NYT editorial calls for repeal of ban on marijuana, readers agree; update for WaPo Newsstand app centers on faster downloads

Morning Brief: Times editorial proves far less controversial with readers as vast majority of commenters express agreement with paper’s position

The most recently polls conducted show that a majority of Americans, when asked, wish to repeal laws against marijuana possession – or at least legalize medical marijuana. But few mainstream newspapers, and fewer politicians have gone the next step to say they, too, think repealing laws written 40+ years ago is a good idea.

cannabis_leaf-featureOn Sunday The New York Times editorial board tipped its hand on the issue, coming out strongly for repealing the 40 year ban on marijuana. Readers responded by, for the most part, agreeing.

The Times moderates its comments so the number of comments is limited compared to both The Huffington Post and the Washington Post, which generally feature far more comments and livelier conversations – though also far more aggressive, often hateful comments, as well. But, more than 4,600 readers responded to editorial, with more than 90 percent appearing to agree with the paper.

“There are no perfect answers to people’s legitimate concerns about marijuana use,” the Times board wrote. “But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and we believe that on every level — health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues — the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization. That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs — at the state level.”

Right on cue, Quinnipiac University released a poll of Florida residents that found that voters surveyed support legalized marijuana for medical use 88 to 10 percent. Even Republicans were overwhelmingly in favor.

But legalizing medical marijuana and legalizing recreational use are two different things. But the NYT position is that the Federal ban should be lifted and it left to the states to decide. With the editorial came a column in support of this position and later today On Monday, Andrew Rosenthal, the editorial page editor, will be taking questions about marijuana legalization at the NYT’s Facebook page.

WaPo-iPad-frontThe Washington Post has been issuing updates to its iPad Newsstand app on a regular basis – about every two weeks. Today’s update brings The Washington Post for iPad update to version 2.6.1.

The update is all about speeding up downloads. The app now “pre-fetches” images while the reader is on WiFi so that pages load more quickly. The app also implements background fetching for the latest stories for the same reason.

The app, if you recall, is a combination app: it opens to a tablet formatted version of the paper’s website, very much like the NYT’s four year old app; then also offer a replica edition of the print paper with hot links to text versions of the stories for easier reading on a tablet.

Originally launched as a stand-alone app, the WaPo’s iPad app eventually was moved into the Newsstand.

While many readers have recently complained of bugs in the Post’s iPad, for the most part most readers have given the app positive marks.

The same can not be said for the app for The Plain Dealer, the Cleveland daily from Advance. The app has received overwhelmingly negative reader reviews.

“Not only are they not embarrassed,” writes of reader of the publishing company in a recent review, “they seem not to notice Crashes constantly, often blurry, missing sentences and paragraphs. Hire a middle school kid to make this better!”

We’ll, the vendor, Technavia, did finally respond and has issued a bug fix update which one hopes will solve some of the problems.

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