Mother Jones has a good little piece up about the growing pro-legalization sentiment among GOP figures and the Tea Party movement. Excerpt:
"What the tea party talks about is wise spending," [Gary Johnson] said, adding that the war on drugs was certainly no better a deal than Social Security or Medicare. The tea party's libertarian elements, he noted, have already led to the unthinkable: "You find more Republican candidates right now espousing legalization of marijuana than you do Democrats."
He's probably right, says Allen St. Pierre, head of the pro-legalization National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), which funnels 80 percent of its political donations to Democrats. "Republicans are definitely more on the record in terms of support for ending prohibition," he says. While pot-friendly pols from either side of the aisle are still rare species, the GOP variety tends to voice unequivocal support for outright legalization. Republican exemplars include ex-Colorado GOP congressman Tom Tancredo (now running for governor on the American Constitution Party ticket) and the GOP challengers to Reps. Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi. Nobody, of course, is more outspoken on the issue than Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), the 2008 presidential hopeful and tea party patron saint, who recently wrote that "decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level would be a start" to ending "the insanity of the War on Drugs."
GOP voters might prove receptive to such a message. According to the Pew Research Center, a whopping 61 percent of Republicans support legalizing the drug for medical patients (as 14 states already have). In a recent Gallup poll, nearly one-third favored legalizing p
ot outright. In California, pollsters have shown similar levels of Republican support for Proposition 19, the ballot initiative that would legalize, regulate, and tax recreational marijuana for adults.
While Democrats favor Prop 19 at twice the rate of Republicans, pot activists insist that the tea party world is helping to narrow the gap.
Whole thing here.
Some other Prop. 19 news:
* The New York Times interviews The Dude.
* All major Oakland mayoral candidates are in favor.
* The Lompoc Record joins the editorial stampede against.
* Why this is a problem for Obama.
* Prop. 19 is the most popular item on California's November ballot.