Politics

Possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate Gary Johnson opens up to TheDC

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Amanda Carey
Contributor

“For eight years,” former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson said with a wide grin on his face, “I was a libertarian governor disguised as a Republican!” Often dubbed the “next Ron Paul,” Johnson wears the libertarian (small “L”) label proudly, though in an interview with The Daily Caller he swore he was still a Republican.

“The Republican Party has treated me very well,” said Johnson on a recent visit to TheDC’s Washington headquarters. The line is probably one he’ll be repeating often, as it is widely speculated Johnson will run for president in 2012 on the Republican Party ticket. His visit, in fact, came just days after a profile of him ran in The New Republic that quoted one Johnson confidant as saying, “There’s no waiting or seeing. It’s a done deal.”

Johnson was clear from the very beginning of the interview, however, that because his organization – Our America — is a 50C(4), he couldn’t comment on a 2012 presidential bid. But hypothetically speaking? Without missing a beat Johnson said that hypothetically, if a libertarian-minded candidate like himself were to announce a presidential bid, it would probably be around February of 2011.

That said, Johnson has a lot of ground to cover if he expects to produce even a semi-serious challenge to possible Republican presidential contenders like Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, not to mention President Obama.

Johnson’s political career to date has lasted exactly eight years – two consecutive terms as governor of New Mexico. And that, as Johnson pointed out, says something, considering the fact that New Mexico is a majority Democratic state by a ratio of 2 to 1.

But it wasn’t easy, said Johnson, who talked about how even the Republicans at the state level tried to grow the size of government. “I had to veto roughly 100 bills where the vote [in the State Legislature] was 117-0,” said Johnson, though without a trace of self pity. For Johnson, it rather seems like a badge of honor.

And after taking a hiatus from politics after his second term ended in 2003 to run marathons, bike through mountains, and climb Mt. Everest, 2012 just might be the opportune year for Johnson to take advantage of the GOP resurgence and Tea Party wave. Although when the Tea Party comes up in the conversation, Johnson has both positive and negative things to say.

“There is an awareness today that has never existed before in my lifetime,” said Johnson, when talking about the level of activism that has swept the country the last two years. But the adulation stopped there, as Johnson put his hands up in the air in frustration.

“There’s a disconnect between what they say and reality,” said Johnson emphatically. “When it comes to immigration and defense, they actually support an expansion of government!”

The statement seems surprising coming from a man who will probably depend on Tea Party support — which often overlaps with Ron Paul’s 2008 base — to garner enthusiasm for his candidacy. But then that’s Johnson-style political correctness at its finest. Call it unorthodox, but to Johnson, it’s just common sense.

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  • gatortarian

    What’s with the totalitarian thinking on the drug war? This war on liberty is unconstitutional and does nothing but funnel money to the worst people in society. The failed attempt at prohibition should be enough to show that making something illegal does not get rid if it but simply increases crime and violence. If we took all the money we piss away in the war on drugs and put towards education and treatment our society would be a much better place. What happened in the 1930′s that suddenly made pot such a problem it had to be banned? The answer? Nothing at all. It is simply another power grab by the government and the results of bribes from other industries like cotton.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jasmine-Clark/1785223171 Jasmine Clark

      wow this has been an interesting debate in this article, it’s really something to think about. we know how to debate in a rational way without getting rude and insulting!! =D

      anyway. calling it “totalitarian” and “unconstitutional” is going too far!!

      making something illegal will increase crime statistics because if it were legal then those actions would not be considered a crime.

      making drugs legal will certainly increase violence. people’s minds will be so messed up that it will lead to more irrational and violent acts.

      whether pot is banned or has been banned in the past or didn’t used to be banned does not change the fact that… pot is very harmful, therefore a ban was a good idea.

      i do agree with money being spent on education and prevention.

      it would be so easy to get drugs if they were legal, everyone could do it out in the open. that would increase drug use. then, so much more health problems and other problems would arise.

      • gatortarian

        Thanks for the kind reply,

        “anyway. calling it “totalitarian” and “unconstitutional” is going too far!!”

        If they needed to pass a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol why can they ban marijuana without one? The decision to ban marijuana should be a decision for the states to make, not the feds.

        “making something illegal will increase crime statistics because if it were legal then those actions would not be considered a crime.”

        I agree but that is not the only crime it increases. Nature abhors a vacuum and it will be filled. Anyone who wants to use drugs can find them. Many people consider the law ridiculous and a violation of their basic rights. Once you start having laws that many people don’t see as justice it undermines all laws since respect for the law has diminished. In addition once someone is breaking the law by using drugs it is not that much of a leap to break other laws as well. You are already breaking the law everyday and not getting caught, what else can I get away with? The increased violence is also associated with the dealers of these drugs. Since they already operate outside the law they will use illegal business practices to increase their market share, such as collusion and intimidation.

        “making drugs legal will certainly increase violence. people’s minds will be so messed up that it will lead to more irrational and violent acts.”

        I respect you right to hold this opinion but it is just that, an opinion. I think it will have the opposite effect. People who have never used drugs have some very strange ideas about what drugs do to people. I should add that if this where the case we would see prescription drug users going on crime sprees all over the place but somehow that does not happen. I can assure you that prescription are just as effective as illegal ones to get you high. Every drug dealer sells them in quantity.

        “whether pot is banned or has been banned in the past or didn’t used to be banned does not change the fact that… pot is very harmful, therefore a ban was a good idea.”

        But it is not “very” harmful, it is less addictive than caffeine and not a single death has been associated to its use. Compare that with alcohol.

        “it would be so easy to get drugs if they were legal, everyone could do it out in the open. that would increase drug use. then, so much more health problems and other problems would arise.”

        These are laws that currently prevent drinking in public in some areas, I am sure local communities can pass laws that make sense for their community.

  • Citizen Jerry

    More like … not your average pothead stoner.

  • CK4RP

    At the end of the day, the War on Drugs has been an expensive, utter failure. The ROI has been zip, zero, nada with the profits reserved for drug dealers, gangs, and private prisons. Statistics indicate that there are more pot smokers in prison than ever. Drug use among teens is higher than ever (perhaps a parenting deficiency?). Every federal commission to have studied the issue has recommended legalization. LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) has some powerful arguments for decriminalization.

    A comparison of the government’s many and various “wars” contains one common thread and that is that the government forces us to pay taxes (or be jailed) to pay for all of it’s “wars” whether it’s poverty, drugs, illiteracy, or obesity. The point is that it’s not their job and redistributing the citizens’ wealth through taxation to fight these various “wars” is wrong.

    Lifting up communities and providing charitable assistance is the work of civic groups, churches and individual citizens. The federal government’s job is very clearly defined in the Constitution and it would behoove us to follow it. It is, after all, the rule book.

    • Anonymous1010

      CK4RP: you have the wrong message, you have a hodge-podge of idea’s that aren’t based in reality.

      Just spouting for the sake of spouting doesn’t make your argument sound any better.

      You need to stop saying mud pies are good to eat.

      • samac

        And Homespun b*llsh*t for the sake of homespun b*llsh*t doesn’t really make a point either.

        Marijuana is illegal in order to provide government jobs to the decendants of the original prohibitionists, who when put out of work in 1933 needed to create a new boogeyman to keep on the taxpayers teet and breaking down citizen’s doors (gives them quite a rush I hear).

        Johnson will be better running in New Mexico for Senate. The sponsors of Prohibition don’t pollute the electorate there as much as it does in other Republican primaries. Still, I’d like to focus on the rest of his agenda for less spending and more freedom.

        And I’m still waiting to hear why it is “immoral” to have a drink or a smoke. Didn’t Jesus drink wine? Or is there something about being a southern Baptist that makes one not able to handle liquor?

        • des1

          “Marijuana is illegal in order to provide government jobs to the decendants of the original prohibitionists, who when put out of work in 1933 needed to create a new boogeyman to keep on the taxpayers teet and breaking down citizen’s doors…”

          Do you need some extra tin foil for your hat?

  • Anonymous1010

    Gary Johnson is not the freedom I’m looking for.

  • Anonymous1010

    Libertarian? is that like a RINO? The questions aren’t for me it’s for everyone to ask themselves.

    I would extremely hesitate to give him any accolades.

    It sounds to me more of the middle of the road Democrats, not conservative.

    I also did my share of drugs, I would never think of endorsing the legalization of any of them.

    I’m not talking about prohibition, just that I know the affects it has on a community.

    For him or any other politicians to not understand this, is just some more liberalism that has gotten this country in trouble.

    Gary Johns has every right to believe what he wants, for pete’s sake it’s America.

    I would say I wouldn’t care who endorsed him, you would have to count me out.

    • axiomata

      No, you’re not talking about prohibition. LOL.

      • Anonymous1010

        I suppose your for legalizing all drugs?

        What a dope.

        • gatortarian

          They were ALL legal until the early 20th century. I never thought of 19th Century America as a horrible place to live or as anarchy. Using federal tax dollars to fight human nature is ridiculous.

          • des1

            I had read (but never confirmed) that the original ban came from a Congressman who was trying to kill the hemp industry for personal gain (he had investments in other products). The story even claimed that the name marijuana originated because he thought it “sounded Mexican” and would be easier to demonize.

            Interesting bit of history, but in the end there has to be compelling evidence to overturn it. I’m hearing a lot of people say it isn’t fair or that it’s difficult to enforce, but nothing that makes me think it would be a good idea to legalize. That’s the tough part of the argument.

          • gatortarian

            Des,

            Check out this website and see if it makes a compelling case for legalization.

            Over 43 billion dollars spent so far this year on the war on drugs.
            Over 1/2 million people arrested for breaking laws on pot alone.

            http://www.drugsense.org/cms/wodclock

            Besides the financial argument I always default to freedom and liberty and to me the case needs to be made to take away peoples rights rather than to allow them their Constitutional freedoms.

        • truebearing

          Smoking pot is not a constitutional freedom. What you seem to be promoting is license, not liberty.

          You talk about the money spent on the drug war as an absolute waste, while failing to admit the true cost of using drugs.

          “Estimates of the total overall costs of substance abuse in the United States—including health- and crime-related costs as well as losses in productivity—exceed half a trillion dollars annually. This includes approximately $181 billion for illicit drugs,1 $168 billion for tobacco,2 and $185 billion for alcohol.3 Staggering as these numbers are, however, they do not fully describe the breadth of deleterious public health—and safety—implications, which include family disintegration, loss of employment, failure in school, domestic violence, child abuse, and other crimes.”
          http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/understand.html

          What about the link to mental illness?

          “The strongest evidence to date suggests a link between cannabis use and psychosis (Hall and Degenhardt 2009).”

          Whatabout car accidents?

          “According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18 percent of motor vehicle driver deaths. A recent survey found that 6.8 percent of drivers, mostly under 35, who were involved in accidents tested positive for THC; alcohol levels above the legal limit were found in 21 percent of such drivers.

          No harm to users, you say?

          “marijuana users themselves report poor outcomes on a variety of life satisfaction and achievement measures. One study compared current and former long-term heavy users of marijuana with a control group who reported smoking cannabis at least once in their lives but not more than 50 times. Despite similar education and income backgrounds, significant differences were found in educational attainment: fewer of the heavy users of cannabis completed college, and more had yearly household incomes of less than $30,000. When asked how marijuana affected their cognitive abilities, career achievements, social lives, and physical and mental health, the majority of heavy cannabis users reported the drug’s negative effects on all of these measures.

          How about the affect on fetal development:

          “Animal research suggests that the body’s endocannabinoid system plays a role in the control of brain maturation, particularly in the development of emotional responses. It is conceivable that even low concentrations of THC, when administered during the perinatal period, could have profound and long-lasting consequences for both brain and behavior (Trezza et al. 2008). Research has shown that some babies born to women who used marijuana during their pregnancies display altered responses to visual stimuli, increased tremulousness, and a high-pitched cry, which could indicate problems with neurological development. In school, marijuana-exposed children are more likely to show gaps in problemsolving skills, memory, and the ability to remain attentive. More research is needed, however, to disentangle the drug-specific factors from the environmental ones (Schempf and Strobino 2008).”

          http://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/marijuana/marijuana4.html#driving

          It really isn’t the beign picture you are painting, and making it easier to feed the addictive nature of our culture can only drag us further down. If you believe in Libertarianism you better start promoting morality and moral restraint, because a Libertarian government means far less law enforcement, which means people have to self govern, and if they aren’t supremely moral people, chaos will ensue. Better work on that instead of promoting yet another form of self indulgence.

          • truebearing

            last paragraph: “it isn’t the benign picture….”

          • krjohnson

            Who ever said that marijuana was good for you? I think truebearing is once again fighting his own strawmen.

            Why don’t we look at Denmark, where they’ve legalized marijuana. Is use up or down? DOWN. 60% of what it is in the US. That’s teens, that’s adults, that’s seniors. All age levels.

            Why don’t we look at Portugal where all drugs are legal, including heroin which no one in their right mind believes is good for you in any way and yet all you need is a doctors prescription to get it there. Is use up or down? DOWN. It has been cut in HALF over the 10 years it’s been legal there.

            It will never be legal to become impaired by any substance, be it marijuana or cocaine or alcohol or heroin and put other people at serious risk by driving a car. It will never be legal to do harm to others no matter what state of mind you are in. But empirical evidence shows that these things go DOWN when drugs are legal.

            It has been shown that when all drugs are legal, people actually tend to use the LESS harmful ones. For example, people will choose cocaine over meth. Both are harmful, yes, but cocaine is MUCH less harmful than meth. In prohibition people get sucked in to using dangerous ones because they are available and there is limited competition. In a free market people have more choices, and more informed choices, and they tend to side with the less risky ones. Deaths go WAY down when people are allowed to choose and products are subject to the quality controls of the market.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Beavis-Human/100001488091151 Beavis Human

            truebearing appears to be delusional…

            “Smoking pot is not a constitutional freedom. What you seem to be promoting is license, not liberty.”

            That is incorrect. It is a constitutional freedom. The Tenth Amendment states “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Can you please site the section of the Constitution that says the Federal Government has the power to dictate what I may consume, or the section that says it can dictate what plants I may grow in my home?

            Marijuana is less harmful to both the user and to society than alcohol in practically every way, so why should I be forced to choose the more harmful substance? I believe that in a free society, I should be able to weigh the relative risks and choose the less harmful substance if I so choose.

            “You talk about the money spent on the drug war as an absolute waste, while failing to admit the true cost of using drugs.”

            You are implying here that prohibition somehow prevents people from using drugs. It does not. If someone wants to use drugs currently, they already do. Prohibition of a substance is not controlling it. It is complete surrender of control of said substance to the black market. This is why it is easier for kids to buy pot than beer (drug dealers don’t check ID). All prohibition does is drive up the price and create opportunities for criminals to make vast amounts of money in production and trafficking, and it spreads suffering, destruction and death around the world (for an example, take a look at things in Mexico).

            “The strongest evidence to date suggests a link between cannabis use and psychosis (Hall and Degenhardt 2009).”

            Some reading for you: http://blog.norml.org/2010/05/26/latest-research-on-pot-and-schizophrenia-runs-contrary-to-mainstream-media-hype/

            Indeed, any percieved risks concerning mental illness related to marijuana don’t even approach the risks associated with alcohol. If you read the abstract of the study everyone likes to cite, you will see that it says that alcohol has a much greater risk for developing psychosis (by a factor of 4)! So again, I ask: why should I not be able to decide for myself, and choose the safer substance?

            “Whatabout car accidents?”

            Prohibition does not prevent people from driving under the influence (of any substance). It will never be legal in this country to drive while impaired due to drugs (legal or otherwise).

            “A recent survey found that 6.8 percent of drivers, mostly under 35, who were involved in accidents tested positive for THC”

            Wrong. What they tested positive for is THC metabolites, which can be detected WEEKS after use and is not an indicator of impairment.

            “How about the affect on fetal development”

            That has to be the single most ridiculous argument for prohibition that I’ve heard in my lifetime! We already know that pregnant women should not use drugs (particularly the legal ones like tobacco and alcohol). They also should eat healthily and get proper nutrition, but I don’t see any laws governing that coming any time soon.

            People in a free society should be able to make their own decisions and be held responsible for their behavior. If we took all the money currently being wasted on the failed “war on drugs” and instead directed it towards education and addiction treatment programs, this country (and the whole World) would be a much better place for everyone.

  • didacticrogue

    I’m definitely going to have to keep Johnson on my radar screen. The man makes an awful lot of sense.

  • rainmaker1145

    He’s got my vote.

    • bigsigh

      Mine too!

    • The_anniebanannie

      But,,,gee, isn’t he being dumb by “folding” himself “in with the GOP”? Didn’t you just say yesterday that you wouldn’t support that? “The countdown to 2012 starts today,” you said, ” and we must be prepared this time and GO OUR OWN WAY.”

      You can’t have it both ways.

  • CK4RP

    The Daily Caller nailed it with “not your average politician”. “Average” politicians and lazy citizens have produced the mess we have now. Perhaps it’s time for a change from the status quo. The mid-term elections may have produced some truly liberty minded candidates but only time will tell. The founders libertarian views are reflected in our founding documents. Some citizens have slipped into the “nanny state” mentality and have forgotten that the main function of federal government is to preserve and protect our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Protecting our borders, providing sound currency and a strong national defense are merely extensions of the aforementioned functions. All other responsibility, with a few noted exceptions in the Constitution, is reserved to the states and the people respectively. The other assumed federal powers and control over Americans’ personal lives and choices is not a proper function of the federal government.

    Alcohol prohibition produced the first “gang” activity in America. It was a dismal failure and ultimately repealed. Drug prohibition is very expensive, ineffective, and a waste of precious resources, especially in these economic times. Smoking marijuana and/or consuming alcohol is a personal choice. Obesity (the number one health problem and creation of medical expense in our country) is also, in most cases, a personal choice. Making Twinkies illegal will not make obesity go away any more than the War on Poverty has eliminated poverty or the War on Drugs has eliminated drug use (including prescription drug use) or the War on Illiteracy has eliminated illiteracy. Inescapable facts. It’s time to face them and make the necessary corrections. Gary Johnson may very well be the man for the job.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jasmine-Clark/1785223171 Jasmine Clark

      but you can’t possibly equate something like a twinkie to alcohol or drugs. you act like they’re the same level of danger and health risk.

      plus: alcohol and drugs (and why don’t i throw smoking in there too) not only hurt the user, it also hurts the user’s family, friends, sometimes other random people. these things destroy lives and families. things like fats and sweets aren’t the same. those things shouldn’t be regulated but alcohol, drugs, and smoking need laws in place.

      • CK4RP

        The point is the principle. Fat people make my health care more expensive. Fat people limit my choices of “healthy” food to buy because of their penchant for soft drinks, ice cream, pasta, “fats and sweets” and therefore hog the market share on the choices available to me because they buy so much more food than I do. Do I think the government should make unhealthy foods illegal? No. Why? Because people can, and will, still become fat by eating too much “healthy” food (gluttony) and, most importantly, because it’s not the government’s job to decide what we can or cannot ingest into our bodies. Do I think the government should be able to force a business / property owner into making their establishment “smoking” or “non-smoking”? No. Why? Because it is not their job. The consumer has the choice of whether to eat at a smoking vs. non-smoking establishment (or one that serves alcohol or does not) or whether to but 8 dozen Twinkies or fresh, organic vegetables. The prinicple remains the same.

        Obesity hurts me financially and sets a bad example for children. Obesity is, statistically, a much greater health risk than smoking or drinking (subject to excess which is a proclivity of humans). It is not OK to be fat. It shortens lifespans. So, IMHO, it is not OK for parents to inappropriately feed their children and make them obese. The negligent parents are increasing their childrens’ odds of developing hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, arthritis and a myriad of other health threats. However, the right of the parent to decide is still their right rather than the government’s. No?

        • logic

          Now that is some clear thinking! Thanks for the excellent response. There are perceived injustices everywhere you look, but this assumption that the government can or should set policy to address them all is liberal fantasy. Even if you want that, it simply doesn’t work. We have the FDA and USDA and what have they done for us? Their regulations permit horrendous living conditions for the animals we eat while running mercilessly running small, organic farmers (they’re dangerous!) out of business (with the help of the big agriculture companies like Monsanto). The FDA has approved over 3000 food additives and preservatives, not to mention countless drugs, all of highly questionable safety with regard to our health. Obesity-inducing subsidized corn crops give us fattening high-fructose corn syrup and is fed, contrary to their natural diets, to the animals that we eat. On top of all of that, salmonella and e-coli outbreaks, that are supposed to be prevented by government regulations, still happen.

          People like Gary Johnson or Ron Paul simply understand the fact that government doesn’t work. Even if you’re a liberal nutjob that buys into the concept of government running interference for all the world’s ills, it simply fails at every turn. The only things it does successfully are destructive; destroying our wealth, eroding our moral integrity, and interfering needlessly (and often with grave results) in the affairs of other nations. The Constitution limited government power for a reason.

          • Anonymous1010

            Don’t confuse Gary Johnson views with that of Rand Paul.

            They both speak of limited government, but from two different perspectives.

            Rand Paul is not a liberal, he’s a conservative, Gary Johnson sounds like a liberal.

            There are some things government is meant to control, liberals want to control every thing.

            Yes control how food is processes, don’t control what I eat.

            Control, out law drugs, don’t control what I do in my home.

            There is this fine line between limited government and lawlessness.

            This is where responsibility of everyone to obey the law of the land not just the will of the people.

          • krjohnson

            If Gary Johnson is a liberal then I must be a communist. And Ayn Rand might as well be Mao Zedong.

            Seriously, a guy that cut the growth of his state government in New Mexico in half with a Democratically controlled legislature.

            The CATO institute said of him, “For eight years the nation’s biggest skinflint governor was Gary Johnson of New Mexico, who vetoed over 1,000 spending items and cut taxes 14 times.” He said that he wished he could have cut taxes more but the legislature wouldn’t let him.

            What a liberal!

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jasmine-Clark/1785223171 Jasmine Clark

          you actually see sweets/fats as being on equal danger level with drugs/alcohol/smoking. wow. your arguments would make sense if they were equally dangerous but they’re not.

          just brainstorming some points:

          drugs/alcohol/smoking:
          -so dangerous that they can’t even be given to children.
          -often addictive, have dependency, strong withdrawal symptoms
          -messes up your liver, lungs, brain, and more. can lead to so many diseases.
          -some people can do these things and not end up with health problems, that is true. but a lot of people do get sick.
          -these things, well drugs and alcohol really, they can break up families. that may sound over dramatic but it’s true.

          sweets/fats/salts/cholesterol/etc:
          -these things can lead to obesity
          -can lead to heart problems and is a common disease.
          -but only harmful in very excess amounts. i eat fats, salt, etc, all the time, every day, and i am not overweight and do not have any health problems. if i did drugs, smoking, or alcohol every day i would have plenty of health problems and i’d be addicted and need rehab!!
          -they can lead to all the diseases you mentioned.
          -but they are allowed at any age.

          so i do see how sweets are harmful and i know that heart disease is a common killer, but drugs are worse. this is my key point in why i think this so i want to repeat it: “i eat fats, salt, etc, all the time, every day, and i am not overweight and do not have any health problems. if i did drugs, smoking, or alcohol every day i would have plenty of health problems and i’d be addicted and need rehab!!”

          both are dangerous, but because one is more dangerous than the other, especially in terms of hurting more people than the individual who uses it*, that is why i want gov’t to be more strict on one and relaxed on the other. because they aren’t at equal danger levels.

          *in terms of which one, drugs or sweets, does more harm to others than the one choosing to use it, then drugs are a LOT worse than sweets in that regard, which is the main reason why i want gov’t to have the regulations and laws for it.

      • bigsigh

        Actually, yes, the government has no business being involved in either choice. Personal responsibility! How have any of our present prohibition laws and/or regulations had a positive effect?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jasmine-Clark/1785223171 Jasmine Clark

          probably those strict laws have helped a lot. the laws make it harder for people to access these harmful substances.
          like i said though, drugs and things like that, they affect more than just the person making the choice. they hurt the people around them as well. we can’t just let everyone have easy access to them, that is dangerous. look we want to have freedom but we don’t want so much freedom that it crosses the line into being too dangerous.

      • Anonymous1010

        Jasmine Clark you made an extremely valuable points.

        Some of your repliers think they made good counter arguments, but they didn’t.

        The differences between drugs and other vises is drugs cloud your mind and other vises don’t have mind controlling characteristics drugs have.

        Over weight people have all their faculties in place, they just like to eat. Drugs change you natural tendencies to be conservative with behavior, they allow the users inhibitions to be placed in sense on hold.

        This is why one does things they wouldn’t normally do without being induced by drugs.

        Yes, marijuana does also, it gives the user the illusion every this is just cool. A more lethargic metal state.

        So I applaud your response.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jasmine-Clark/1785223171 Jasmine Clark

          thanks so much, great point!!

    • Anonymous1010

      CK4RP: I hear your agreement, but I have to disagree with you on several levels. I’ll only talk about a few.

      Don’t confuse war on drugs with war on poverty as part of the same thing, it’s the wrong comparison.

      Of course to win a war on drugs is in reality an unwinnable war. However that doesn’t mean you don’t engage in the fight. That would just be irresponsible and ignorant.

      Drugs is and has a damaging affect on respective communities. It’s not just about taxing it to death.

      Even though drugs are illegal, some people don’t take their responsibility serious enough to understand the consequences, that’s on them. The governments response should always be, if you do them you have legal problems.

      War on drugs is about keeping the community safe.

      War on poverty is about helping to uplift a community that can’t help itself.

      There is no failure in engaging any one of these wars until society picks up it’s responsibility to say no to poverty and no to drugs. It will always be on going.

    • truebearing

      CK4RP,

      So, your polemic begins with the non sequitur Obama used to get elected: change is automatically good. Bullsh!t. That is a proven falsehood, and I can thank Obama for proving that (and it will be the only and last time I thank the Narcissist-In-Chief).

      Legalizing pot, and then inevitably all drugs, enhances “our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”? How, exactly? Drugs damage people mentally, exacerbate latent psychosis, cause myriad health problems, hurt productivity, cause violence, increase crime, subject family members to second hand pot smoke, cause automobile accidents, etc. etc. Legalizing pot solves none of those problems, and will only make them worse.

      Your obesity argument is deeply flawed. Obesity is now being linked to a number of causes, besides the stereotype of eating too much. It has genetic roots, viral origins, etc. It is a human condition, frquently not caused by simple gluttony. Smoking pot is purely elective, and isn’t necessary for human survival in the least. Eating is.

      Alcohol is implicated in most violent crime. It is responsible for huge numbers of auto accidents and deaths. Pot impairs driving too. I guess we’ll have to have DUI laws for pot smokers, right? Or will we get rid of DUI altogether in your libertarian utopia?

      Alcohol causes a huge amount of health problems, incuding diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer, etc. Should we ban it, or legalize yet another public health burden?

      Pot smoke has more tar than cigarettes and will damage lungs just as bad as cigarettes. Your pot smoking will cause me to have to pay more for your pot related health problems. What about my right to life and pusuit of happiness?

      What about people who don’t want to get high, but can’t help it when their parents are smoking weed, or they are at a bar or concert with pot smokers? What about those negligent, self indulgent parents? What about their right to life and pursuit of happiness?

      In an amusing bit of irony, you bemoan a “nanny state”, inaccurately conflating that with a society that isn’t totally socially liberal, and use alcohol, a substance, and obesity, a condition, to argue for the legalization of drugs. The things you point out as societal problems, in your two-wrongs-make-a-right polemic, are all solvable with something called moral restraint. Morality is the human survival code, just like the wolves have their pack hierarchy for survival, and a truly libertarian country is one where individuals must be far more moral, not less, if it is to survive.

      You are confusing license for liberty, and that is frankly what appeals to many who don’t understand Libertarianism. The following is the definition of license:

      license: excessive freedom; lack of due restraint; “when liberty becomes license dictatorship is near”- Will Durant

      It has occurred to me many times that the libertarian world view is utopian and very self oriented, and while I have some libertarian leanings myself, the majority of self proclaimed libertarians have not really thought out the ramifications of their I-should-be-able-to-do-what-I-want position.

      Now before I get inundated with the usual comments from potheads, I have smoked tons of the stuff myself, and done plenty of other drugs, not to mention drank enough alcohol to float a battleship. And like all of you, I have many friends and relatives who are current users, recovering alcoholics, sitting in jail for drunk driving, etc. I know the drill. I am also vehemently opposed to sending people to prison for pot possession, and don’t get me started on prison reform. Our prisons are a disgrace to humanity, and profoundly unjust.

      The pot legalization crowd wants it legalized, the end. It isn’t that simple, if we expect sane results. There needs to be rules (yes, rules) and they need to be based on objective data and thinking, and both sides need to be honest about ALL of the pros and cons.

      • CK4RP

        Perhaps you read too much into my remarks. I would respectfully suggest that there may have been some opposition to marijuana prohibition (a “change”) that was quite similar to the opposition to alcohol prohibition (another “change”). It is unclear how either of those prohibitions enhanced anyone’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Obesity is still, statistically, primarily due to first, gluttony or second, gross inactivity (I did add the “in most cases” disclaimer) which is, usually, elective. Children are, sadly, victims of their parents’ shortcomings and abuses whether it be secondhand smoke, sexual or verbal abuse, untreated acne, malnutrition or obesity. All of that is beside the point.

        The illustration, which was obviously not clear enough, was the principle that it is not the government’s job or purview to control all of the choices of the citizenry. There are already laws and punishments in place for behavior which hurts other people (i.e. a DUI for drivers on pot or booze). There is not, nor will there ever be, a satisfactory substitute for personal responsibility and morality.

        But… where does one draw the line once the floodgates are open? Alcohol, caffiene, cigarettes (tobacco), marijuana, a myriad of drugs (both legal and illegal), gluttony, gambling, prostitution and so many other vices that aren’t necessarily good for people, but they’ve been doing them in one form or another since time immemorial and will continue to do so. That’s the “nanny state” danger if we forfeit our right to choose. Everyone makes choices all day, every day. There is an appropriate time and place for most things (many of them previously listed) and it’s agreed that morality is the human survival code. What is not moral is for the government, rather than society, to decide for us. It has not been said that one is not responsible for the repercussions of those choices and decisions.

        • truebearing

          I agree with your refined points much more than my interpretation of your initial thoughts. These are tricky issues and my concern is that people are too prone to quick fixes and ideology that fits their personal agenda.

          The issue of legalization is one I have pondered since my college days, back when the long haired dinosaurs roamed wild and free. I used to be all for it. Then I quit smoking pot, and gradually came to the conclusion that while it isn’t as harmful as some will claim, it isn’t as benign as the users will insist.

          Issues like this deserve a truly thorough, honest evaluation by a combination of people, including scientists and doctors for the health aspects, lawyers, for the legal analysis, and the citizens for their vote. It shouldn’t be done hastily, since no one really needs a joint.

          If it were to be legalized, I believe there should be a mutually accepted trial period during which the medical and social ramifications can be studied, and if it turns out to be too destructive, based on pre-agreed upon values and thresholds, reverts back to illegal status. A possession amnesty is another way to create a trial period.

          Those profiting from legalization should also have to contribute to a public health effort that openly and honestly advises the public on the real health risks, as determined by medical science.

          Even with the most careful attention to all of these issues, I still don’t know that legalization is the best way to go, but in our decaying culture I believe it will happen sooner than later.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jasmine-Clark/1785223171 Jasmine Clark

        wow great post, you said what i’ve been trying to say, but you said it better! lol

        “It has occurred to me many times that the libertarian world view is utopian and very self oriented, and while I have some libertarian leanings myself, the majority of self proclaimed libertarians have not really thought out the ramifications of their I-should-be-able-to-do-what-I-want position.”

        ^this in particular, i wanted to say this and i was trying to write it in my post but i didn’t know how so i didn’t say it. =\