Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson Has High Hopes President Obama Will Reclassify Marijuana

The once and possibly future Libertarian presidential candidate thinks Obama will remove marijuana's Schedule I classification before he leaves office.

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Gary Johnson, the former two-term Republican

High hopes.
Gov Gary Johnson/Flickr

governor of New Mexico who between his 2012 and 2016 Libertarian presidential runs was the CEO of Cannabis Sativa Inc., believes President Obama will reclassify marijuana off of its current status as a Schedule I narcotic before he leaves the White House next January.  

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) describes Schedule I drugs as substances "with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse" adding that these substances are "the most dangerous drugs…with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence."

In an interview this past Tuesday, Johnson told the the Washington Times marijuana will soon be treated "just like alcohol." He added:

Obama, when he leaves office, is going to deschedule marijuana as a Class I narcotic. I wish he would have done that to this point, but I think he's going to do that going out the door. That's a positive.

Johnson pointed to the "vibrancy" of Colorado, which voted to legalize marijuana in 2012 and put the new law in effect in 2014, calling legalized pot a "contributing factor" to the increased popularity of the state as a tourist destination.

In Obama's first term, his administration notoriously reneged on a campaign promise to leave legal medical pot dispensaries alone, and instead launched a crackdown that dwarfed the DEA's efforts during the George W. Bush era. 

Though Obama once tried to deflect criticism over his administration's relentless busting of dispensaries, claiming he "couldn't nullify Congressional law," Reason's Jacob Sullum has noted that the president has the executive power to reclassify marijuana off the list of the most dangerous and consequently, most harshly prosecuted drugs.

Obama's own former attorney general, Eric Holder, has gone on the record as saying marijuana "certainly…ought to be rescheduled."

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  1. “”High Hopes””

    Not Okay, Fisher.

    1. Gary Johnson Has is High if he Hopes President Obama Will Reclassify Marijuana

      Let me fix that headline for ya.

      1. “Appealing to Congress in a joint session…”

    2. With a name like Gilmour (sic) one would think you would have linked High Hopes

      1. there is absolutely nothing stoner-funny about that.

        1. Look who’s ringing the division bell now.

  2. “Well, I had seven years to do stop ruining people’s lives for a victimless crime, but I’ll let someone else deal with all the consequences of that policy.”

    Fucking coward

    1. And so what if he does? The next president can just reclassify it. If he had done it at the start of his presidency it would be entrenched by now.

  3. Resting your hopes on Obama doing something good is sort of depressing, no?

    1. Who wants to bet a 20$ donation to Reason? I’ll bet that Obama doesn’t reclassify marijuana.

      1. I won’t take that bet, but I’ll match it as a pledge and donate $20 if Obama does reschedule marijuana.

        1. While I appreciate your spirit, I’m not sure if you understand the concept of the bet.
          I mean, you’re just saying you’re going to donate twenty either way, right?

          1. Oh wait, I see. Ok, if Obama reschedules Mary Jane I’ll donate $20.

        2. I will bet $20 that Obama waffles and satisfies exactly nobody.

    2. Hey, now, you can often count on him to do the right thing when there is overwhelming support for it, it requires very little actual work on his part, and he can deflect blame for any and all negative effects of his decision.

      1. You know what else flows downstream?

          1. Nice. Adolfu Shitler.

        1. Rubber duckies.

        2. Smoke?

  4. Not going to happen. Next question.

    1. Probably. Reclassifying MJ is a gateway reclassification to reclassifying crack.

      1. They reclassify MJ and we might see New Coke on the shelves again.

  5. I wish he would have done that to this point, but I think he’s going to do that going out the door. That’s a positive.

    Ah, yes. The power of positive thinking.

    1. He’ll do it right after closing gitmo

      1. He inherited a mess. And has only been in office for seven years.

      2. And end the war in Iraq

        1. Most transparent administration ever!

  6. That DEA drug scheduling link contains almost nothing that should be considered constitutional. I said “should”. I must be high.

    1. Yes, pet peeve of mine. If alcohol could only be prohibited by paying a constitutional amendment, them how can all these other drugs be banned without a constitutional amendment?

      1. Paragraph FY, subsection TW?

      2. I have always wondered why no one has brought a lawsuit on those grounds. IANAL, can anyone help me here?

        1. In 1937, SCOTUS decided that the Commerce Clause is vastly more expansive than all previous Courts, Congresses, and presidents not named “Roosevelt” had imagined. Congress couldn’t enact prohibition in the 1920s without a constitutional amendment because “commerce” meant “commerce.” Now, “commerce” means “any activity (or, according to at least three justices, lack of activity) that has any economic impact, in itself or in the aggregate.”

          1. Wickard v Filburn put the FY in FYTW

            1. Wait, unanimously?! I just finished a movie and finally get to read it.

        2. Also, you said, “I anal.” Heh…heheh…heheh

  7. Five things Obama could do but won’t before he leaves office. Number three will shock you.

    1. One weird trick to reduce your substance classification.

    2. He’s been number two-Ing all over the place.

  8. sure, let’s play to the stereotype others hold of libertarians and wonder if libertarianism is not taken seriously. And pinning hopes on Obama? Why?

    1. Because the crease on his pants send shivers up my leg?

      1. nah; that’s just your buzz.

        1. Whiskey with a beer chaser, for the win.

          1. Indeed…that’ll crease those slacks just fine.

            1. And the pot I’m smoking is like using starch!

                1. A really nice hybrid. On clearance. I was just gonna buy a gram, because where i bought it is way overpriced. Was gonna but an eighth the next day at Colorado Harvest, but it smelled so good, and the clearance price so good, i just bought an eighth of it. Really nice, a little dry, prob why was on clearance.

    2. Legal pot is our big winner. Yes, it is our least important issue. Yes, it makes for many jokes at our expense. Yes, I do get tired of being called a right wing hippie. But hey if we run on a pro-pot platform we might get 1.2% of the vote.

      1. The drug war is definitely not our least important issue.

        1. What would you suggest is less important?

          1. Who gets the Libertarian Party nomination.

            1. Open borders.

        2. then let’s talk about the drug war instead of the fixation on weed which is practically caricature. Like prohibition, the drug was failed. Presumably like prohibition’s repeal, its end would not cause every to be a user any more than the nation became full of drunkards. There is the social cost that periodically gets talked about, how it makes criminals of what in the worst case is a public health concern, and it would be nice to see how many fewer homicides occurred. But more talk of weed ain’t helping.

          1. I think the real problem is that pot legalization more has to do with people no longer marijuana specifically is bad for you rather than a widespread believe that the government shouldn’t stop us from doing drugs. See the anti-smoking, anti-sugar, anti-fatty foods, anti-drunk driving campaigns.

            1. Yep. It would be nice to have legalization based on its lack of downsides, which is what we’ll get everywhere soon enough. But look no further than the national pearl-clutching over heroin right now if you’re ever tempted to think the voting population is in favor of people making their own choices.

          2. I agree that legalizing pot is a poor proxy for ending the drug war, and that ending the drug war would be a very good thing. The problem I have with pot being the LP’s big plank goes further. It is not an issue that really strikes at the heart of what is wrong today, which is the massive growth of Leviathan. The drug war is a symptom, exponential growth of federal power is the disease.

            1. You’re right, but the war on drugs is not just a symptom, it’s a catalyst.
              Before the WOD, no-knock search warrants would have been declared unconstitutional.
              Before the WOD, asset forfeiture would have been declared unconstitutional.
              The WOD, like the War on Terrorism, is used to justify blatantly unconstitutional acts by the government.
              The government uses (bullshit) alarmism about things like drugs and terrorism to argue “the constitution isn’t a suicide pact! We have to grow government power and reduce liberty because X is so dangerous.”

              1. You are right historically and if it were 1980 or even 1990 I’d agree, but post 911 the excuse for ignoring any and all limits to their power is TERROR. I sometimes suspect that the reason pot legalization is getting traction now is that it is no longer needed as an excuse for trampling the 4-7th amendments.

                1. This argument has merit. Never let a crisis go to waste.

                2. that is probably part of it, but i think it has more to do with people being less afraid of pot. medical MJ has been around for quite some time now, and has shown that it didn’t destroy civilization. most people don’t specifically support ending the drug war, just taking pot off the battlefield.

            2. The problem is that ending the WoD is politically unpopular. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that for most people out there believe that five seconds after meth and heroin are legalized the country will be overrun by raging addicts trying to get their next fix. I’d prefer it if the WoD was just an RPG for goths, but the general public is not ready for that. In the meantime, legalizing weed is at least a plausible short term goal to help shrink the state.

          3. For this to get unfucked it needs to happen incrementally. Weed is the logical place to start.

            I’d love to be able to throw a switch and make everyone realize the government has no power to control what we put in our bodies. But the lies about drugs are so ingrained that you’ll have to prove that ending prohibition won’t be the end of the world before you can get people to start thinking in terms of liberty.

            1. Exactly right. The progressives built this incrementally. The only way it will get torn down is piece by piece.

          4. “then let’s talk about the drug war instead of the fixation on weed which is practically caricature.”

            I’m with you 100 percent on the idea that all drug prohibitions are abject failures. But I think that if libertarians ever hope to get anything done, they have to stay somewhat close to the Overton window. There is growing public support for legal marijuana, but you won’t find any such support for crack, heroin, or meth even among hardcore potheads. Libertarians are already stereotyped as potheads because of their support for legalizing pot; they would win even fewer votes if their opponents could also paint them as meth-heads and crack heads.

      2. jarflax, I get where your coming from. But thing is a lot of the things libertarians discuss, at least on the economic side, tend to be a bit too inside baseball for most people. I’m not saying that to disparage people who don’t pay attention to politics because they’re living their own lives, and good for them. But it also means that it’s hard to articulate why they should care about issues like civil service reforms.

        On the other hand, everybody has an opinion on Weed, Mexicans, and Ass sex, and that’s much easier to understand, so yeah, we end up stereotyped as the hippie Republicans.

  9. So what makes Johnson believe this?

    1. He has conquered Everest. He has seen what few men have ever seen. He may or may not have had an O2 tank nearby.

      1. “I don’t always smoke. But when I do, I smoke cannabis sativa.”

    2. I was thinking the same thing, then remembered that he’s in the MJ business now, and has alot of political connections. I wonder if he has word from the Chosen One Himself.
      I still say it’s not gonna happen.
      jarflax and myself have both pledged a $20 donation to Reason if Obama’s does reschedule marijuana; who else wants to make the pledge? We could turn this into a thing, people.

      1. I’m up for it. $20 to Reason if Obama reclassifies.

        Really, no downside to that one.

        1. I said “people”, didn’t I? I’m sorry to other you, Hamster, and extend the challenge to all mammals, and yes, lizards as well.

          1. Yes, Mr Lizard needs to pledge or things could get Ickey.

            1. Yes, mammals have mammary glands. I like them. So, HM, you taking the pledge?

        2. If he does, I’ll make a post claiming to have made a $20 anonymous donation to Reason.

          Whereas in reality I’ll spend it on some shiny curio.

      2. He resigned from the MJ business.

    3. The fact that Obama doesn’t want to jinx the down-ballot elections for the Dems in the House and Senate, maybe?

      I can see him doing his at some point between Election Day and Inauguration Day.

      1. He could also jinx legalization. Maybe not in MA, ME, CA, or NV, but in Arizona and other more conservative states legalization depends on it being seen as a non-partisan issue. Obama declassifying before the election could polarize the issue. So I definitely would prefer it if he waited till after election day.

  10. Gary Johnson has high hopes

    Ha!

  11. Gary needs to stay away from the inventory.

  12. CEO of Cannabis Sativa Inc.,

    Were there any gay transgendered Mexicans getting abortions working there?

    1. today, the larger question is what restroom were those mexicans allowed to use.

      1. That sounds like a trick question.

        1. Just don’t call it a trap

      2. Wait, we have to share restrooms with Mexicans now?!?

        This day just keeps getting worse

        1. I don’t mind if it’s number Juan.

          1. This is a dead thread I’m sure, but I just want you to know I appreciated this.

    2. All of them

  13. OT.

    Illinois is one heck of a place. This Forbes article says there are 72 small town managers in Illinois that make more than the 50 state governors. But what I really found astounding was this:

    “Unbelievably, politically connected private non-profit associations are clouted into the public retirement system with taxpayer-backed lifetime pensions.”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ad…..1ba5e2137d

    1. And that’s before the other corruption.

    2. Illinois is one heck of a place.

      Last time I was there, I ended up drinking with a Norwegian Freemason biker club. I recovered the day after, betting 50cent trifectas at the race track out in the suburbs.

      I love Chicago.

    3. Well, who wants to be the manager if a small town in Illinois?

      1. They could all make twice as much working in the private sector!

        Did I do it right?

    4. So the conclusion I’m drawing is that we need to pay governors more, right?

  14. If the Marijujuana is legalized negro jazz musicians will impregnate our wives and daughters!

    1. Just for you: Jackpot

    2. If the Marijujuana is legalized negro jazz musicians will impregnate our wives and daughters!

      Nicely done sir. Well done indeed.

  15. Woops there goes another rubber tree plant…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaPTweZ2_fI

  16. So if the government treats pot like liquor does that mean another century of complaining about the pot laws?

    1. It would mean that in Pennsylvania, for instance, stores could sell you pot in bulk, but you’d have to go to dispensaries to get individual joints. And if you wanted hash, you’d have to got to a government store.

  17. Instead of wasting $20 bills on Reason, we should send them to the DEA. It sounds like it could use them.

    “The federal government dropped $86 million on an advanced Drug Enforcement Administration plane that was meant for counter-narcotics missions in Afghanistan ? yet remains “inoperable” and “resting on jacks” to this day, according to a scathing watchdog report released Wednesday.

    The report said it was unlikely the plane will ever fly in Afghanistan because the DEA has since ceased aviation operations there.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/politic…..cmp=hplnws

  18. So Obama reclassifies it in his lame duck period, the next president reclassifies it weeks later.

    1. I’d like to think a President Cruz, Mr. “Let The States Legalize It”, would let that stand.

      1. But President It Takes a Village will reclassify nicotine and caffeine as Schedule 1 two weeks later.

  19. I’ll donate 20 if he does by the end of his term.

  20. I will donate $20 to Reason to purchase a woodchipper if Obama reclassifies MJ.

    1. You think they’ll need an industrial grinder for all the pot they’ll be prepping?

      1. Weedchippers! What a Preety idea.

      2. I had this vision of them painting it red, white, and blue. Making it their insignia/mascot. Perhaps even chipping in effigy different public figures from time to time. To demonstrate the firepower of a fully armed and operational 1A.

        1. A fully armed and operational 1A, never to be realized in the post-Scalia era.

  21. “Pension madness: East Bay bureaucrat lines up $500,000 annually”[…]
    […]
    “Alameda County’s top bureaucrat must be a hard worker because, it seems, she never takes a vacation. In return, when she retires, she’s going to be pulling down a pension that tops half a million dollars a year.”
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/bay…..ate-result (paywalled)

    OK, if she “gamed the system”, why then tax deductions are “loopholes”, right? Well, no.
    Tax law is written with people at the table having strongly differing incentives; lobbyists are to be applauded in that case.
    Here compensation was determined with the bosses (the unions) at the table, along with those who are paid by the bosses (the legislators at any level), while the taxpayers had nought to say about it.
    I’m going out on a limb and suggesting she donates D right down the line, the slimebag.

    1. Government employees help everyone. Including taxpayers. Private sector workers are out for just themselves, put profit above people, harm the environment to make a buck, create inequity, cause food insecurity, kick puppies, and club seals. That is why it is different. – paid for by Sanders 2016

      1. If the government hired everyone, we could solve all these problems and eliminate the abuse and inefficiency of private business. Obvious solution is obvious.

      2. Dunno if you caught my AM link regarding UC…
        The Regents approved converting contractors to employees, since the union was threatening a picket line for Bubba Clinton to cross to attend his “Ain’t I Great?!” student gathering and that hag felon he’s hooked to may come, too. Can’t have the ruling family look like they don’t support labor, right? That’s the job of the Regents, to make the once and future Emperors look good, right?
        The cost is simply stated as “millions”, and with the sorts of benies mentioned abouve, I don’t doubt it.
        The story is searchable by now; first person who finds any hint that the taxpayers had a seat at the table gets a fine dinner at a SF restaurant courtesy of Sevo.
        I’ll be waiting and I’m not worried, either.

        1. When I lived in Maryland then Gov. Martin O’Malley (3rd place in this cycle’s Dem Pres nominee) campaigned for and gpt to sign legislation that made only Walmart provide certain benefits to all its employees. It was done by making the threshold for number of employees above all orher businesses. Strangely the Dem MD Supreme Court threw it out. The takeaway was that the State of Maryland had many part-time and contractual employees that were not getting what O’Malley was trying to make shoppers give to Wally World workers. IIRC the State employed more than Walmart; it was exempt from the legislation.

  22. Here’s hoping the Choomster in Chief lives up to his name.

    But I doubt it. He’ll be working on his appointment as UN Secretary General, so he can Hate America First full time.

    1. If Hillary wins, I’ll bet another $20 that Bill is appointed ambassador to the UN.

    2. Considering US citizens are ineligible to be UN Secretary General, he’s going to have a hard time climbing that hill, short of epic trolling and declaring that he’s really Kenyan.

      More likely he’ll go the Clinton route, giving six figure speeches to big banks while Michellle becomes the junior senator from NY.

  23. No plant should be prohibited to possess. Sad to see so-called libertarians rooting for executive orders just because it suits some of their purposes though. Reminds me of the Dems and Repubs where any means is ok as long as they get what they want. That said Dems and Repubs usually want to put more people in prison for differing reasons. At least keeping people out of prison is an admirable goal. I guess when it comes to freedom you take what you can get.

    1. The Controlled Substance Act gives the executive branch the authority to reschedule drugs, so it isn’t technically an executive order. It would be an exercise in administrative law, which is a whole other issue. That said, congress gave the AG’s office the power handle the scheduling of various drugs, and could theoretically amend the CSA to keep weed illegal if it wanted to.

      1. Ha! I like how you imagine a theoretical Congress taking responsibility for anything.

  24. All drugs should be reclassified.

  25. Prohibition jacks up prices some 400% so a significant part of GDP operates beneficially in a tax-free underground market. Mystics armed with the communist income tax then attack this market for asset forfeiture looting, reaction to which causes capital flight and violent contraction papered over with inflation and tax hikes. Herb Hoover’s administration gobbled twice the GDP of 1914, destroyed the tax base (no big loss), the banking system and securities markets (big loss). Declaring beer a felony narcotic did irritate swillers, no question. But the constitution was amended in desperate haste to repeal the 18th Amendment because prohibition/looting literally wrecked the economy, just like in 1894-5, 1987 and 2007. Libertarians understand that looter prohibitionism violates rights. But the Great Unwashed needs to realize that prohibitionism is violent religious superstition that makes people poor and raises taxes. No rights, no economy, no economy, no money, no money, no life.

  26. The process to reclassify a drug is pretty long; it cannot AFAIK be done by presidential executive order (though I honestly don’t know who could have standing to challenge the decision). It should have been reported in the Federal Register by now in order for it to be done before he leaves office.

    Even if it can be reclassified successfully by executive order, I would vastly prefer not setting that precedent. The reclassification should happen pursuant to proper law and procedure (with publicized findings as to why it should not be in Schedule 1, etc.) so that it would be that much harder for a future president to undo.

  27. RE: Gary Johnson Has High Hopes President Obama Will Reclassify Marijuana

    Sadly, the only sane candidate running for president (Johnson) will not become president because of voter fraud, the general illiteracy of the American public, and the many money interests shoving cash in the republican and democrat’s pockets.
    Ask me again why I’m depressed.

  28. The once and possibly future Libertarian presidential candidate thinks Obama will remove marijuana’s Schedule I classification before he leaves office.

    After claiming (falsely) for years that he doesn’t have the authority and only those meany RETHUGLIKKKANZ in Congress can reschedule MJ? Fat fucking chance. Besides, if he does reschedule it then he won’t have it as useful political club to attack those aforementioned RETHUGLIKKKANZ with.

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  32. Is this a joke? Hell no he won’t reclassify it. That would take courage, that would take him admitting he was lying before about who had to make the change, and that would take away a stick the Democrats use to fool their easily fooled voters into blaming the issue on Republicans.

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