Marijuana products, from a medicinal standpoint, directly compete with legal prescription drugs that kill thousands of people a year.
Gary Johnson: The People’s Choice
By: Stephanie Shehan
On November 8th, Americans will head to the polls to cast their vote for the next United States President. Candidate Gary Johnson is the Libertarian Party nominee and he has been an outspoken advocate for cannabis. Recently, we had the chance to chat with him about the upcoming election, his personal experience with cannabis, and his desire to end the war on drugs.
Vegas Cannabis: Tell us about your political past and which party you currently represent.
Gary Johnson: I am the Presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party. I previously served two terms as the Republican Governor of New Mexico, a mostly Democratic state. I had a record of working across party lines and balancing the state budget every year I was in office. My running mate, Bill Weld had a similar record as the two-term governor of Massachusetts.
VCM: What is your stance on legalizing marijuana and why?
GJ: I am the highest-ranking official in the United States to call for the legalization of marijuana, and I did this in office. Bernie Sanders has also come out in favor of marijuana — I’m glad that he’s done that, but I’ve been there since 1999.
A couple of things about legalizing marijuana. Marijuana products, from a medicinal standpoint, directly compete with legal prescription drugs that kill thousands of people a year. There has not been one documented death due to marijuana. Marijuana is a lot safer than prescription drugs and studies are being done that show that cannabis could potentially replace some of those drugs. On the recreational side, I have always maintained that legalizing marijuana will lead to less overall substance abuse because people will find marijuana as such a safer alternative than everything else that’s out there — starting with alcohol. The campaign to legalize marijuana in Colorado was a campaign based on: Marijuana is safer than alcohol.
VCM: Do you believe that we will see full legalization across the nation at some point?
GJ: Yes. I believe that marijuana will be descheduled by the DEA in the very near future, and we will see many more states legalizing both medicinal and recreational marijuana after the success in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia.
VCM: If you do not win the election, what does your future hold? Will you continue to advocate to end marijuana prohibition?
GJ: We plan on winning the election, of course. If that is not the will of the American people, I will go back to a private life, and pursue my interests in outdoor sports. My plan is to “Ride The Divide” on my bike from Alberta, Canada to the Mexican border. I will always advocate for an end to the war on drugs.
VCM: Are you a medical marijuana patient? If so, what is your preferred method of consumption? Any favorite strains?
GJ: I had a paragliding accident in Hawaii in 2005. My sails got caught in a tree, I stalled—and fell about fifty feet straight down to the ground. I suffered multiple bone fractures, including a burst fracture to my T12 vertebrae. In my human experience, it’s the worst pain I’ve ever felt. Rather than using painkillers, which I have used on occasion before, I did smoke pot, as a result of having broken my back, blowing out both of my knees, breaking ribs, really taking about three years to recover.
VCM: If you do consume cannabis, what benefit do you receive from it?
GJ: I have not consumed cannabis on the campaign trail, and I will not consume it should I be elected President. I believe it is important for a President to be sober and attentive at all times. I haven’t had a drink of alcohol in 30 years because I believe in being the best that you can be, always.
VCM: Will we see you back in Vegas any time soon?
GJ: We have done rallies all over the country including an August rally in Las Vegas at the SLS casino. We will absolutely be back and will be looking forward to meeting with our supporters!
VCM: What do you believe the pros and cons of marijuana legalization are?
GJ: I see nothing but positive results from legalizing marijuana. We should regulate it like alcohol to keep it out of the hands of children.
VCM: What other issues are you passionate about?
GJ: I am passionate about ending the War on Drugs in general. It is a colossal waste of money and makes criminals out of people who would otherwise be peaceful, law-abiding citizens. On a more general scale, I am passionate about ending our foreign interventions, balancing the US budget, cutting taxes for all Americans, ending wasteful spending, and supporting civil rights.
VCM: How can our readers support you in this year’s election?
GJ: In order to win this, we MUST get in the debates. We have a path to make that happen, but we need as much support as possible. We urge our supporters to get active. Volunteer, make phone calls, tell your friends and family. We can make a difference and fix this broken system for everyone.
For more information on Gary Johnson’s campaign, please visit JohnsonWeld.com