New Mexico Governor Favors Marijuana Legalization

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Apr 20, 2001.

  1. By Jim Burns, CNS Senior Staff Writer
    Source: CNSNews.com

    New Mexico's Republican governor said Thursday, he favors legalizing marijuana because prohibition of it and other drugs is tearing this country apart. He also thinks most marijuana users are responsible people and marijuana is not a "gateway" drug that leads users to harder drugs. But at the same time, he thinks Americans shouldn't do drugs, drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes.
    Governor Gary Johnson (R-N.M.) who admitted smoking marijuana during his younger years said, "I support legalization. I think that decriminalization turns its back on half the problem. The vast majority of people that smoke marijuana do so responsibly, that is my opinion."

    Johnson told an annual Washington conference of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Thursday, "For the most part, people that smoke marijuana are responsible users of marijuana. They choose when and where to smoke marijuana; they're not doing any harm to anybody else. And that's what drug enforcement policies in this country, do not recognize."

    Johnson added, "Holland has a rational drug policy, because they decriminalized the use of drugs. Holland has 60 percent of the drug use as that of the United States. That's with marijuana, hard drugs, among both kids and adults."

    During the opening minutes of his speech, Johnson outlined his position on other issues. He is for school vouchers, less taxes and the government having a role in the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    However, Johnson thinks that the "biggest head in the sand issue" facing America is the war on drugs, because it has been an "absolute miserable failure."

    "It fits the definition of insanity. Doing the same thing, day after day, year after year, and somehow expecting different results. That's the definition of insanity. We're spending $50 billion dollars a year on this war on drugs. If there is one thing I would like you to take away from my talk here today is: don't do drugs," Johnson said.

    Johnson also doesn't agree with the Drug Enforcement Administration that because of present drug laws, fewer people are dying from drugs.

    "The Drug Enforcement Administration will tell us that it's because of our policies on drugs, that so few die. I would argue just the opposite. That drug overdose is a function of prohibition. An aspirin size dose of heroin today may give three heroin addicts a heroin high, but that aspirin size dose tomorrow may kill those same three heroin addicts because it's a different source, different quality and different quantity. It's prohibition that's killing us," Johnson said.

    Legalizing marijuana, Johnson thinks, would be a solution to ending the drug problem in America. But he also thinks "harm reduction strategies" should be adopted for all drugs, including marijuana.

    "We need to move from a criminal mind to a medical mind. When I say legalize, I don't think it's ever going to be legal for kids to do drugs. It's never going to be legal to sell drugs to kids. It's never going to be legal to smoke marijuana to do harm to somebody else. Doing harm to someone else should be criminal and that's what we ought to be focused on. We've got to stop getting tougher when it comes to drugs, it just doesn't work," Johnson said.

    "This federal mandatory sentencing for non-violent drug crime is crazy. It's insanity. What we need to focus on is getting tough on doing drugs and doing harm. That's what we need to focus on. Doing harm to others is going to be criminal. It always needs to be criminal," said Johnson.

    However, the Drug Enforcement Administration doesn't think legalizing marijuana or other drugs will solve the drug problem in America.

    "Legalization is not an alternative, but rather a surrender that will further reduce our quality of life. Vast majorities of the American people agree that legalization of drugs would complicate an already devastating situation. Health and social costs associated with the increased availability of drugs would unduly stress our economy. Crime would not decrease. The moral fiber of our country would be torn apart," the DEA said in a position paper on drug legalization on its website.

    "Those who advocate legalization," the DEA believes, "have many motives. Frequently, however, they do not have answers to the myriad of questions we are asking. Legalization is an abstract to many of them. Law enforcement officers at the local, state, and federal levels have witnessed first-hand the damage caused by drugs. The devastating effects of drugs are real and lasting. It is not the drug laws, or the enforcement of the drug laws that cause harm, it is the drugs themselves."

    The Drug Enforcement Administration also said it is "unequivocally opposed to the legalization of illicit drugs, including marijuana, hemp and hemp seed oil."

    "Legalization of drugs in any form would likely," according to the DEA, "reduce the perception of the risks and costs of drug use; increase availability of and access to harmful drugs; increase demand, use, abuse and addiction and remove the social sanction against drug abuse that is reinforced in legislation. The present social problems in the United States, including crime, health problems and poverty are substantial and will only be exacerbated if drugs are legalized."

    The DEA concluded, "The arguments for legalization are a sad and bitter offering to the most vulnerable segment of our population. Legalization would increase risks and costs to individuals, families and communities, indeed, to every part of the nation, without compensating benefits. As public policy, it is fundamentally flawed."

    Complete Title: New Mexico Governor Favors Marijuana Legalization Because Criminalization Hasn't Worked

    Source: CNSNews.com
    Author: Jim Burns, CNS Senior Staff Writer
    Published: April 19, 2001
    Copyright: 1998-2001 Cybercast News Service
    Contact: shogenson@cnsnews.com
    Website: http://www.cnsnews.com/

    Related Articles & Web Sites:

    NORML http://www.norml.org/

    Governor Gary Johnson's Home Page http://www.governor.state.nm.us/
     
  2. EXTREME 9 YEAR OLD BUMP :smoke::smoke:
     

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