Gary Johnson, Libertarian Candidate, Gives Marijuana Supporters an Alternative to Republicans

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Infohemp.com
Gary Johnson
Will Ron Paul Supporters Follow?

For all the love showered upon him by cannabis and hemp activists, Ron Paul was always going to be a bitter pill for liberals to swallow.

On the surface, the straight-talking Texan sounded good for voters weary with mainstream party choices: The long-tenured congressman said he'd end federal involvement in the Drug War and open up the clandestine world of the Federal Reserve Bank, for example. On the other hand, he also said he'd kill off the EPA, work to repeal Roe v. Wade, was no friend to gay marriage, and voted to build a fence along the Mexico border. (He also fathered U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), whose plan to cut federal spending by $500 billion has been generously described as "regressive").

That Paul garnered so much heated support from people he disagreed with on a host of other issues was a sign of how polemic the marijuana issue had become. But barring a true coup, Paul will not be on the November 2012 ballot.

Consideration now passes
to Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico. The Libertarian Party's candidate for president ardently supports the legalization and taxation (goodbye, Tea Party) of marijuana -- and is anti-fence, and pro-women's right to choose. He also appeared with Gavin Newsom on the same Los Angeles stage during a November drug policy conference.

And he'll need help from Paul's army if he wants to be mentioned in the same breath as Obama, Romney, or even Santorum (paging Dan Savage?).

Without a third-party candidate, many marijuana-friendly voters feel they have nowhere to go. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, has been outspoken in his opposition to the mere idea of medical marijuana, let alone the practice. And the Marijuana Policy Project has since last fall -- when Obama's Justice Department began shutting down state-legal medical marijuana dispensaries -- been describing President Barack Obama as the "worst-ever" president on the issue. "There's no question" he's the worst, Rob Kampia, the MPP's president, told Rolling Stone in February.

Yet loyal Democrats, including United Food and Commercial Workers, which is attempting to bring the nascent medical marijuana industry into the organized labor fold, are standing by the president. And only the most myopic of voters would support the likes of Romney out of pure pique or over a single issue.

It is true that seizures of marijuana plants are higher than ever before, and in San Francisco, Obama's Justice Department has shut down five licensed marijuana dispensaries; it has plans to shut down four more -- nine more dispensaries than Bush closed. Yet it's also true that most of Obama's drug warriors were in the same roles during Bush (e.g. DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, though confirmed by Obama, was originally appointed to the role by Bush). And it's also true that it was Bush, not Obama, whose agents seized six plants from Angel Raich, who is suffering a brain tumor. Likewise, Bush's Justice Department prosecuted pot POWs Mollie Fry and Eddy Lepp.

And on their way to an Obama-era peak, marijuana plant seizures and marijuana-related arrests have been on a steady climb since the mid-2000s, possibly as a result of there being more domestically produced marijuana around more now  than ever before.

In January, we caught heat for pointing out some of the finer points of constitutional law and Ron Paul's avowed dislike for federal authority. The congressman has repeatedly expressed his dislike for the Drug War, and went as far as to co-sponsor several bills that would have returned enforcement of marijuana and other substances to the states. That, however, would not legalize marijuana; it would merely remove the federal government from the equation. States, as many people serving time in county jail and state prisons would tell you, still outlaw the drug, and Paul's policies would not have affected that.

Johnson appears willing to go a step further, calling in campaign material for marijuana to be taxed as well as legalized. "The billions saved on marijuana interdiction, along with the billions captured as legal revenue, can be redirected against the individuals committing real crimes against society," he writes on his website.

Yet Paul shows no signs of quitting, appearing last week at a rally in California at UC Davis. On Sunday, the Republican parties of Maine and Nevada voted to send a majority of Paul delegates to the August party convention in Tampa.

Will Paul encourage his supporters to give Johnson the bully pulpit on national debate stages this fall?

Maybe. Crazier things have happened -- like Ross Perot.

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12 comments
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bobby
bobby

it is time stop the drog loards and make money 4 the usa

bobby
bobby

its time it would stop the drugs loards and make money 4 the usa and help the sick

Stephen Meier
Stephen Meier

if you think legalization of pot should be debated this election cycle then head over to gary johnson 2012 and kick in a couple of bucks. A lot of us donating small amounts would allow Gary to run tv adds and force Obama to defend his governments practice of shutting down our clinics! Might even force Obama to end his practice of being the most anti pot president ever!

Jose
Jose

I am voting for Ron Paul, even if he is a write-in.  I would have trouble sleeping if I voted for Romney or Obama and I don't want to throw my vote away.

Dave Ostroske
Dave Ostroske

If you want Ron Paul's ideas heard on the national stage, the least you could do is to support Gary Johnson in the polls, so he can hit the 15% he needs to join the debates. Also, tell your friends. They'll want to have someone worth voting for, too.

Thinking Clearly
Thinking Clearly

 If you don't vote your conscience in my opinion you are throwing your vote away.

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

Perhaps Jose might have stated it more eloquently, but I'm pretty certain that's he is planning on voting his conscience.

People need to understand how the Electoral College works, and understand that their vote doesn't count in any place other than their own State. Even in Y2K no one who voted for Mr. Nader in any other State than Florida could be said to have done anything other than sending the message that they wanted to send. I've been voting since 1980 and Florida Y2K is the only time a State election has been so close. Polling is pretty accurate nowadays. If you're really concerned that you're State might go "the wrong way" you should know that it's close by checking the polls.

Don't let clowns that don't understand how the Electoral College works fool you into voting for the DINO or the RINO. All of your Staet's Electoral College votes go to the winner. There's no vote more wasted than one for a candidate you don't really believe in when the vote total in your State is 55%-45%.

Aconservativeteacher Atgmail
Aconservativeteacher Atgmail

Gary Johnson is President Obama's best hope for passing the laws and policies that are the exact opposite of everything that libertarians believe. Have your morals, libertarians, while you shoot yourself in the foot by not voting against Obama and his authoritarian Democratic allies.

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

A RINO or a DINO, what's the difference?

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt

Are you saying we should vote for big government Mitt?  What's the difference between big government Obama and Mitt's authoritarian allies?

Grey Oak
Grey Oak

I live in Oakland & see the Obama stickers & signs everywhere but Gary Johnson is the real candidate the people of Oakland & the Bay Area in general should support. His ideals are closer in line with the majority of the Bay Area's: equal rights for all (immigrants, women, etc) & his stance on marijuana alone should garner enough support locally, then when you add in his views on the military & our presence overseas, this guy should be a no-brainer. He has an actual record as a 2 term governor you can look back on & judge him by.  

Go Gary Go
Go Gary Go

Best option for President. Unfortunately he can't buy the election so he won't get it. A better Democrat then Obama and a Better Republican then Romney .

Johnson has some great ideas and his record as Gov was that of Budget cuts and Surplus while retaining a high approval rating from both sides of the isle.

Plus he climbed Everest 

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