The Pot Candidate

On April 21st Gary Johnson will announce his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination. Johnson says he is ready to defend his support of marijuana legalization and contends that legalization “is an issue that under the light of day does really well.” Pete Guither just hopes Johnson “can stay in the race long enough to generate some good discussions.”:

Johnson really has it together. He doesn’t have any other potential fringe baggage that can be exploited (no gold standard, no racist newsletters, etc., etc.), so the only thing they’ll really be able to come after him on is pot. And he’s ready and willing to take that head on.

The GOP primaries are going to be as lively as they could be fascinating. We may be lucky enough to have the first serious intra-party debate over foreign intervention and the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, and we’ll get another debate on marijuana legalization. Yes the final answer on both counts may well be more empire and continued suppression of real liberties at home. But merely airing the debates on these issues is helpful. Slowly it becomes acceptable to argue for a draw-down of US troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Europe. Gradually, with respect to marijuana legislation, the familiar reaction of giggles, taboos and condescension may decline.