Can the Libertarian Party Make Marijuana Legalization A Mainstream Issue

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.

13 thoughts on “Can the Libertarian Party Make Marijuana Legalization A Mainstream Issue

  1. Trent Hill Post author

    Frankly, I think marijuana legalization has already mainstreamed. It may not have a majority in any single state yet (although I’d argue it probably does in CA and maybe OR), but there is a sizable minority in every state that thinks legalization is wise. It’s just a matter of time–voters under 30 think the law is just ridiculous.

  2. Andy

    “Trent Hill // May 3, 2012 at 3:11 am

    Frankly, I think marijuana legalization has already mainstreamed. It may not have a majority in any single state yet (although I’d argue it probably does in CA and maybe OR), but there is a sizable minority in every state that thinks legalization is wise. It’s just a matter of time–voters under 30 think the law is just ridiculous.”

    This is all the more reason to spread the message about jury nullification, because given that such a large percentage of the population thinks that it’s absurd to put a person in jail for marijuana, if everyone of them were fully informed about their right to nullify “laws” as jurors, the government would have a really difficult time prosecuting people for marijuana “offenses”.

  3. Trent Hill Post author

    Jury nullification should definitely achieve more attention than it does.

  4. ralph

    It is a mainstream issue! Namely, (in the US) let the states (or localities) decide. Wholesale drug decrim is already mainstream thanks to Libs in e.g. Latin America or elsewhere…What we’re mainstreaming now in the US is to have the Feds stop interfering with that.

    Good thinkpiece, thanks. At my age I appreciate them in the morning!

  5. Alan Pyeatt

    It’s not about us; when 70% of Americans favor legalizing medical marijuana, we’re doing our part. Recent studies at Harvard and in Spain have confirmed MMJ’s effectiveness. Problem is, the Lame Stream Media doesn’t want to report on it, because they’re sill pushing a medieval system of prescription drugs and prison-industrial complexes.

    So once again, we have to emphasize alternative media. When everybody already knows about it, the MSM might decide to finally report on it.

  6. Deran

    In WA State there will be an initiative on the ballot to legalize cannabis for recreational use. It’s sponsored by the liberals, Democrats and unions. It would regulate and tax recreational cannabis. I’m guessing Mr. Johnson would support the legalization part, but not the state regulation?

  7. Carol Moore

    I think the 60 percent of delegates who voted for the floor fee all need to get stoned for about a week so they realize what elitist assholes they are. It’s not about TAANSTAFL, it’s ELITE CONTROL. Do you have to get stoned to understand that? Geez.

  8. Darryl W. Perry

    Carol, as I understand it, the floor fee motion was ruled “out of order” – the vote was to seat the Reeves delegation instead of the Wagner delegation from Oregon.

  9. Carol Moore

    You are correct. Mark Hinkle should be on ALL our sh*tlists for that. But all those who ARE elitists need to smoke a whole lot of UNREGULATED marijuana…

  10. Seebeck

    The LP can’t make cannabis a mainstream issue, because they can’t even get their own fucking act together.

  11. Catholic Trotskyist

    I am glad you understand that now Seeback. Are you ready to join the Catholic Trotskyist Party yet? By the way, the Catholic Trotskyist Party is currently debating whether to endorse James Ogle, Joy Waymire or Lee Wrights for the Libertarian nomination. We disendorse Gary Johnson because of life and foreign policy issues. And we support all marijuana legalization fights, with or without regulation. I hope to be back to posting more on IPR soon, and I have a major announcement on behalf of the party, which will be made on IPR on August 1.

  12. Marie

    If and when marijuana becomes legal across this country, I hope to GOD that Murder becomes legal as well.
    So much lawlessness, if any of these sickos should bother one member of my family or even one member of my neighborhood, I would like to do something where the law would protect me for doing it.
    Even if there is not law protecting me, I suppose ill just become a vigilantie.

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