Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson (R-NM) is now the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee, which is well-known for its support for marijuana policy reform — and Johnson, like most politicians, admits to having smoked it himself. Raw Story asked him about the genesis of his positions, where he sees the country headed and what he thinks of his fellow political tokers’ opposition to legalization.
Raw Story: Obviously, you’ve been outspoken for your support for massive reform for marijuana policy in this country, something that President Obama hasn’t been willing to touch, something that the Democratic Party is rarely willing to touch, something that the Republican Party is absolutely not interested in touching. And yet polls shows medical marijuana support at 70 percent, legalization gets 50 percent. Why do you think there’s this disconnect between almost every elected leader and most Americans?
Johnson: I think you mischaracterized your question by calling them “political leaders.” These aren’t political leaders. These aren’t leaders that we’ve elected they’re people that want to hold political office. Lead! Lead!
Raw Story: Marijuana policy is one of those things that seemingly never gets on top of the media’s radar, either, and yet so many people are interested in it.
Johnson: I completely agree. In 1999, I said, “Let’s legalize marijuana, let’s adopt harm reduction.” Would the world be better off tomorrow if drugs were legalized? Absolutely. Ninety percent of the drug problem is prohibition-related, not use-related. That’s not to discount the problems with use and abuse, but that ought to be the focus.
Raw Story: Where do you think we’re headed as a country on drug policy?
Johnson: I think we’re at a tipping point on marijuana. I think we’re going to legalize it. I think Colorado is going to lead the charge. I think they’re going to vote yes this fall. I think that’s going to be the first to 50 state dominos that fall. As you point out, 50 percent of Americans now support legalizing marijuana. Why is the number so high? It’s because people are talking about it, and yet no politicians are talking about it. None. Zero. And there are a handful now that are, but… let’s see, why did I get elected? Why did I run for office? To be a leader?
Raw Story: What’s interesting on marijuana policy in particular is that the Obama Administration has started cracking down on states that have legalized even just medical marijuana…
Johnson: That’s the really disturbing thing about Obama is that he explicitly promised to not do that. He explicitly said, “I will not spend federal resources cracking down on medical marijuana facilities where the legislatures or the citizens voted to implement these programs.” And so this is a slap in the face to everybody that supported him.
When it came to Obama, he said a bunch of favorable things. But for me, he said talked about three things that were very favorable: wars, gay rights and drug policy. I thought, unquestionably, these three areas are going to be dramatically changed over the next four year. And none of them: we’ve doubled down in Afghanistan, he’s cracking down on medical marijuana facilities. It’s worse. And I’m not telling you anything you don’t recognize, but the marijuana crackdown is worse. And gay rights? Marriage equality? It’s just lip service. Leave it to the states? Effectively, 41 states have said that marriage is between a man and a woman, that’s effectively saying, “I’m not going to do anything regarding the issue.”
Raw Story: And yet, it would take more than all our fingers put together to even start to count all the politicians who’ve admitted to marijuana use.
Johnson: It’s a bit of hypocrisy, isn’t it? I have never been guilty of that. I’m one of the 100 million plus Americans — and I think that’s a number that’s understated dramatically — I’m one of 100 million Americans who have smoked marijuana, and I don’t offer an apology for it. It’s something I did, and a lot of other people have done.
I don’t smoke pot today, I don’t drink alcohol today, but I can speak to my own personal experience on both substances. In no category is marijuana more dangerous than alcohol. For me, marijuana was, like, a wonder drug, if you will. No side effects. No hangover. As an athlete, it was, “Wow, this is great.”
[A young woman participates in the 14th annual Global Marijuana March on May 5 in Toronto, Canada. Photo: arindambanerjee / Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.]
Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.
As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.
Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:
1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."
Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR
British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate
Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.
The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.
In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.
Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6
President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.
Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.
Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019