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Gary Johnson Talks Marijuana Reform and Rational Drug PolicyBy Craig Schlesinger, Nashville Libertarian ExaminerJanuary 10, 2012
Gary Johnson’s presidential campaign employs an aggressive social media strategy to deliver his message directly to voters, from conference calls with bloggers, to House Hangouts via Google Plus, to online town hall events courtesy of Yowie.com.
Last night, Governor Johnson and Marijuana Policy Project Executive Director Rob Kampia co-hosted one such online town hall to address marijuana and rational drug policy reform. Over 1,500 viewers tuned in to the live stream and plenty of questions ensued. For over 90 minutes Johnson and Kampia were more than happy to engage with the audience; a stark contrast to most status-quo political campaigns that hide behind spokesman, advertisements, and talking heads in the establishment press to avoid direct interaction with the citizenry.
The event can be viewed in its entirety on Yowie.com, but some of the key aims of Johnson’s drug policies (as President) are to legalize marijuana, decriminalize the use of other drugs, pardon all nonviolent drug offenders in federal prison, re-schedule marijuana from a Class I narcotic, order the DEA to end drug raids, advocate harm reduction strategies, and prevent employers from discriminating against employees who aren’t impaired on the job yet chose to consume marijuana on their own time (much like alcohol).
Moreover, Johnson believes the country is already on the verge of legalizing marijuana:
"When we do that, and when everybody realizes that the sky isn’t going to fall, that [the] world is actually a better place to wake up to tomorrow because we legalize pot today, that then we’re going to take a much different look at all these other drugs.”
“The first thing we do when it comes to all other drugs, is we first look at drugs as a health issue rather than a criminal justice issue. And I just see giant strides made across the board, but we start with marijuana.”
“In fact, the world [will be] a better place because the police are actually able to go out and enforce the laws … and actually address real crime as opposed to victimless crime.”
This is one of the main focuses of a libertarian approach to drug policy as well as other individual liberty-driven issues that tend to be demonized by the morally self-righteous, something Governor Johnson understands all too well. Consenting adults engaging in non-violent transactions are being criminalized for behavior that (arguably) harms no one other than themselves. This country was founded on the notion of liberty and the personal responsibility that accompanies the benefits of living in a free society, and Johnson intends to restore that liberty to these states united.