Although there are a few uses to laser pointers, there are not enough to make their danger to pilots acceptable. A majority of the time, laser pointers are used solely to annoy people, and that hardly warrants their existence. Occasionally professors use them in order to point things out to their classes on a board, but other ways of pointing out information can be used. Laser pointers are not necessary.
While I can't think of many uses for laser pointers other than for pointing at things on a board at presentations and as a fun cat toy, I don't know if the negatives call for a banning at this point. It's true that they can cause eye damage and should be used with care. I also believe that shining a laser pointer at an airplane should continue to be an arrestable offense. I just don't think an outright ban is necessary.