The Teapot Party, founded by country singer and activist Willie Nelson, has officially endorsed former New Mexico governor and current Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson.
“I am truly gratified to have the endorsement of such an iconic entertainer, philanthropist, innovator and champion for individual rights as Willie Nelson,” Johnson said in a statement issued by the group. “Not only is he a superstar talent, he is a bold advocate for social change. Americans are demanding the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams without interference from a heavy-handed government, and Willie Nelson lends a tremendous voice to those demands.”
Johnson, who announced his candidacy in April, is best known in recent years for his outspoken opposition to drug prohibition. The ex-governor also supports same sex marriage and withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan
At the Fox News Republican debate in South Carolina two weeks ago, Johnson noted that half of the money spend on law enforcement and prison is drug-related. Ninety percent of the “drug problem” is caused by the prohibition of drugs, not their use, according to the former governor.
Marijuana should be legalized and harm reduction strategies should be used for other illegal drugs, Johnson added. “Look at the drug problem as a health issue rather than a criminal justice issue.”
The Teapot Party was founded last November after Nelson was arrested for marijuana possession in Texas.
“The purpose of the Teapot Party,” Nelson explains, “is to vote in people who believe the way we do and vote out the ones who don’t.”