Gary Johnson

Is the GOP Ready for a Presidential Candidate Who Smoked Pot as Recently as 2008?

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The Kush Kandidate!

Because that's what Gary Johnson has just admitted to, in an interview with The Weekly Standard. Excerpt:

"It's not anything I volunteer, but you're the only person that actually asked about it," says Johnson, who governed New Mexico from 1994 to 2002. "But for luck, I guess, I wasn't arrested." Although smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes was illegal in New Mexico until 2007, Johnson says he needed the drug following a 2005 paragliding accident in Hawaii. His sails got caught in a tree, he stalled—and fell about fifty feet straight down to the ground, he says. Johnson suffered multiple bone fractures, including a burst fracture to his T12 vertebrae. "In my human experience, it's the worst pain I've ever felt."

"Rather than using painkillers, which I have used on occasion before, I did smoke pot, as a result of having broken my back, blowing out both of my knees, breaking ribs, really taking about three years to recover," Johnson says. He explains that painkillers had once caused him to suffer nasty side effects and the pain of withdrawing from the pills was unbearable. So, Johnson says, in 2005 "someone" who cared for him gave him marijuana to deal with the pain.

There's some other interesting cross-examination (as you would imagine) on Johnson's defense-cutting, troop-withdrawing, anti-nation-building, yet potentially pro-humanitarian interventionism, and then also this:

In one notable break from Ron Paul's foreign policy, Johnson offers rhetorical support for Israel. "I think that we really do have a vested interest in Israel and that we shouldn't walk away from that interest," he says. Johnson also puts distance between himself and the 9/11 Truthers, who found a friendly home in the Ron Paul campaign. "Based on what I know," Johnson says, "no, I don't think the 9/11 report should be reopened, based on my knowledge."

Johnson also comes out as pro-choice and anti-Roe v. Wade (to the point of making it a "criteria" for Supreme Court selections). The interview ends like this:

"The woman that I'm with, and I'm gonna be married to and I'm in love with now—we've been together for a couple of years—she asked me was there anything that she could read to understand what it is or how I thought, and I recommended to her Atlas Shrugged," says Johnson. "I think I view the system the same way that Ayn Rand views the system—that it really oppresses those that create, if you will, and tries to take away from those that produce and give to the non-producers." But, as with most of his views, Johnson's devotion to Rand isn't totally rigid.

"I would like to see the government help out those truly in need," he says. "She [Ayn Rand] wasn't that way."

Reason on Johnson here.