Third parties were the first electoral parties to push a number of then-fringe issues into the mainstream over the years in the United States. From the abolition of slavery and universal suffrage to social security and prohibition, third parties have pioneered many issues that became law or nearly so. This article at The Atlantic suggests that the Libertarian Party in 2012 might push the legalization of marijuana into the mainstream.
The new reality: 70 percent of Americans favor legal medical marijuana, and half think the drug should just be legal. As Gallup notes, “Support for legalizing marijuana is directly and inversely proportional to age, ranging from 62% approval among those 18 to 29 down to 31% among those 65 and older.” Eventually, the drug warriors are going to lose, and the country is going to win.
All of which brings us to Gary Johnson.
Widely expected to emerge from this weekend’s Libertarian Party convention as its presidential nominee, the former New Mexico governor has announced that he wants Judge Jim Gray to be his running mate.
The article suggests at the end that Johnson and Gray are great spokesmen for the issue since they are not the stereotype of marijuana users–Johnson is an athlete and businessman and Gray is a juror and veteran.