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Gary Johnson 2012: Mainstreaming Marijuana Legalization?

Posted By Ryan Mauro On May 11, 2010 @ 7:00 pm In NewsReal Blog | No Comments

No, I won’t vote for him, but the former two-term Governor of New Mexico is going to shake things up in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Every candidate runs as a “true” conservative and struggles to define himself, especially if they have low name recognition. That will not be a problem for Gary Johnson with his stance on ending the War on Drugs.

I have been following his potential candidacy for awhile now, and was disappointed with his speeches and YouTube videos. He came off bland and uninspiring. Well, someone gave him some good coaching, because now he’s coming off as likeable and highly intelligent—and I think he’s going to make opposing the War on Drugs, or at least legalizing marijuana, a mainstream position among the next generation of politicians.

Watch his performance on The Colbert Report last night below:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Gary Johnson
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Notice the statistics he throws out. Fifty percent of the spending on the courts, law enforcement and prison system is drug-related. Nearly 2 million people per year are arrested each year. In the Netherlands, every pothead’s paradise, the drug use is only 60 percent that of the United States, he says. He is wisely connecting an end to the War on Drugs, or at least legalizing marijuana, to small government and less government spending.

I really feel that Johnson is going to make a significant mark on the Republican Party and politics as a whole even though he won’t win the nomination. Every time I write about legalizing marijuana or ending the War on Drugs, the response is overwhelmingly positive from conservatives almost as much as from liberals. The only thing that’s been missing is a voice to mobilize this discontent. Don’t underestimate Gary Johnson’s impact in 2012.


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