Article by Mark Pedersen at the Medical Cannabis Journal about his interview with former New Mexico Governor and Marijuana advocate Gary Johnson.
“Gary: I really think there is a national outrage over the fact that this nation is bankrupt. The fact that $.43 out of every dollar that we’re spending is borrowed. The fact that this country is potentially at the point of financial collapse.
If we don’t right the financial ship, I think we may all be left with nothing. If we right the financial ship, I think that we could have something significant. The United States of America, the Constitution, which guarantees liberty and freedom, and of course, the personal responsibility that goes along with that.
So for me, everything is a cost/benefit analysis. What are we spending and what are we getting? When you look at marijuana as the issue of what are we spending and what are we getting, half of what we are spending on law enforcement, the courts and the prisons is drug related. And what are we getting for that? We’re arresting 1.8 million people a year in this country on drug related crime. I always point out that this is the population of New Mexico that gets arrested every single year.
And when you put a face to that… I get emotional over people that are being affected by the criminal justice system; that are being exposed to the criminal justice system for choices that arguably affect no one else other than the individuals involved themselves.
The choice to smoke marijuana. As long as you’re smoking marijuana and not doing harm to anyone else…as long as you’re smoking marijuana and not becoming impaired and getting behind the wheel of a car…kids are never going to be allowed to smoke marijuana… I advocate legalizing marijuana.
I think that 90% of the drug problem is prohibition-related. Not use related. That’s not to discount the problems of use and abuse, but that ought to be the focus.
Mark: You made the statement that drug use should be treated as health issue and not a criminal issue?
Gary: I advocate the legalization marijuana. When it comes to ALL other drugs, I think that we should look at all other drugs from a harm reduction standpoint. Reducing death, disease, crime, corruption – the things we REALLY care about – the things that are actually prohibition related. So let’s look at all other drugs from the standpoint of them being first a health issue rather than a criminal justice issue.”
click on the Puff, Puff Pass to read the entire interview at medicalcannabisjournal.net
Peace and Good Buds