Gary Johnson and Cannabis Reform
This year’s election sees two of the most disliked candidates in polling history going head-to-head for the presidency. Many voters have been left feeling disillusioned and apathetic, but others are looking for alternatives the two-party orthodoxy.
While both Clinton and Trump have voiced their support for states’ rights to create their own cannabis policies, only two candidates have received an A+ rating from the Marijuana Policy Project for their stances on cannabis. Gary Johnson is one of them, and MassRoots is getting behind him to support progressive cannabis reform in the US.
Who is Gary Johnson?
Johnson is the former governor of New Mexico, and is running for president as the Libertarian Party candidate. As a former Republican, Johnson is positioning himself as a viable third-party alternative who is fiscally conservative but socially liberal. In an interview with the Associated Press earlier this year, Johnson stated confidently, “I will be the only third-party candidate on the ballot in all 50 states.”
He officially clinched the Libertarian nomination in May, with 56% of the vote at the Libertarian National Convention. However, Johnson had also run as the Libertarian presidential nominee back in 2012, receiving nearly 1% of the popular vote. This year, however, could see US voters breaking new ground for third-party candidates.
Johnson is currently polling at 9%, after hitting a high of 13% in July. According to a Monmouth University poll taken before the Republican and Democratic conventions, Johnson “has picked up independent voter support in the past month” and is “now at 16%” with that voter group.
In order to take part in the presidential debates, he only needs to achieve 15% in five national opinion polls a few weeks before the debate, which is scheduled for September 26. The debates are a crucial platform that could greatly increase his support.
Johnson is a favorite for cannabis advocates and enthusiasts, as he first supported legalization in 1999, while in office as governor – the highest ranking public official to do so. Cannabis reform has long been part of his platform. In 2012, he stated that “[t]he truth is that most marijuana smokers are people we associate with every day–law abiding, tax-paying, productive citizens. Bad personal decisions should not be criminal if they don’t harm anyone else. It is and should always be illegal to drive while you’re impaired or to commit crimes. But people will always use drugs. We can’t change that. Our real focus should be on reducing death, disease, crime and corruption. These problems are all related to drug prohibition, not drug use.”
The Marijuana Policy Project has been an active advocacy group for cannabis reform since 1995 – one of the oldest and largest pro-cannabis groups in the country. They’ve been instrumental in raising funds, campaigning, and pushing through sensible cannabis policies at both the state and federal level.
The MPP officially endorsed Johnson earlier this year. Their Executive Director, Rob Kampia, released the following in a statement:
“MPP is a single-issue organization, and our mission is simple: ‘Regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol in the United States.’ […] Of the three presidential candidates who will appear on the ballot in all 50 states and D.C., Gary Johnson clearly has the best position on marijuana policy.”
What You Can Do to Help
MassRoots joins the MPP in supporting Gary Johnson as a presidential candidate, and encourages our community to do the same.
Johnson and his vice-presidential pick, William Geld, are running a #15for15 campaign, which is currently raising funds and awareness. They aim to raise $1.5million by August 15 to help achieve the 15% polling he needs to take part in the presidential debates. The aim of the campaign is not only to raise funds for the presidential campaign, but also to “send a message to the media, the Commission on Presidential Debates, and the pollsters” that US voters want to hear a third voice at the debates. “Imagine Hillary and Donald having to debate real issues that matter to Americans instead of bickering about which one is worse than the other.”
Furthermore, on August 15, Thunderclap will share all the tweets and Facebook statuses supporting the Johnson campaign will be shared at the exact same time, creating an enormous impact that is sure to gain much-needed media attention.
With almost 60,000 pledges thus far, they’ve already raised over $1 million dollars within the last few weeks, and are confident that they can meet their goal within the next 4 days.
If you’re tired of bipartisan politicians who keep putting off meaningful marijuana reform, donate and vote for Gary Johnson.