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

Comments

  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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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

    2. 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.

    1. Patrick Julien says:

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

      1. 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.

    1. 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…

    1. sda53 says:

      So you will give up your right to bear arms for legal pot?

  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.

Polititainment

Michael Bay might direct Benghazi movie

Bay, who has spent the last several years gaining popularity for his "Transformers" films, is reportedly in talks to direct the Benghazi film "13 Hours," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Holder wants Denzel to play him in movie

Holder spoke to The Hill about Hollywood and politics while at an event at the Washington Ideas Forum Wednesday that was hosted by The Aspen Institute and The Atlantic.

'Rival Survival' premiering Wednesday

Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) are getting ready to show America their bipartisan fire-starting skills on "Rival Survival," a reality show starring tho lawmakers that premiers Wednesday night on the Discovery Channel.

Lovitz has a field day with Hillary

Before Hillary Clinton's jobs comment is swept aside as a minor whoopsie, a few words from Jon Lovitz.

John Oliver has some ideas for the FDA

Some people want more nutrition information on food labels--but who really understands those labels anyway?

White House

Russian hackers broke into the White House network

Hackers with suspected ties to the Russian government recently broke into the White House’s unclassified computer network, the Washington Post reported Tuesday night.

Obama is withholding over 15,000 Fast and Furious documents

President Obama claimed executive privilege to withhold over 15,000 documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious, including nearly 20 emails sent between Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife.

White House fence jumper charged with assault
WASHINGTON (AP) — The 23-year-old Maryland man who climbed over the White House fence Wednesday night has been charged with felonies for assaulting two police dogs and making threats, the Secret Service said Thursday. Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland, is in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service for previous outstanding warrants, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said. […]
President Obama, unpaid bills and the curious editing of the White House transcript
President Obama, some unpaid bills and a curiously “inaudible” section of the White House recording of a speech — that’s how all good stories start, right? While at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Chicago, Obama cracked a joke about the “unpaid bills” at his home. The joke was reported by the White House Press […]
Secrecy shrouds how the Obamas cook their chicken wings

Now it seems the Obamas are tight-lipped even about their eating habits.

Congress

Justin Amash envisions a libertarian Congress

Rep. Justin Amash, the libertarian congressman from Michigan, knows that Congress is far from libertarian. But someday, he thinks that might change.

Rand Paul: The GOP's image ‘sucks’

Rand Paul didn’t mince words about the GOP.

Small college's students thrown into 2014 election

Young people tend not to engage much in the humdrum local politics that go into midterm elections. But what if it’s happening literally in their own backyard?

GOP senator: 'Sorry the government's so f***ed'

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) made some self-deprecating jokes and colorful remarks about the state of the government during a recent private gathering, per a recording provided to CNN by South Carolina Democrats.

Top lawmaker's Ebola claim

A leading House Republican says he is aware of information that points to the United States eventually receiving non-U.S. Ebola patients for treatment.