War on the war on drugs

October 23, 2012

Asked about their positions on the war on drugs, three of the four third-party White House hopefuls say they believe marijuana should be legal.

Goode was the only one of the quartet who said he opposes legalization, and he made his position clear. 

“I’m not for legalizing drugs. If you want that, vote for one of them. Don’t vote for me,” he said, to light applause. He does say, however, that he believes spending on the war on drugs should be reduced and that it is primarily a state issue. Then he touched on other areas of federal spending that he believes should be reduced, including funding of Planned Parenthood, which he believes should be taken to zero.

“We’re on drugs. We’re on drugs,” moderator Larry King reminds him.

Johnson was up next, and he got big applause from the crowd for declaring, “Let’s legalize marijuana now -- and right now in this country, we are on a tipping point on this issue.”

He argued that the move is not one about “advocating drug use” but rather about acknowledging that drug use is an “issue that belongs with families, not in the criminal justice system.”

“I am not a hypocrite on this issue,” he says. “I have drank alcohol, I have smoked marijuana. ... In no category is marijuana more dangerous than alcohol. And yet we are arresting 1.8 million people a year in this country on drug-related crime.”

Stein echoes Johnson, and draws on her experience as a medical doctor in taking aim at the war on drugs. “Marijuana is a substance that is dangerous because it’s illegal,” she says. “It’s not illegal on account of being dangerous, because it’s not dangerous at all.”

Anderson, too, is in favor of legalization, which he says is being prevented by the “monied interests that control our Congress.”

“We need to rise up as one and say legalize industrial hemp now,” he said.

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Felicia Sonmez · October 23, 2012