0 votes

Gary Johnson Forms Political Committee for Potential 2012 Run

By Peter Wallsten

Libertarianism is enjoying a recent renaissance in the Republican Party.

Texas GOP Rep. Ron Paul won the presidential straw poll earlier this year at the Conservative Political Action Conference, then his son Rand, running on a largely libertarian platform, ousted a more traditional Republican to become the GOP’s Senate nominee in Kentucky.

Now, it appears that former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, known mostly as a vocal advocate for the legalization of marijuana, is positioning himself to test that momentum in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries.

Johnson, 57-years-old, has formed a political committee, the Our America Initiative, to pay for his travels across the country, including to key political hot spots such as New Hampshire and, last week, Florida. Is the GOP ready for a pro-legalized pot, anti-war candidate?

Washington Wire spoke with Johnson about drugs, spending, gay marriage, war, and some new self-reflection on how pure his libertarianism really is. Here’s an excerpt:

Continue: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/08/09/washington-wire-q-a...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

No candidate will ever be

No candidate will ever be perfect. As I've mentioned before, there are positions Ron holds that I disagree with, but if Gary runs I'd support him. Wait for the perfect candidate and you'll never vote again.

I have actually decided to adopt a new voting technique ...

If my candidate does not make it out of the primary, I am going to vote for the candidate that least resembles my views.

Neo-con light or socialist light can only slow our message, so I figure ....

If the people haven't got it yet, they need a double dose of the same medicine until they begin to understand.


As opposed to voting for the lesser of two evils; but that's sort of like a door in the face technique.

Elect far left wingers, and people get used to that and accept near-left wingers.

Elect RINOs, and people get used to that, and then will accept near-left wingers.

Door in the face or foot in the door... either way we're hosed :(

Here in Cincy ...

I think I may go all democratic.

I would rather puke than vote for Kasich for Gov.

And Chabot in the congressional 1st district is going to win his seat back after a Dem (Driehaus) beat him in 2008.

Chabot voted for the bailout, and never missed a yes vote on military spending.

Driehaus sponsored 1207 and then voted to keep the amendment out of the Fin reg bill, voted for bailout part two, healthcare, etc.

Who the hell is the worse one in that race?

Because there certainly is no lesser of two evils.

I figured I would just vote for Driehaus by default since he is a democrat.

In the Senate race you got Bush clone Rob Portman on the Republican side, and some jerk wad that likes to video himself naked and put it on youtube on the Democrat side.

What kind of choice is that?

The way I see it, of the

The way I see it, of the liberty candidates we can have for 2012 excluding Ron, only Peter Schiff has the courage and convictions to articulately explain what liberty is all about. I've fallen quite out of favor with Gary Johnson and Rand Paul now.


Rand is still one of the good guys, by far. Schiff I doubt will make another run assuming his current efforts fall short. While I am a big fan of Johnson, I would hate to see Johnson and RP split the liberty vote in a primary situation...

I used to say Johnson is more electable than RP, but his making such an issue of marijuana won't help him, and RP's national visibility has increased greatly in the past few years.

Duplicate comment.

Duplicate comment.

I agree with some comments

I agree with some comments below, he does not have a complete understanding of property rights, not only from this, but from other articles I have seen from him.

Secondly, he believes in killing the unborn.

Thirdly, he does not articulate his talking points near the level Ron Paul does.

lastly, Ron Paul 2012.

Know your stuff, learn real history and economics @LibertyClassroom.com

Disturbed by his smoking ban answer

This is an area where he REALLY doesn't "toe the line" and needs to.

It's about property rights. Employees are not hostages. They have a choice, just like customers, over whether or not to spend time in a smoke-filled environment. I hate smoking, with a passion. But using the force of law to get your way and force a property owner to ban an otherwise-lawful activity is unacceptable.

Other than that, it was a good interview. Johnson certainly isn't perfect, but he's a promising ally on most issues.

tasmlab's picture


I thought the same thing. Employees aren't hostages and that argument is/was one supported by the Marx crowd.

But overall he certainly is hitting some of the big ones (spending, war) right on. I can accept some nuance.

Currently consuming: Harry Browne, Free Domain Radio; JT Gatto and Holt; Wii U

I like Gary!

Sure he's not RP, but if you have the choice between him and O'Bummer in 2012, would you not be ecstatic?!?

Johnson is a tool!

LOL.. Gary Johnson is a third rate tool.

If he is our only back up plan if Ron does not run, we are doomed.

Of course, I still believe very strongly that Ron is in fact going to run again and I do not believe Johnson is any threat to Dr. Paul whatsoever.

Ron Paul 2012 - It's Almost Here!

I know that's your opinion,

I know that's your opinion, but how about you back it up with something?


I don't like what he said. #1

I don't like what he said. #1 he did not vote for Ron. #2 He does not think employees can choose to not work where things go on they do not like. #3 Pot not being legalized he already talks about regulating and TAXING it..
FURTHERMORE and in defense of the plant that gave this country life, not EVERYONE who smokes it dies of it, Not EVERYONE who stands near a smoker dies of it, NO studies have been done re: if standing on a busy street corner curb is worse than second hand tobacco smoke or ..if the Campfire Girls should disband because that smoke is equally nefarious. There is a war on tobacco now that no one but me seems to care about. The taxes are like $25.00/pound. Several states have OUTLAWED tobacco being shipped in at ALL, because they put MORE tax on it, and cigarette tobacco is federally prohibited from being mailed or delivered TO ANY INDIVIDUAL AT ALL, in any state.
I am sorry but those of you who think I infringe on your rights if I want to smoke will soon see something you love being treated in this manner.

#1 he did not vote for Ron?

Ron did not vote for Ron. Ron voted for chuck. Ron was not on my ballot.

#2 i don't agree with him either. like he said, he's a republican.

#3 like it or not that's how it will happen. look to the Colorado MMJ laws to see it happening now. the walmartization of weed.

"Hemp is of the first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country." - Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Franklin started one of America’s first paper mills with cannabis. This allowed America to have a free colonial press without having to beg or justify paper and books from England.

“Speaking generally, the Commission are of the opinion that the moderate use of hemp drugs appears to cause no appreciable physical injury of any kind.” - Indian Hemp Drugs Commission 1893-1894

"Make the most of the Indian Hemp Seed and sow it everywhere." George Washington

"Sowed Hemp at Muddy hole by Swamp."
May 12 George Washington
Diary Entry, May 12 , 1765

"began to separate the male from the female (hemp ) plants" - George Washington
Diary Entry, August 7, 1765

“Certainly no good reason can be assigned why the
Hemp of New Zealand should not thrive with us, as
that country lyes [sic] in about the same Southern lati-tude
that our middle States do in the Northern. The
Hemp of the East Indies grows well here (from my own
experience) and I have no doubt of the Tea plant suc-ceeding in So. Carolina and Georgia.”
December 10, 1796

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew cannabis on their plantations. Jefferson,3 while envoy to France, went to great expense—and even considerable risk to himself and his secret agents—to procure particularly good hempseeds smuggled illegally into Turkey from China. The Chinese Mandarins (political rulers) so valued their hemp seeds that they made their exportation a capital offense.
3. Diaries of George Washington; Writings of George Washington, Letter to Dr. James Anderson, May 26, 1794, vol 33, p. 433, (U.S. govt. pub., 191); Letters to his caretaker, William Pearce, 1795 & 1796; Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson’s Farm Books; Abel, Ernest, Marijuana: The First 12,000 Years, Plenum Press, NY, 1980; M. Aldrich, et al.

In 1619, America’s first marijuana law was enacted at Jamestown Colony, Virginia, “ordering” all farmers to “make tryal of” (grow) Indian hempseed. More mandatory (must-grow) hemp cultivation laws were enacted in Massachusetts in 1631, in Connecticut in 1632, and in the Chesapeake Colonies into the mid-1700s.

Hemp was the leading U.S. crop in the 1700s.

In 1762, "Virginia awarded bounties for hemp-culture and
manufacture, and imposed penalties upon those who did not
produce it."

You could pay your taxes with cannabis hemp throughout America for more than 200 years.
You could even be jailed in America for not growing cannabis during several periods of shortage, e.g., in Virginia between 1763 and 1767.
(Herndon, G.M., Hemp in Colonial Virginia, 1963; The Chesapeake Colonies, 1954; L.A. Times, August 12, 1981; et al.)

Cannabis hemp was legal tender (money) in most of the Americas from 1631 until the early 1800s.
1. Clark, V.S., History of Manufacture in the United States, McGraw Hill, NY, 1929, Pg. 34.

The United States Census of 1850 counted 8,327 hemp “plantations”* (minimum 2,000 acre farms) growing cannabis hemp for cloth, canvas, and even the cordage used for baling cotton. Most of these plantations were located in the South or in the border states, primarily because of the cheap slave labor available prior to 1865 for the labor-intensive hemp industry.
(U.S. Census, 1850; Allen, James Lane, The Reign of Law, A Tale of the Kentucky Hemp Fields, MacMillan Co., NY, 1900; Roffman, Roger, Ph.D., Marijuana as Medicine, Mendrone Books, WA, 1982.)

* This figure does not include the tens of thousands of smaller farms growing cannabis, nor the hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of family hemp patches in America; nor does it take into account that 80% of America’s hemp consumption for 200 years still had to be imported from Russia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland well into this century.

Official Daily Paul BTC address: 16oZXSGAcDrSbZeBnSu84w5UWwbLtZsBms
My ฿itcoin: 17khsA7MvBJAGAPkhrFJdQZPYKgxAeXkBY

I don't get the no smoking complaint

I support no smoking in restaurants too.

I don't care what you do to your own body, but if it's harming someone else then that is something the state and federal gov't should do something about.

Of course, I also believe smoking in the car with a child should be considered child abuse too


....."I don't care what you do to your own body, but if it's harming someone else then that is something the state and federal gov't should do something about"...

On stop..... I can't take it.....hahahaha
Let's talk flouride and medical refuse in the water systems... GMO foods,..... cloned beef products....making nutritional supplements illegal......

Oh YES.... I REALLY want government to save me


Thomas Jefferson: “Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever."

Viva La Revolucion!

BMWJIM's picture

I agree with you about what

you do to your own body. The difference is the property owner has the right to decide what he/she wants on their own property.

If there is smoking in an establishment and you don't want it then you as an individual do not have to go there.

Doc, It really is as simple as that.

The State and Federal government has NO right to infringe on the property owner. It is the property owners choice.


1976-1982 USMC, Having my hands in the soil keeps me from soiling my hands on useless politicians.

Restaurants are private property

The owner should set the rules

What if the employees are

What if the employees are being harmed by second hand smoke?

I guess they could not work there. But say a woman is working there and she's pregnant. Then what?

Then the employees go find

Then the employees go find another job where there is no smoke, or start a competing business that is smoke free.

This ain't friggin' recess at preschool, it's real life. You make it sound like there are only two classes of people, "employers" and "employees", that they are etched in stone, and that once cast into one class you can never get out. It equates "employees" with mindless automatons who can't make their own decisions. The truth is, other than politicians, almost *everyone* has been an employee at least once in their life.

It's called a FREE MARKET.

Besides, selectively enforced laws, preferential treatment and backroom deals by corrupt law enforcement and gubmint are the rule and not the exception. It's time people stopped believing in fairy tales about government benevolence and start making rational decisions about how they run their lives. Government is nothing more than a tool that can be used rightly or wrongly. It has no conscience of its own.

I agree 100%!

The free markets have a great way of working this out. If customers flock away from restaurant owners who CHOOSE to allow cigarette smoking, they will lose business and workers.

Restaurant owners who disallow smoking will receive a flood of job applications and customers. Allow competing markets and the rest resolves itself :) No govt intervention needed here.

Interestingly, it seems that

Interestingly, it seems that once government bans against indoor smoking for bars, government buildings, etc. went into effect everyone said they preferred the new smoke-free environments. Is it because we as Americans are used to dealing with uncomfortable or unhealthy situations without complaint? Are the "rules" viewed as unbreakable by ordinary people?

what about the employees

They're the one's who suffer the most. Of course they can work some place else. But if this is the case then people should be able to smoke at work and on planes, etc

I would have to say though that I would prefer this to be legislated on a state level.

tasmlab's picture

City level

If a group of citizens of a city want to ban it, then at least it is small enough to repeal and both workers and customers can vote with their feet and dollar.

Currently consuming: Harry Browne, Free Domain Radio; JT Gatto and Holt; Wii U

And the plot thickens.......

Gonna be a fun coupla years!

Thomas Jefferson: “Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever."

Viva La Revolucion!


Wouldn't Gary Johnson make a GREAT VP candidate to Ron Paul's candidacy for President should he (when he?) runs?


aparently not

according to this poll, he's in 8th for vp: