Gary Johnson: If 50% Support Legalization, Where Are The Politicians?October 18, 2011Posted in Blog, Gov. Gary Johnson, Issue, Liberty, Marijuana Legalization
October 18, 2011, Santa Fe, NM — Presidential candidate Gary Johnson responded Tuesday to a new Gallup poll which found that 50% of Americans support legalizing marijuana by asking: “Where is the political leadership that should be reflecting that common sense belief?”
Johnson, while serving as the Republican governor of New Mexico, gained national attention in 1999 when he became the highest ranking public official in the U.S. to call for the legalization and regulation of marijuana.
In a statement released upon seeing the Gallup survey, Johnson said, “This may be the only issue on the national scene where half the American people support something, but zero percent, statistically speaking, of elected officials and politicians will publicly agree with them.
“I have said for some time that marijuana legalization was approaching a ‘tipping point’ in terms of public support, and this survey shows that we are there. Gallup has been polling the American people on this issue for decades, and support for legalization has been steadily increasing year after year. That is not because 50% of Americans have suddenly decided that smoking marijuana is a good thing to do. It is because Americans increasingly see what I saw as governor: That treating marijuana use as a crime, rather than a health issue, accomplishes nothing other than ruining lives and overwhelming law enforcement and the courts.
“Refusing to face the truth about marijuana laws and their failure is the modern day equivalent to Prohibition, which served only to jump-start organized crime — just as our marijuana laws are providing vast riches to the cartels who are terrorizing our southern border.
“Yet, for the most part, there are no politicians who will speak that truth, much less act upon it. With 50% of Americans open to the idea of legalization, why won’t the ruling class at least let us have the conversation?
“When I raised this issue as governor, many told me I was writing my political obituary. Ten years ago, maybe they were right. Today, however, it’s time for the politicians to start listening and facing reality when it comes to drug laws that have simply failed.”