That's where libertarian candidate Gary Johnson comes in. He's made pot legalization a central plank in his presidential bid, and he's released a new ad describing himself as "the last sane man standing" on the issue. The commercial reminds voters of Obama's inconsistent stance - he smoked pot but he's allowing others to go to jail for it - and compares the ineffective War on Drugs to alcohol prohibition.
If Johnson's message resonates with millions of Americans, should the mainstream media give him more attention? That's the argument made by The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf. Currently Johnson gets almost zero airtime on cable TV, in part because he "isn't remotely competitive with his opponents in opinion polls" - although a recent survey had Johnson polling at a surprising 5.3% in the presidential race.
No, I'm dead serious. It's easy to say "well, if people are allowed to drink alcohol/smoke cigarettes, why am I not allowed to smoke pot?" How about "well, of people are allowed to defy nature in their private lives and cross the border illegally and then apply for and receive entitlements and benefits intended for legal citizens of this country, WHY AM I NOT ALLOWED TO SMOKE A PLANT?" I mean, really?
Perhaps more people IN YOUR CIRCLES are against it, but the majority of those people are old and finally kicking the bucket. It looked kind of shady for a while as the average life-expectancy was on the rise, but thankfully it's leveled-off. I don't want to live forever, but more importantly I don't want to spend the rest of my days appeasing Gram and Gramps while they're overstaying their welcome on this planet. And if you're under the impression that all potheads are pushovers, non-voters, and nothing more than stinking hippies with live-and-let-live attitudes, think again.
The House can solve the "Gary Johnson distraction" with one simple bill.
Pass a bill that removes marijuana from the list of controlled substances and designates that it be regulated similarly to alcohol. Then hand it over to the Democrat-controlled Senate. Libertarians and open-minded democrats with an eye on the deficit will start to rethink which side they are on.
I guarantee the Tea Party would at least get out of the way if they don't support legalization outright. After all, I'm a Tea Partier too.
You may be right. Long-term healthcare costs of marijuana legalization has honestly not been one of the topics I've dug into very deeply. But that's true for alcohol too. But the law enforcement costs would decrease to user-level crimes like DUI and provide Some revenue. Plus there is a clear distinction in most people's heads between weed and the other illegal drugs. I say deal with marijuana the best we can. And then deal with the unintended consequences of that direction. That sounds more manageable than than the unintended consequences of prohibition.
C'mon, Wolf...the revenues would FAR OUTWEIGH any "future healthcare costs", which in my honest opinion wouldn't amount to much more than a few isolated cases of indigestion. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms...we have a choice. That's what freedom is all about...but the cost to produce the plant is low as is the time to cultivate a crop, there are so many practical uses for it that I couldn't begin to list them all here, and the only reason that it isn't as legal as alcohol is Big Pharma's opposition to its use as an alternative medicine. Who would you rather see make that money? A bunch of farmers or a bunch of PHARMers?
They could pass a bill removing it, but they won't. Bottom line is that although this is popular with about 56% of the people (Source: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_conten... ), no one wants to be "that guy" who appears soft on drugs and or crime. Voting for decriminalization would be a guaranteed loss in a tight election with the way ads are ran. How many years has it taken before congressmen started talking about shrinking the defense budget to cut costs, or seriously looking at curbing the PATRIOT ACT? No one wants to appear weak on terror, defense, or crime. I wouldn't be too sure about the Tea Party getting out of the way either. If it is not one of their guys in a district that is for it, you can bet they would be the first to play the "soft on drugs" angle. I used to identify with them myself, but feel that they became too much of a religious right tool.
One problem is the whole semantics of the "war" on drugs. Usually ee think of a war sa an all out effort against an enemy where fight for an objective for certain period of time then its over. The fight against drugs will never end as long as it is seen as only a law enforcement issue.or even a treatment issue. Drug enforcement is a foreign policy issue as well. Until we start dealing with the host countries and drug imports as an issue that affects foreign aid, we will continue to export 65 billion a year to criminals and the govts. That support them. Domestic marijuana is a whole other issue but legalization is a back seat issue in this election.
I don't think this is the best strategy for Johnson to pursue. Everyone knows that the number one issue in this election is going to be the economy. Johnson should stress the libertarian approach to economic policy which should be attractive to Tea Party folks and Ron Paul folks alike.
Marijuana legalization is on the ballot here in Oregon. I'm giving it a 50/50 chance. It just depends upon voter participation (we vote by mail). Oregon is an interesting and diverse mix. Weed in Oregon grows well and is better than most grown in the United States, excepting Hawaii. But we still have our anti-pot rednecks: the same ones who drink a rack of Budweiser every night! If it passes, I'm eager to see how the Feds (over)react. But who knows, we do have medical marijuana licenses and assisted suicide and except for token enforcement, we have been pretty much left alone.
Thats my guy. The obama haters (NASCAR enthusiests) will vote Romeny, the 99%ers and "minorities" will vote Obama, and hopefully... Sane people who realize a 2 party system is failing them will vote Johnson.
It should be legalized! All part of supply and demand. The more weed there is, the less it will cost to get it, the less profit it will make for a drug dealer. Companies should continue not hiring and firing ppl who use it.
"Companies should continue not hiring and firing ppl who use it." Why exactly?? If someone prefers cannabis to alcohol on his own time and is able to do his job then why should that person be denied a living or lose it??? Is it because of the inaccurate stigma spewed by those against it that continues to follow cannabis even though most of the "facts" given 70 years ago have been disproven? I guess you're a believer in the stereotype which is a result of the aforementioned stigma.
@Len_in_NY2 I know directly from experience it kills your brain cells. I have a cousin who is dumber than dirt when he's smoking the whacky tabacky and he's not the only person I know who acts stupid with that stuff.
First of all, the science does not back up your claim about the brain cells. Also, is your cousin stupid when he is not under the influence? If he is not, nobody is condoning use on the job. If your cousin is ok when not under the influence, then it's a non-factor and should not be the factor as to whether or not someone can make a living. If he is, now you're blaming the cannabis on his natural stupidity. Neither is a valid reason to deny others the chance to be productive just because they enjoy cannabis. BTW, does this mean that people who get drunk and become stupid should also not be able to work? If that's the case, then we'd have a lot more unemployed people out there now, wouldn't we??? As far as the "people I know" logic, well, I'd be willing to bet that for every example of those who are idiotic on cannabis, I can give you two whose faculties are just fine. A bit giggly, but fine.
All right Gary keep up the fight. The Libertarian party stands for the true nature of the Constitution. And no not for just the pot issue. If you really believe everybody should stand on there own to feet and want a smaller less intrusive government Libertarian is the party for you. Individual rights over being politically correct is core to the party.