Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pardons, Pot and a Presidential Hopeful

It is reported that Republicans presidential candidate Gary Johnson has told reporters today that:
he would consider issue “a full presidential pardon” for every non-violent marijuana convicted under current drug laws if elected. 
The libertarian former governor of New Mexico has acknowledged using marijuana and compares the prohibition on marijuana the prohibition of alcohol:
Yes. … After prohibition of alcohol was repealed, one of the untold stories was of all the pardons that went out to all those people who had been convicted or were serving jail sentences for trading in alcohol. I think that same phenomenon accompanies legalizing marijuana and what I call rational drug policy, which starts with looking at the drug problem or the drug issue first as a health issue rather a criminal justice issue.
It is noteworthy, however, that most offenders are convicted under state drug laws, and cannot be pardoned by the president.

The story follows on the heels of a new Gallup poll showing a full 50 percent of Americans now support marijuana legalization. Other polling agencies (CNN and Pew) havehad similar results in recent polls. Support can be as high as 62 percent among Americans under 30 years old. See story here.

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