During a speech at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on Monday, the libertarian argued that today’s war on drugs is having the same negative effects as the prohibition.
“I just want to legalize heroin then too, right?” he rhetorically asked the audience.”Well do you realize that in Zurich, Switzerland, they have a heroin maintenance program where if you’re an addict you can get free heroin?”
Johnson called the Swiss heroin clinics a success story, because heroin addicts stopped turning to theft or violence to acquire drugs. They weren’t dying from overdose, because the clinic only offers them a carefully measured dosage. Clean needles meant they weren’t contracting diseases like HIV or hepatitis, and women stopped turning to prostitution to pay for drugs.
The former New Mexico Governor didn’t necessarily advocate for legalizing heroin in the United States, but he did say that states legalizing marijuana is only the beginning.
According to Johnson, “when everyone gets on an airplane to go to Denver for the weekend to chill out,” other states will also legalize marijuana so people will “chill out” in their state.
While the former Governor said he currently doesn’t drink or smoke pot, he has in the past and sees marijuana as the safer of the two — particularly when it comes to the possibility of driving under the influence.
“As much marijuanua as I ever smoked and got behind the wheel of the car, I found myself going the speed limit,” he said. “I found myself between the lines. I found myself following the traffic lights. I didn’t know where I was, but I knew if I continued driving it would always come to me.”
Johnson said he wouldn’t “smoke a bowl” with a marijuana smoker now — because he doesn’t smoke pot anymore — but he is “working really hard to make that [legalized marijuana] happen for you.”