Gary Johnson: “Legalizing marijuana will lead to less overall substance abuse”

Gary JohnsonWhen it comes to addictive substances, former libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson believes marijuana is a much safer alternative to alcohol — and that the legalization of the drug could actually lead to less substance abuse in general.

The former New Mexico Governor hosted an hour-long Google+ hangout on Tuesday evening, fielding questions on topics such as drones, the Patriot Act, intellectual property rights and grassroots campaigning. He also addressed the issue of marijuana legalization, which he believes is at a “tipping point” thanks to Washington state and Colorado.

“For anyone that does not smoke marijuana and doesn’t want to see others smoke marijuana … half of all the people that that person knows smoke marijuana,” he said.

Johnson, echoing the stance of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), said people who smoke marijuana do not belong behind bars. He added that while he does not currently smoke marijuana or drink alcohol, he did when he was younger.

“For me, marijuana was a much safer alternative than alcohol,” he said. “I would really believe that legalizing marijuana will lead to less overall substance abuse because currently individuals that are having problems with alcohol or other substances will find marijuana such a safer alternative.”

The former Governor also said he sees the potential for drones to be used in the War on Drugs, something that worries him.

When asked about the possibility of being selected as the Vice Presidential running mate for Paul — should the Kentucky Republican decide to run for President in 2016 — Johnson rebuffed the idea. The former Governor said he disagreed with some of Paul’s stances, such as blocking immigration reform and limiting student visas. Ultimately, however, Johnson said Paul wouldn’t pick him as his running mate.

“Rand Paul is not going to ask me to be his running mate,” the former Governor said with a laugh. “Period.”

Comments

15 Responses to “Gary Johnson: “Legalizing marijuana will lead to less overall substance abuse””

  1. Jillian Galloway says:

    Even though marijuana’s more commonly smoked than drunk, it’s FAR safer than alcohol. We could prevent a lot of the harm that alcohol causes by letting people choose marijuana instead of alcohol. We need to think of our children and legalize marijuana like wine!

  2. Sam and Joeys Grama says:

    Mr. Johnson, I vehemently disagree. Not from some safe distance, as most people who comment, but from the front lines. I have worked in the teen rehab hospitals. I lived in Colorado Springs for 15 years. Beautiful place and not much crime…back then. Then marijuana was legalized.
    Now there are drugs and gangs in every school in Colorado Springs. When you take marijuana away from the dealers in the schools by making it legal, they still want to keep up their bottom line and they push hard drugs instead. Removing marijuana from the pushers’ bag of goods in the states that tolerate legal marijuana is the easiest way for pushers to get hard drugs going in the schools. It’s sort of like taking away gum from the candy counter. The guy at the counter will now push candy bars. It has been wildly successful in Colorado, if you consider success getting more and younger kids involved with addictive drugs.
    I am, on other issues, a libertarian. I think if adults want to destroy their lives with drugs, oh, well. If all drugs were legal, it would financially break the pushers since you currently pay a premium for them to take the chance of going to jail, and that premium is where they make the big bucks. Legalizing one drug doesn’t work. I now wonder if legalizing all drugs would work, either. I thought it would years ago, just like you do now. It doesn’t. The devil is in the unforeseen consequences.

    • Dayv says:

      So I ruined my life, failing out of high school on Ritalin, to using C @ N N @ B 1 S and graduating college with a 3.6 gpa, being on the Deans List twice, and now running a successful retail business with 20% growth annually? Sorry, but Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Sir Richard Branson are more credible sources than you and they disagree with you. Your neighbors, friends, and family do not belong in jail or drug court for what you think you know about the worlds oldest medicine, more people die from peanuts, and C @ N N @ B 1 S is less toxic than a tomato.

      • Jordan guenther says:

        Sir I disagree with you, I am not some medical professional that helps teens with drug abuse, by working with a person a couple hours a week. I am a recovering drug addict, the only reason I becomes drug addict was because when there was no weed around I found whatever I could find to get high. Now if weed was available in gas stations and conformance stores. I know from personal experience that slot of people wouldn’t do other drugs, and even if the “pushers” tried selling
        harder drugs, they wouldn’t a whole lot of luck. Coming for someone who doesn’t sit there and watch other drug sticks
        But

    • Ganja-Man says:

      And the Police ? Where were Police then? I mean gangs were involved !

  3. rah lam says:

    Sorry..but the medical community absolutely agrees with the original notion..

    enjoy…

    http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/16066359.2012.733465

  4. sda53 says:

    I don’t know who you hang with buddie but half of America does not smoke pot. Just another way to dumb down society. It will cause your younger children addicted which means life long. They will steal, it will cause more auto accidents, on the job accidents and undisciplined people. I know ones who smoked when younger and all it takes is one conversation to see they are childish and never matured. It is like the brain does not go beyond a certain point when regular pot user. Legalize it will only make druggies push harder stuff younger. It seems you may have overindulged.

    • Patrick Julien says:

      One thing for sure, you have’t smoked pot and probably don’t know a lot of pothead

      • sda53 says:

        Wrong on both counts but I grew up if legal this would not happen. I have rheumatoid arthritis ans would be nice on occasion but young people would be damaged. We have such bigger issues to worry about than pot. We must unite and get obama out before his private army of jihad and russian soldiers armed with the stockpiled guns and ammo are sent against us. Our freedom and future of our country are at stake and this is not worth too much consideration at this time. I love it: ban guns but smoke pot. Can anyone see what is happening here?

  5. Patrick Julien says:

    It’s a weird world we live in. Governments telling us a plant know to have been used for thousands of years is more dangerous than stuff made by chemist in a lab. The more I hear this kind of shit, the more I know there’s something real fucked up with the system!

  6. qukk says:

    The simple agreement is how are alcohol and cigarettes perfectly legal when marijuana is not. Either make them all illegal and put your money where your mouth is, or legalize marijuana. Marijuana is not a synthetic drug, it takes no altering to be effective, and it has never been linked to an overdose. If anything marijuana is safer than any legal drug currently on the market, the only way to die from it is if you smoke so much you died of smoke inhalation. Drink 3 pints of Bacardi 151 and have fun waking up in a hospital, smoke 2 packs of cigs a day for 25 years and have fun explaining to your children why your lungs are dieing. Smoke an eighth of marijuana to your face and have fun waking up on your couch covered in Oreo crumbs with a spilt glass of milk on your side. Idk you guts choose which is more safe.

    • sda53 says:

      How cute so simple and sweet. Anyone buying pot will be tracked and not allowed to own a gun. Just another way to pretend to give one right so can take another. obama wants a defenseless people for his private army of jihad and russian soldiers to control with the stockpiled ammo and guns. Still want your pot legal? Then you have no love for country, freedom or family.

  7. Jeroen Green says:

    As ex army medic witnessed over 4 years period an average per year of 400 alcohol overdoses, accidents or other related hospitalizations, against 1 ( natural ) cannabis overdose. Treatment of last was done with a can of cola. The time consuming alcohol cases made it therefore costing, besides mutiple medicaments, treatments, and hospital / emergency service workers. Besides the lost time of ambulance employability, and unnecessary cleaning of ours…

  8. pmblack says:

    Don’t see anywhere where people are saying that they rather have legalisation over the right to bear arms. I do believe we would want both its our freedom. I took 16 pills a day with my ailments when I self medicated I went down to 4 pills a day. Recently a victim of this drug war I was treated like a meth or crack head. Held a steady damn good job of $75k a year took care of my family and they took that all away. Thank god I still have my family. My family never suffered from my self medication. But now I can’t even own a gun because of it either. So talk about freedom being taken away….. I’m already there. One is not more important than the other. Freedom is the most important.

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