Thursday, July 14, 2011

Presidential Politics and Pot Policy

I came across an interesting opinion piece that appeared on last week by Gary Johnson, former governor of our neighboring state, New Mexico, and a candidate (albeit a long-shot one) for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Johnson, also known as "Governor Veto," has been advocating legalization of marijuana since 1999.  He came to that stance not because of asserted medical benefits of the substance, but because he concluded that the War on Drugs began by President Richard Nixon 40 years ago actually has not reduced drug use but instead has created a lucrative black market that empowered violent gangs and cartels.  In Governor Johnson's words, "it was like alcohol prohibition all over again, with similarly disastrous results."

When a candidate for president is advocating the legalization of marijuana, it makes the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act appear to be a fairly modest measure by comparison.

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