Heroin

Libertarians for Drug Prohibition?

Except for marijuana, Gary Johnson wants to "keep the drugs illegal."

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During a CNN town hall last week, a member of the audience asked Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president, about heroin legalization. Although the former New Mexico governor correctly pointed out that prohibition makes heroin use more dangerous, he disclaimed any interest in repealing it, saying his legalization agenda is limited to marijuana. He thereby undercut the utilitarian case against drug prohibition and missed an opportunity to make a moral case for individual freedom.

The Libertarian Party's platform states that "we favor the repeal of all laws creating 'crimes' without victims, such as the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes." Johnson therefore was deviating from the party line when he declared that "we are not espousing the legalization of any drugs outside of marijuana." That was the easy way out, since most Americans recognize that marijuana is less hazardous than alcohol and think it should be legal. But what is the point of a Libertarian presidential campaign if it does not encourage voters to think about public policy issues in a more consistent and principled way?

With regard to alcohol and marijuana, Johnson said, "When it comes to choices in your own life, you should be able to make those choices as long as you're not doing harm to others." But he declined to extend that tolerance to other drugs, which makes no sense from a libertarian perspective. Either using force to protect people from their own risky decisions is legitimate, or it is not. If it is not, the specific nature of the decisions—whether they concern drugs, say, rather than food, sex or gambling, or heroin rather than alcohol or marijuana—should not matter. A government that respects individual freedom only insofar as it pertains to familiar or safe activities does not really respect individual freedom. Johnson should have said that any kind of drug prohibition violates the principle that each individual is sovereign over his own body and mind.

In addition to favoring political pragmatism over principle, Johnson's answer obscured the ways in which prohibition aggravates the problems it is aimed at solving. He alluded to some of those side effects but did not clearly connect them to the question he was asked, and he shied away from the logical conclusion that the problems caused by prohibition can be eliminated only by eliminating prohibition.

The heroin question came from Maureen Morella, a New Jersey woman whose 16-year-old son, Jesse, suffered brain damage after snorting heroin with his friends in 2004. "He became very sick and vomited," she explained. "He aspirated and was left with brain damage so severe that now, 12 years later, he remains in a wheelchair with no ability to eat or speak, and he is fed through a tube in his stomach."

One important point to make about this incident is that something very similar could have happened with alcohol. People who drink too much and pass out on their backs can (and periodically do) choke on their vomit, which can result in death or permanent disability. The possibility of such outcomes is not usually considered an argument for bringing back alcohol prohibition, possibly because prohibition did not protect drinkers from fatal or disabling accidents. If anything, it made such incidents more likely by encouraging quick consumption of potent beverages on the sly.

Likewise with heroin. The New York Times reports that Jesse Morella "took what doctors believe was a 'hot load,' a batch of heroin mixed with other chemicals, producing a toxic reaction." That sort of adulteration is a familiar feature of the black market created by prohibition, which makes drug quality and potency inconsistent, sometimes with lethal results.

Johnson tried to make that point, arguing that "prohibition, really, is what your son succumbed to," but muddied the argument by talking specifically about addicts. "You're a heroin addict," he said. "Your supplier has now been arrested and put into jail….Now comes a new supplier of heroin, and the new supply of heroin, visually you're taking the same dose that you've taken before, but it's of a different quality and a different quantity, and it ends up killing you." Then Johnson launched into a discussion of heroin prescriptions and needle exchanges for addicts, reinforcing the impression that his answer did not apply to novice users like Jesse Morella.

"I'm not talking about people that are addicted," Maureen Morella objected. But the unpredictable content of black-market heroin makes it more hazardous for anyone who injects, smokes, or snorts it, including first-time and occasional users.

Prohibition makes heroin use more dangerous in several other ways that cause a lot of damage even if they did not play a role in this particular case. Criminalization discourages education about especially risky practices such as mixing heroin with other drugs—a factor in the vast majority of heroin-related deaths. When a heroin user needs medical attention, his companions may be reluctant to call 911 because they could face criminal charges for possession or distribution. Prohibition fosters the spread of blood-borne diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis by encouraging injection (the most efficient way to consume an artificially expensive drug) and impeding access to clean hypodermic needles. And even users who avoid dangerous drug mixtures and eschew injection face the risk of arrest, along with the risk of black-market violence.

In short, prohibition hurts the people it does not deter for the sake of those it does. It manifestly did not prevent what happened to Jesse Morella and in fact seems to have contributed to his injuries, which makes him a poor exhibit in the case for keeping heroin illegal. Johnson suggested as much but muddled his message by agreeing that the government should "keep the drugs illegal" while trying to ameliorate the damage caused by that policy through "harm reduction" programs such as needle exchange, safe injection rooms, and the provision of pharmaceutical-quality heroin to addicts.

While there is nothing wrong with harm reduction, there is an important moral distinction between the harm that drug users do to themselves and the harm that the state inflicts on them in the name of deterring others. That policy is worse than mere paternalism, since the people it hurts are different from the people it supposedly helps (who may or may not actually exist). I do not expect a Republican or a Democrat running for president to recognize the injustice of that policy. But a Libertarian should.

This article originally appeared at Forbes.com.

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  1. Anything to say for yourselves, Johnson fans?

    1. Yes. Better than Hildebeest, better than Tomatoface. Not what I want, but 50% compared to 0% is something I can live with.

      1. Not what I want, but 50% compared to 0% is something I can live with.

        Don’t be an unprincipled Team sycophant you retarded Hitnrunpublicans! Vote for the guy who is 50% of what you want! Fuck yeah, libertarianism!

        1. Andddddddddd ^THIS^ is why libertarians always lose. Since you must be 100% in agreement, or you are nothing, and it is pretty tough to get someone elected who is 100% of anything, you can always lose big time.

          No worries, though, you keep the strain pure!

          1. You’re talking about a tiny percentage of libertarians who are indeed.
            Much of it traces to pro-liberty or anti-government.

            Those who love liberty are dedicated to expanding it, inch-by-inch if necessary. They are creators.
            Those who hate gummint also hate the idea of seeking election. Their sole function is destruction.

            A Cato survey found 59% of voters would self-define as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Yet 91% of those libertarians totally reject the libertarian brand. You already know why.

            So we have a libertarian ethos which is widely accepted, and a libertarian ideology which is widely rejected. As we see so-called libertarian ideas spread across society, WHO is driving that change, 59% of Americans or less than 5% of them?

            1. Despite infiltration to push bad planks, the LP PLATFORM is what I have voted for since I first read it over 30 years ago. The platform has changed many laws, including superstitious drug and abortion laws, militaristic conscription laws and abusive tax and police power laws. The spoiler vote process that allowed small parties to infiltrate These States with the communist income tax and prohibition amendments did it with less than 2% of the vote. We have been slowly reversing that process for 45 years and counting. Me & my LP…

              1. NON-RESPONSIVE REPEAT:

                A Cato survey found 59% of voters would self-define as fiscally conservative and socially liberal . Yet 91% of those libertarians totally reject the libertarian brand. ? So we have a libertarian ethos which is widely accepted, and a libertarian ideology which is widely rejected. As we see so-called libertarian ideas spread across society, WHO is driving that change, 59% of Americans or less than 5% of them?

                My documented facts versus your mere assertions.

                Your “less than 2%” is a pipedream. There are over 80,000 local elected offices. If Nolan libertarians are as active as average, that means 40-50,000 in local elected office. THEY are making the difference. Like when I formed and elected a full slate of school board candidates and won a tax revolt.

                As one of the best-known libertarians in the Cleveland area, I was attacked at one candidate debate for being a libertarian in favor of school choice but seeking election to a public school board. I stated my pride in being libertarian. I believe school choice as inevitable, but not while our own kids are still in school. “What can we do for our kids NOW, starting January 1st? I was elected in a landslide. Our tax revolt defeated the school levy for the 8th time.

                THAT is how we influence a community. Be IN the community, if not a leader then at least an influencer.

    2. THAT DOES IT! I am totally writing in True Scotsman for President this year!

      1. Thank you for your support!

    3. Overton window.

      1. This. Johnson is using the “camel’s nose” strategy that has worked so well for the left.

        1. You hope.

          Because if you’re wrong, he’s just another opportunist politician whose only real interest is what he likes and wants, not libertarian principles.

          I feel you, brah. I hope you’re right too. To the left, we’ve seen this movie before.

          1. What happens when you fight a monster?

          2. Even if he is the same, he’s light years ahead of the other two buffoons. You tell the straights you want to legalize pot, they say, “Huh?!?!” You tell them you want to legalize heroin and they immediately classify you insane and don’t give you another thought.

            I’m a big fan of incrementalism as a way of educating the straights. IMHO, GayJo is exactly what is needed right now. He’s not a principled libertarian, certainly, but he’s what the “the movement” needs.

            1. But what is the point of a Libertarian presidential campaign if it does not encourage voters to think about public policy issues in a more consistent and principled way?

              Ask OMWC why he offers kiddies lollipops.

            2. Maybe. I personally would like to have him defend the idea of legalizing hard drugs while recognizing that it likely wouldn’t happen and that he would focus on marijuana. He would have to make a solid, succinct case for legalizing hard drugs though, which is easier said than done in front of a large crowd and handling questions live. So it might be the better idea to do what he did. There’s also the fact that the vast majority of the electorate is not like me.

                1. FTA:

                  H/t to whichever of you brilliant bastards posted that during the town hall.

            3. And saying that Hillary Clinton is a decent and honest person doesn’t make you sound insane?

              Even half of her supporters know that she’s crooked, venal scum for crying out loud.

      2. Exactly. Whatever his faults, Johnson is much more likely to move the ball in our direction than Thong Man.

        1. Thong Man? Now that is such a disturbing image that I don’t think I can or even want to imagine it.

    4. Yeah, you were totally right, fuck Gay Jay! I’m voting for Trump, he’s way more Libertarian! /DERP!!1!!1!!!!!!!

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    6. Yes. He’s not doctrinaire, but I refuse to let the perfect be the enemy of the good (especially when the other options are…NOT good).

    7. he did muck this response up, terribly. he danced around the points, but refused to draw the logical conclusion….. lady, your kid would not be brain dead if the heroin did not come through the black market…. the drug war is the problem, not the solution.

      i understand not wanting to come out more forcefully on this…. it is not a position where the general population is on board with libertarians….. but it was a very disappointing response, to a completely predictable question.

  2. Coming out for legalization across the board would have completely killed his chances of winning the election so, obviously, he should have done so and argued the point because he doesn’t stand a chance in hell.

    Then again, maybe he’s just for legalizing his drug of choice, kind of like William Bennett.

    1. Exactly. Y’all want Gary to make a serious dent in the election this time, or do you want

        1. Let’s say Gary gets 5%. Big fucking deal. Everyone will forget about him and no one will be educated or have their horizons expanded. He will have no lasting effect. If, on the other hand, he used the campaign to educate people about principles, he might leave the world better off and expand the movement.

          1. he has to get on the stage. not much educating to be done, if nobody is listening (and the media is trying pretty hard to keep him out of the news.)

    2. He has no chance or winning. None.

      So he compromised for nothing.

      1. I think if he could get enough to be in presidential debates, it would be a big step for politics. If we wait until the country becomes 52% Libertarian, it’s gonna be long haul. However, he could have answered it better by pointing out Johns Hopkins Med school was started by a lifelong morphine addict, Dr. William Halstead, who turned surgery from human hacking of he Civil War era to the modern, microsurgery of today, so heroin(quickly converted to morphine in body) is not inherently deadly.

        Now being a 16 yo drug user who is experimenting with the latest mix of heroin & fentanyl while knowing nothing about pharmacology is very dangerous. At least try to learn that if your friend passes out, don’t lay him on his back. That’s how Hendrix and Janis died.

        The 2nd best argument for legalization is that the pharmacist could provide a bit of information and a naloxone auto-injector.

    3. “Coming out for legalization across the board would have completely killed his chances of winning the election”

      That which does not exist cannot be killed.

      1. Only to people like you. It’s called severe denial. An excuse to ignore anything at all that might succeed. Anything at all which evolves to a free society, instead of total liberty spontaneously generating itself from the primordial mist.

  3. So Reason has been slobbering all over Gary Johnson for years, and it never got around to asking him where he stood on drug prohibition? We had to wait for *CNN* to ask the fundamental question?

    I guess that might have made Gary uncomfortable, and, well, we *like* Gary.

    1. You’re not a very entertaining troll.

      1. And yet, he’s not wrong.

    2. Reason tolerates far worse bullshit from Ron Paul and his cult,
      Like you they are politcally incompetent.

  4. I agree that we must legalize all drugs. However, I think Johnson is on firm ground here, even if he didn’t express himself very well. First of all, legalizing pot will reduce opiate mortality – this is proven in the states that have done so. Secondly, people are not ready for opiate legalization, though they mostly support decriminalization and treating as a ‘disease’, which though flawed is better than the current system because ‘treatment’ is actually becoming opiate replacement instead of abstinence, which is kind of a joke, but an improvement nonetheless. Finally, he could say that he’ll leave it up to the states and the feds won’t prosecute – similar to the pot regime. One step at a time and he is far, far better than Trump or Hillary on this issue so I give him a pass. I don’t understand the Libertarian purists who’d sink their party for the sake of orthodoxy.

    1. I understand wanting to get votes and that compromise accompanies all politics, so I don’t begrudge GJ that. However, he barely made the libertarian case in this instance. Our position is righteous. Why are we ashamed to make a case for it!?!

      1. He barely makes the libertarian case, or any case, about anything. He’s just not good at Aing Qs. Good enough to be elected governor of NM, & once he’s that, he doesn’t have to A any more Qs, but he was never a good presidential candidate. Ron Paul ran rings around him in 2011.

        1. Ron Paul, who destroyed the entire movement?
          Who shits all over the constitution and individual rights?
          Who says we can run the entire government on FICA taxes alone — which is a quarter trillion less than Medicare and Social Security alone?
          Who says the Courts have NO power to defend fundamental rights — for the same reasons as Orval Faubus, George Wallace and the KKK?
          Who says NO founder EVER wrote about Separation of Church and State — as if Jefferson, Washington and Adams never existed .,,, or the entire US Senate in our 8th year.

          Let’s not confuse a cult with governance.
          And the libertarian brand being rejected by 91% of libertarians (per Cato)

          1. You’re just mad because people actually want to vote for Ron Paul. That’s the thing about an election. To win one people actually have to vote for the person. When Ron opened his mouth people were inspired, convinced, and converted. When Johnson opens his mouth and sticks his Johnson in people are thinking WTF.

      2. He barely makes the libertarian case, or any case, about anything. He’s just not good at Aing Qs. Good enough to be elected governor of NM, & once he’s that, he doesn’t have to A any more Qs, but he was never a good presidential candidate. Ron Paul ran rings around him in 2011.

      3. “Why are we ashamed to make a case for it!?!”

        Libertarians are not ashamed to make a case for it. Gary Johnson just isn’t a libertarian. He’s a politician with a libertarian leaning on several issues.

        That said, I’ve supported NORML and DPA for about thirty years, but would never talk about with work colleagues or neighbors until very recently. Not because I was ashamed, but because the WoD propaganda was so effective at making people stupid. I don’t cast pearls to swine.

        1. The WoD propaganda didn’t make people stupid; they were stupid and unprincipled to begin with. Even if you accept the propaganda as true, a principled person would say that we should not sacrifice liberty for security. So, most people are not even remotely principled, and they are unintelligent as well.

          1. How does your insufferable arrogance lead to a free society?
            BLANKOUT

        2. Libertarians are not ashamed to make a case for it. Gary Johnson just isn’t a libertarian. He’s a politician with a libertarian leaning on several issues.

          Well, he;s a lot better than Ron Paul. And the libertarian brand is rejected by 91% of libertarians.

          but because the WoD propaganda was so effective at making people stupid. I don’t cast pearls to swine.

          Arrogant assholes like you are the biggest threat to a free society.
          You have one set of standards for yourself and a separate one for everyone else. And seem proud of your moral hypocrisy.

    2. I don’t understand the Libertarian purists who’d sink their party for the sake of orthodoxy.

      You must new to the Libertarian movement, so allow me to explain:

      “It’s better to stick to principles and get slaughtered in election after election, failing to crack even 1% of the popular vote, than to be even the slightest bit pragmatic.”

      *THIS IS WHAT LIBERTARIANS ACTUALLY BELIEVE*

      1. Yes, some of us are not retarded enough to fall for the kayfabe of the elections.

      2. Yes I do believe standing for what I believe even if it means I lose, is better than compromising what I believe and still losing.

        You don’t, that’s your cross to bear.

        1. What if you lie & win? Then you can do WTF you want.

        2. That’s what makes you the devoted enemy of a free society,

          “Mass movements do not need a god, but they do need a devil. Hatred unifies the True Believers.”
          -Eric Hoffer, “The True Believers” (1951)

          Throughout human history, the worst abuses have been committed by those who believe they are defending some “greater good” — the Collective, the State, the Master Race, the Party or a God. Zealots and fanatics. The militant self-righteous.

    3. “… people are not ready for opiate legalization.”
      It is already here. You just have to go to your licensed dealer with a M.D. next to their name and you will get a pass, I mean a script, for some. You trying to cut out part of the professional cartel?

      It would be sooooo difficult to educate the public as to how effective this current ultra-regulated system is working.

    4. This is true. FedGov could deschedule heroin, etc. & the states would still have it illegal, so nothing would change. At least w pot there are states legalizing.

      1. Exactly. Ron Paul would’ve answered simply ‘It’s a state, not a federal, issue’.

  5. While there is nothing wrong with harm reduction, there is an important moral distinction between the harm that drug users do to themselves and the harm that Slither.io new skins the state inflicts on them in the name of deterring others. That policy is worse than mere paternalism, since the people it hurts are different from the people it supposedly helps (who may or may not actually exist). I do not expect a Republican or a Democrat running for president to recognize the injustice of that policy. But a Libertarian should.

    1. Is that a new form of Tourette’s, or did the bots get woke?

      1. No, it’s a new form of Turing. The bots have awoken!

        1. Slither bots. Mr.Lizard is behind this somehow.

  6. The heroin question came from Maureen Morella, a New Jersey woman whose 16-year-old son, Jesse, suffered brain damage after snorting heroin with his friends in 2004. “He became very sick and vomited,” she explained. “He aspirated and was left with brain damage so severe that now, 12 years later, he remains in a wheelchair with no ability to eat or speak, and he is fed through a tube in his stomach.”

    In a just universe, a candidate would feel comfortable giving the correct answer. “He fucked up. There is no policy that can prevent teenagers from fucking up. Sorry.”

    1. Or he could have asked her how great prohibition is at preventing such incidents. If some 16 year old kid from the burbs can get Heroin without any trouble, then maybe prohibition isn’t working out as well as she would like.

      1. That’s basically what he did.

        1. Well, not very well he didn’t. Granted, the woman was a plant by CNN and was not going to listen to anything resembling reason (she appeared to me to be trembling on the verge of hysterics), but Johnson definitely could have answered that question better.

          1. IIRC, and I’m not watching that hot mess again, he sent conflicting messages. On one hand he wouldn’t touch existing policy towards heroin or cocaine, but he did make the case that the quality and safety of drugs is worsened by prohibition. Terribly explained, but I can’t say he didn’t have the idea mixed in the muddled answers he gave.

          2. Granted, the woman was a plant by CNN and was not going to listen to anything resembling reason…

            This. If he had given the principled Libertarian response all anyone would have been talking about the next day is how the “mean spirited Libertarian kook told a mom whose son had suffered traumatic brain damage that drugz should still be legal and ‘too bad, your son was a fuck up.'” Or something to that effect. The fact that no one else seems to be talking about his answer to this obvious trap question is at least a partial win, even if he was all wishy washy and pragmatic instead of principled and dogmatic.

            1. That’s probably true.

            2. Yeah, he had a national outlet to millions, and you consider not being talked about a win.

          3. It would’ve been a great opp’ty to pivot to a point about improving health care or the lot of the disabled.

  7. Why not? Doesn’t seem libertarians should be monolithic, particularly toward the Reason definition of the ideology. After all, there are libertarians who accept scientific reality (see Niskanen Center on climate), and many who oppose eminent domain used by private companies (pipelines).

    Yeah, I don’t think Reason cornered the market on the definition of libertarianism. Thankfully.

    1. Johnson’s willingness to accept exceptions on some drugs is kinda like Reason accepting exceptions on ED for oil companies. Or accepting what science says except climate science.

      Exceptions. Everyone’s got em…even Reason.

      1. You are, as always, a dimwitted and mendacious troll.

        Most of the people who are “pro-ED for pipelines” are also pro-ED for roads, utilities, and other “infrastructure”. There is no inconsistency there, because they never said ED was wrong across the board.

        The people who are anti-ED in general, and for pipelines in particular, like myself, rightfully pointed out that not only do you have no interest in protecting people from ED, neither did the President whose actions you fellated like a Tijuana hooker.

        You like the reasoning behind Kelo, so you have no moral ground on which to stand to throw moralistic stones.

        1. Can always count on you, Kbo, to prove my point about selectivity of libertarians. Let me spell it out for you, since you mention them:

          Roads: public
          Infrastructure: public
          Pipelines: private.

          Idiot.

          1. So pipelines need to be public utilities, run by the government?

            1. Pipelines are for the owners, private oil companies. Roads are for public use. I suggest you both learn the difference between public good and public use.

              So much for purity in libertarianism. No one has a thing to comain about Johnson in that regard…certainly not here.

              1. So if the government nationalized the oil industries, then the ED for the pipelines would be a-okay?

                The principle in question is the property rights of those who would lose their property, against which the question of who gets to own the confiscated property is immaterial.

              2. Pipelines are for the owners, private oil companies. Roads are for public use. I suggest you both learn the difference between public good and public use.

                Yeah, I’m not following your logic. When I drive to McDonald’s on the public roads, it is for my personal (private) benefit. When my shipping company used the public roads, it is for private owners.

                When natural gas gets shipped to my town via pipeline, the gas company pays the pipeline company. I get to buy the gas from the gas company, and pay them. Then I get to cook my dinner.

                So is it that it is a company, vs an individual? Should private companies be barred from using the roads?

                Or is it that it is a commodity moving in the pipe, rather than a person? What is the distinction between public good and public use with a pipeline? Many of these would be multi-carrier. One came through our neighborhood back in the late 70’s. It carries petroleum products to the distribution depot tank farm. Any company can contract the pipeline company to move their product. Is that a public good? A public use? Without it I would have to pay extra for gas shipped by truck or train all the way across the country.

                Is it only wholly owned pipelines that are problematic? Or are pipeline companies that transport stuff as a utility verboten too?

          2. Also, who owns the infrastructure of the power grid? Certainly a massively important element of national security interest and requiring government acquisition of rights-of-way.

          3. Who owns power lines and railways?

            Also, the government is not the public.

            Yes, you can generally count on me to apply some though to what I say, whereas you consistently apply none whatsoever.

        2. Pro-ED for laying pipelines? My answer is always some Viagra and a Tijuana hooker for laying rigid pipe.

      2. Don’t feed the trolls.

        That is all.

        1. Don’t be hard on Kbo. He kinda follows me around, hangs on my every word. He’s one of my peeps.

      3. I mean surely, if you and the President care so much, you’ll be able to show me one instance of yourself or the President intervening in an eminent domain case amicus curiae on the side of the defendant?

        1. Me? Intervene? I comment.

          Once again, idiot.

          1. or the President

            Learn to read

      4. Reason’s sole science writer, Ron Bailey, is a CAGW acolyte, and Reason published numerous pieces opposing eminent domain for any purpose, including the Keystone XL pipeline and other transport pipelines, railroads, and common-carrier services.

        Brains. Everyone’s got ’em. Except Joe the retarded lonely midget.

    2. Niskanen Center

      Because East Anglia was too reputable.

    3. scientific reality

      I bet you Fucking Love Science!?, too.

  8. http://manchesterinklink.com/m…..-recovery/

    Here’s a good way to handle addicts who need help: don’t threaten to hang charges over their heads if they come asking for help.

  9. I watched the town hall with my wife who I’ve been working on converting to libertarianism for years now. She liked Ron Paul, was a little unclear about the little Paul, but thinks GJ is a complete “goofball” (her own words). His inability to articulate the points of libertarianism are highlighted on TV and when faced with a simple question about drug prohibition, he is about as libertarian as any average D. GJ completely missed the point about individual self ownership, the maladies of prohibition (economic, justice, racism, state overreach), and instead focused on several non-controversial health issues. Not only did he miss the point from a libertarian perspective, he failed to answer the woman’s question.
    His delivery was amateur and unpolished. He did not seem presidential or very serious. I get not wanting to have a hardcore AnCap beat the drum as your standard bearer, but for goodness sake Gary get yourself together in time for the big show.
    I’m disappointed, but will vote Libertarian because it is now the lesser of the three evils. Sad.

    1. generalismo14 says, “…but will vote Libertarian because it is now the lesser of the three evils. Sad.”

      Not me. I will take wild card Trump over known quantity Hitlery and milquetoast Johnson. The only sound principle is to keep Hitlery down and out because her lifetime of accomplishments cannot be rewarded. This is triage, my friends. And there needs to be a memorable public amputation to discourage any other interested gangrenous parties from thinking they have a chance too.

      Just say, no, to vermin. To vote for Johnson is to aid and abet Hitlery. Look at it this way; if Obungler supporters have not been held accountable for their 2X support than neither should Trump supporters if it goes sideways.

      1. Honestly I see very little difference between Clinton and Trump. They are both demagogic statists, who will tyrannize anyone for their favorite fascist purpose. Both of them are believers in the efficacy of the state; a sin in my value system. Neither are patriots, neither believe in our constitution, neither are friends of liberty, I cannot abide either. If forced to vote for one or the other, I would abstain.

        I understand that the L party has a snowball’s chance in hell, but I will vote my conscience and put a mark in the column that best represents my values, which are: liberty, liberty, and liberty.

        My comment above to was meant express my dismay that GJ is doing a poor job communicating the libertarian (classical liberal/Austrian economic) position. We have a thorough philosophical system, that is derived from an a priori truth of economics, that allows rational policy decisions, which will lead to more liberty and wealth for more people than any other system every proposed. I would love it if more people understood this truth and GJ is not being a good ambassador. If we don’t win (likely the case) then we must take advantage of the exposure and educate. Plant seeds for the future.

        1. Sheesh, nearly everybody is a believer in the efficacy of the state, so that doesn’t mean shit, & specifically doesn’t make everybody a statist.

    2. GJ’s not good at Aing Qs, but it’s not important to answer the woman’s Q. He’s talking to the TV, not 1 person. Unfortunately he’s not good at either, but if it were me & I were thinking fast enough, I’d’ve probably not Aed the Q either, instead using it as a jumping off point to talk about how I’d improve health care generally, or emergency rx specifically, or make things better for disabled persons such as her son. So many ways to go with that. & you know what? Even w/o getting an actual A to her Q, could’ve made the lady feel better than an actual A would’ve!

      1. But your wife’s right, GJ is a goofball, Ron Paul’s much better. Anybody could’ve seen that in 2011.

  10. While I did not see the town hall, from what I heard of it, GJ was not very articulate on many of his points. Since heroin legalization is probably a bit to far for the vast majority of the population, I’m fine with him not pushing for it. Better to present it in a well thought out, articulate and clear forum, than to give opponents sound bites that can be used against him on the campaign trail.

  11. I wonder if Gary could have tried to thread the needle a little better by doing what Ron Paul did in regards to The Fed. Admit that he wants to get rid of it, but not right away because of the turmoil that would occur. Just saying you wouldn’t touch heroin laws rubs anyone with principles the wrong way.

  12. I like the idea of an FDA standard for cocaine and heroin, so people aren’t poisoned by cleaning agents and stuff getting stepped on, but I really don’t give a good goddamn about meth addicts and pillheads, because you can’t count any of them not to cause problems for other people.

    1. Everything about this comment is stupid. There are a whole lot of people who take all kinds of pills. You mistake effects of prohibition, like drugs being cut with cleaning agents, and think that they would continue to exist without it.

      Newsflash – if drugs were legal, no one is buying their shit from some guy on a street corner whose stuff is cut with cleaning agents. The drugs and pills themselves aren’t expensive to make. The extra costs are a result of prohibition. A large part of the danger comes from prohibition. A lot of the unstable actions of addicts is a result of prohibition.

      1. I’m not a racist, but you can’t blame me for hating Jewzzzz.

  13. I can’t believe among all libertarians, Gary Johnson is the most qualified. There are a lot of people who have sold themselves on this notion that he’s some statesman because he was elected in Arizona as governor. Watch him speak and that notion is quickly dispelled.

      1. Forget it, he’s rolling.

        1. So fast he missed the “Welcome to New Mexico” sign.

          1. You mean the New Mexicans bombed Pearl Harbor, or the Germans bombed NM?

            1. Probably it was the new Germans who bombed Mexico.

      2. I’ll never forgive them for bombing Pearl Harbor.

  14. But what is the point of a Libertarian presidential campaign if it does not encourage voters to think about public policy issues in a more consistent and principled way piss away any chance to convince skeptical voters by adhering to principles that lead to a conclusion that the vast majority of voters aren’t willing to consider?

    While I agree with Sollum’s overall point, the fact of the matter remains that at least 99% of voters are not libertarian, and the vast majority are statists of one stripe or another. Johnson’s wishy washy pragmatism is annoying, but I think it’s safe to assume that if he had articulated a full throated defense of self ownership and advocated, forcefully, for a complete end to the drug war, all most people would have heard is “Libertarian kook is mean to mother of son who was disabled by EVUL HEROIN and advocates for MOAR HEROIN use DERP!!!!!!!!”

    I think an argument can be made for incrementalism in ending the drug war. We’re fighting an uphill battle against decades of ‘DRUGZ R BAD, MMM’KAY” propaganda. Start with legalizing marijuana, and maybe when people see that the world didn’t end and the streets didn’t end up filled with zombie like potheads shuffling around in a daze, then maybe, just maybe people will be ready for a more principled anti-prohibition argument.

    1. He should’ve just stated that. What I call breaking the 4th wall of politics: that being for legalization across the board would indeed be the more principled thing to do, as a direct consequence of self ownership, while advocating for responsibility for one’s own actions, but that he cannot fully take up that position officially as presidential candidate because people are not ready for that kind of logical truth, as such a position would cause too much moral panic for the public.

    2. Start with legalizing marijuana, and maybe when people see that the world didn’t end and the streets didn’t end up filled with zombie like potheads shuffling around in a daze, then maybe, just maybe people will be ready for a more principled anti-prohibition argument.

      IDK, I think there’s plenty of bleeding hearts and useful idiots. Phillip Seymour Hoffman needed help, not an arrest record. Splitting up families when they need help the most… etc., etc.

      1. Not to say that you could effectively champion a full-throated legalization of heroin, but you can still effectively say, “Officially, I’m in favor of democracy and the rule of law, but personally and professionall I’m also in favor of privacy and self-ownership.”

    3. the fact of the matter remains that at least 99% of voters are not libertarian

      Yep.

      And you will never live in Libertopia without making more libertarians. You can be principled and still believe incrementalism is the way to hearts and minds.

      I do wish he’d get some coaching on his delivery, however.

      1. Fd’A says,
        ” You can be principled and still believe incrementalism is the way to hearts and minds.”

        NO, you cannot… but you can be a big fucking liar in the process and come off as oh so reasonable. Because later you just tell people how you evolved, right?
        Trump gave a more articulate and forceful stance against the Drug War in 92 than this clod did. Will the real men please stand up. Holy shit.

        “…Hearts and minds.” You even co-opt the shit slogan the gubbermint uses to fight Islam instead of saying we are going to grind those jihadist fuckers into the ground. Give me the Shock and Awe over this pussy fighting that costs lives and accomplishes nothing….except for the MIC.

        Way to conflate your use of “Libertopia” with Libertarianism when it belongs with liberalism.

        1. NO, you cannot… but you can be a big fucking liar in the process and come off as oh so reasonable. Because later you just tell people how you evolved, right?

          I was speaking about libertarians…not politicians. Gary doesn’t need to lie or change at all. He needs to get people taking the first few steps in the direction of liberty. The next guy can be more principled once there are more heads in the tent.

          To make libertarians you need to convert Rs and Ds. You don’t convert people by clubbing them over the head.

          Give me the Shock and Awe

          How did that work out?

          1. The next guy can be more principled once there are more heads in the tent.

            Or, more likely, the drug warriors and single-issue weed advocates you brought in to your “big tent” start setting the agenda because the party has to pander to them in order to remain relevant. (ZOMG! 10% GUYS! 10%!!!!!). “It’s just this one election and then we’ll start acting on principle” is exactly how you got the two major parties.

            1. i appreciate the wisdom in what you say. pandering is how the two parties have ended up with platforms full of contradictions, and we should not change our fundamental platform. our platform has to be clear (as it is) that we don’t think anything should be criminalized, without a clear victim (other than the person doing the thing).

              that said….. i do think there is a difference between sacrificing principle, and focusing on what changes are possible… to further that principle. should we let people continue to be criminalized for pot usage, just because we can’t get the general public to agree (yet) about heroin?

    4. As I’ve said many times, we have a libertarian form of government already – people are free to vote for whatever form of government they want and this is what we got. Nobody likes it, everybody bitches about this, that, or the other aspect of government but the only way to get more of what you want is to either deny other people the right to lobby for whatever form of government they want (no matter how stupid and dangerous it is) or you have to persuade them that what you want is what they should want as well. The problem is that most people are convinced against all evidence there’s some magic way to get government to fix problems and you can’t convince them it’s almost certainly better to leave bad enough alone when the government almost always makes things worse.

      You want to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, heal the sick? Fine, go to it, there’s plenty of charities that could use your money and your time. Get government involved though and you’ve got a ton of overhead, a bloated budget for frills, set-asides for graft and kickbacks for cronies, plus a maze of paperwork hoops for the people you’re trying to help that keeps them from getting help. Try giving a homeless crazy guy a shed to live in and some weed to take the edge off, offer to pay him $5 an hour to mow lawns some time, see how fast the government tells you a shed ain’t good enough and weed ain’t proper medication and $5 an hour ain’t a living wage.

    5. Plus, only a fucking moron would hope to be elected by screaming about ANYTHING he can’t pass in his first term … merely to satisfy 2% of the voters who are rejected by even 91% of libertarians! (per Cato)

      1. And you can trust Hihn on that, he’s an expert on losing elections with less than 2% of the vote.

        1. I did say a “fucking moron”

    6. So now we know what you are and we’re just negotiating the price.

      It’s motherfucking hilarious to listen to all of you make the exact same arguments the Trumpers have been making for the last 6 months with a straight face.

      1. You typed THAT with a straight face!
        Exposing total ignorance of Trumpster arguments,

        For any other retards, most of Trump’s “agenda” cannot be passed in his first term, or ever. The reasons are spelled out in our constitution. Read this link …

        http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html

        Where does it establish an emperor?
        Hint: See the very beginning, Article 1

  15. It would be nice if GJ, or anyone, would articulate that what is driving all these heroine ODs are that docs are handing out prescriptions for opiates like Halloween candy. I broke my toe last year and it was slightly painful, definitely not unbearable, and was given an Rx for vicodin which I didn’t touch because I can’t afford to be zonked out. If doctors can prescribe opiates, there is no reason for heroine not to be legal since it already is essentially. Either suitable alternative pain relievers need to be developed, or opiates should be made available for those who get hooked.

    1. It would be nice if GJ, or anyone, would articulate that what is driving all these heroine ODs are that docs are handing out prescriptions for opiates like Halloween candy.

      That’s not been mine or my wife’s experience. She partially dislocated her patella almost a month ago. The only thing she was prescribed was some anti-inflammatory, no pain meds. Definitely not any opiates, and patella dislocations are painful as all hell. I’ve also seen reports on this very website that the DEA has a hard on for investigating docs who “over prescribe” opiates. So, I’m not buying it.

      1. This might be a recent thing where the DEA is targeting docs, or maybe its happening in certain states with high rates of abuse. I think we still have my vicodin bottle in our medicine cabinet plus bottles of percoset from my wife’s two C-sections that she never touched either. Guess we should be expecting a no-knock raid at any minute.

        1. They are working to make it illegal to keep those pills around.

          We don’t need doctors being scapegoated for the failures of the drug war. When I have my wisdom teeth removed, I want the good stuff.

    2. what is driving all these heroine ODs are that docs are handing out prescriptions for opiates like Halloween candy.

      Uh, giving people legal prescriptions is driving them into the black market for adulterated drugs with a pretty solid chance of killing them? You want to tiptoe us through the tulips of that logic? You’re wrong on the facts and consequently get the correlation exactly backwards. Because of the “opioid epidemic”, doctors have slammed down on prescribing opiates and have the DEA up their ass every time one of their federally-mandated monthly prescribing records shows an above-average rate. Consequently, a lot of people who used to get legal, safe, unadulterated pills for both therapeutic and recreational use have been cut off and turned to the black market.

    3. They are talking about avoiding use of opiates after surgery now, limiting its use to 7 days and eliminating its use for long term Chronic Pain. This leaves

      The problem starts when chronic pain sufferers find out that opiates are only thing that keeps them out of constant pain, and the doctor won’t prescribe, so they go to the black market. I took about 60-90 mg of oxycodone for 12 years and never had a single problem with it, and I stopped with very little problem. I know others who simply could not stand the pain, and took steps to either treat or end the pain.

      Now it’s back to constant pain for me, but it’s totally worth it because I know some 16 yo altar boy won’t start shooting heroin because of me.

  16. I feel sorry for the lady, but people pass out from alcohol and aspirate all the time (see Bonham, John). Maybe if his friends weren’t worried about getting busted they might have gotten help sooner.

    1. She refused to admit her precious little snowflake had a problem, and now she wants to make the problem worse for everyone else. I have no interest in surrendering liberty so a deadbeat mom can have her catharsis.

  17. Check out this article about the present state of bills around the US pertaining to the War on Drugs and another overview of the issue. It really gives context to the current state of this war in US legislation.
    http://bit.ly/28YHQJR

  18. I’m not sure if Johnson was given the list of names of who was gonna be at the town hall before hand. But if he was, than he should’ve given a much better answer than this one. And if not, he and his strategists still should’ve known that there was likely gonna be a question about kids and drugs.

    In regard to incrementalism, for me it’s perfectly fine if he wants to take the incrementalist approach to “hard” drugs. Scale back federal intervention (while issuing pardons to non-violent drug offenders), put the onus on the states, localities, and the parents to educate kids not to use drugs.

    Tell the voters that instead of wasting their tax dollars raiding cannabis shops, or prosecuting cancer patients in states where pot is legal, you’re gonna let them keep their tax dollars so they can use their money for education campaigns to fight underage drug use. Then encourage decriminalization for users and addicts of “hard” drugs while moving for cannabis to be de-scheduled from the Controlled Substance Act altogether.

    It’s shitty and half-assed but it sounds much more logically consistent than his current message which Sullum correctly described as “muddled.”

    1. He could have made the federalism argument for heroin. Get the federal government out and let the states deal with it. Dumping the WOD at the federal level would be a huge savings to the taxpayer and a victory for liberty. I think the average voter could digest that.

  19. Yeah, it has been a very long time since this was first used to paint libertarians as nutball druggies. There is no excuse for not having a very forceful and principled canned answer to this one chambered and ready to go at all times.

    For me, the preferred answer is on of both principle and practicality. You start by stating the principle – free people should be able to determine their own destiny, deciding for themselves which activities are in their best interests. You make the principled case for legal recreational drugs – safety, efficacy, reliability, accountability, etc., pointing to the adult beverage industry as your example.

    Then you pivot to practicality. “No President can act alone. There will be many priorities in my administration, legalizing heroine certainly won’t be on the list of things to do. We will start with marijuana and everyone will see the immediate benefits from reduced crime, incarceration…. yadda-yadda….

    This stuff isn’t that hard. Talking on your feet is tough, but there are a bunch of obvious “make the libertarian look like a goofball” questions that should be thoroughly thought through and should have powerful responses ready to go at all times. I’m really disappointing that he keeps fumbling these things.

    C’mon Gary – all of these answers start with “here’s what is right and just” and pivot to “here’s what we can do in the real world”. Principle, followed by “I’m not an insane person, here’s a practical answer”.

  20. I don’t want to hear the “lesser of two evils” spiel from anyone who is supporting Gary Johnson, that’s for sure. A Huntsman-Bloomberg style ticket might be preferable to A Trump or Hillary ticket, but they are all promoting evil to varying degrees.

  21. (yawn) This is why the libertarian brand is rejected by 91% of libertarians

    Sullum’s attack is bullshit, since the platform doesn’t call for immediate repeal of … anything.
    Sitting on one’s ass at a computer is not the same as seeking election to the most powerful office on earth.
    No candidate with a brain would campaign on something which cannot be achieved in their first term.
    Even the “extremist” Ayna Rand said FIRST change the culture. What does it say to be more extreme than even AYN RAND?

    I still challenge the libertarian purists to describe how THEY would create a free society, without ever electing anyone. 20 years, still no answer, just a lot of self-righteous screeching and personal attacks.

    Meanwhile, anyone with an IQ 20 knows there are only two ways to impact a society, elections or an armed revolution. Now imagine an armed revolt supported by less than 5% of the populace, and you see the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the libertarian purists who have totally failed to achieve anything at all after 40 years.

    If given a choice between a winnable candidate who would freeze government at its current level … or a guaranteed loser who “wants to” cut it in half next year … they go for the loser. On principle. Blame THEM for the current state of America. They’re getting exactly what THEY want. Everyone else is fucked. On principle.
    A principle INTENDED to fail.

    1. It’s not just that. Suppose the prez did all he could about this, chaining the att’y gen’l to the radiator until he took heroin off the schedules. All the states would still have the same laws about it, & there isn’t the support in the states to decontrol heroin there. So nothing about it would change.

      However, what he could do that would be useful would be to get the att’y gen’l to stop leaning on docs to not give narcotics. That’d still be bad in some states, but many of them are more lenient than the feds have been on narcotics prescription lately, and there’s public sympathy for pain pts. So he’d be doing something that’d actually make him more popular, bldg. political cred for later, rather than less popular.

  22. RE: Libertarians for Drug Prohibition?
    Except for marijuana, Gary Johnson wants to “keep the drugs illegal.”

    Why shouldn’t other drugs be illegal?
    People are going to continue to use them and pay for them.
    Besides, whose business is it what we put into our bodies?
    Are you sure Johnson is the Libertarian candidate?

    1. (yawn) This is why the libertarian brand is rejected by 91% of libertarians

      Sullum’s attack is bullshit, since the platform doesn’t call for immediate repeal of … anything.
      Sitting on one’s ass at a computer is not the same as seeking election to the most powerful office on earth.
      No candidate with a brain would campaign on something which cannot be achieved in their first term.
      Even the “extremist” Ayna Rand said FIRST change the culture. What does it say to be more extreme than even AYN RAND?

      I still challenge the libertarian purists to describe how THEY would create a free society, without ever electing anyone. 20 years, still no answer, just a lot of self-righteous screeching and personal attacks.

      Meanwhile, anyone with an IQ 20 knows there are only two ways to impact a society, elections or an armed revolution. Now imagine an armed revolt supported by less than 5% of the populace, and you see the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the libertarian purists who have totally failed to achieve anything at all after 40 years.

      If given a choice between a winnable candidate who would freeze government at its current level … or a guaranteed loser who “wants to” cut it in half next year … they go for the loser. On principle. Blame THEM for the current state of America. They’re getting exactly what THEY want. Everyone else is fucked. On principle.
      A principle INTENDED to fail.

      1. If given a choice between a winnable candidate who would freeze government at its current level … or a guaranteed loser who “wants to” cut it in half next year … they go for the loser. On principle. Blame THEM for the current state of America. They’re getting exactly what THEY want. Everyone else is fucked. On principle.
        A principle INTENDED to fail.

        Your analysis, is sadly, accurate.
        Most of the voters are too myopic or have too little information to recognize their short sighted goals and beliefs for at least the past 100 years.
        The result being a slow but steady movement to government enslavement. It’s like putting a chain around our necks with a velvet collar.
        Political principles have a tendency to enslave, especially when they have unintended (or intended) consequences.

          1. I love it when libertarians say everyone but them is fucking stupid. “Shut the fuck up and let us govern you.” The fuckers are too stupid to support cutting the government in half next year.

            And that’s how anti-government libertarians are the biggest threat to evolving a free society.

            1. I love it when libertarians say everyone but them is fucking stupid. “Shut the fuck up and let us govern you.” The fuckers are too stupid to support cutting the government in half next year.

              And that’s how anti-government libertarians are the biggest threat to evolving a free society.

              1. I never said Libertarians are smarter than everyone else and called everyone else stupid.
              The whole point of libertarian political theory is to eliminate as much of the government as possible because humans have a terrible track record in governing other humans.

              2. History, especially 20th century history, has shown the biggest threat to an evolving free society is big government, not small government proponents.

              1. I love it when libertarians say everyone but them is fucking stupid. “Shut the fuck up and let us govern you.” The fuckers are too stupid to support cutting the government in half next year. And that’s how anti-government libertarians are the biggest threat to evolving a free society.

                1. I never said Libertarians are smarter than everyone else and called everyone else stupid.

                You said: “Most of the voters are too myopic or have too little information to recognize their short sighted goals and beliefs for at least the past 100 years.”

                How does your trash mouth resolve that?
                When you were in school; how many teachers opened the class with, “Listen up, you dumbfucks?”

                The whole point of libertarian political theory is to eliminate as much of the government as possible because humans have a terrible track record in governing other humans.

                That’s not the reason. And, one more time, your nazi mentality ain’t gonna win a lot of voters to make that happen.

                And that’s how anti-government libertarians are the biggest threat to evolving a free society.

                2. History, especially 20th century history, has shown the biggest threat to an evolving free society is big government, not small government proponents.

                Relevance????

      2. Took you over one hour to simply repost the exact same thing. Part of me wonders if you’re so mentally ill that you actually typed it all out a second time instead of just copying and pasting.

        1. Took you over one hour to simply repost the exact same thing

          Took me that long to see the exact same fucking stupidity. Much less time to see you make a public fool of yourself (again).

          I still challenge the libertarian purists to describe how THEY would create a free society, without ever electing anyone. 20 years, still no answer, just a lot of self-righteous screeching and personal attacks

          Part of me wonders if you’re so mentally ill

          (laughing) You just proved my point!

    2. Uncle Jay,
      Why shouldn’t other drugs be illegal?

      Who are you to ban them?

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  24. Took you over one hour to simply repost the exact same thing

    So … exactly how will you achieve a free society without electing anyone?

    I still challenge the libertarian purists to describe how THEY would create a free society, without ever electing anyone. 20 years, still no answer, just a lot of self-righteous screeching and personal attacks.

    Part of me wonders if you’re so mentally ill

    The same part that just proved my point?

    1. (giggles)(farts)(wheezes)

      1. I still challenge the libertarian purists to describe how THEY would create a free society, without ever electing anyone. 20 years, still no answer, just a lot of self-righteous screeching and personal attacks.

        (giggles)(farts)(wheezes)

        ANOTHER drive-by assassin proves my point!
        So … exactly how will YOU achieve a free society without electing anyone?

  25. The difference between the prohibition of alcohol and the war on drugs is that a constitutional amendment was passed and then repealed for the former while no amendment exists for the latter.

    Since the drug warriors want to deprive people of their liberty and jail them for using drugs they do not approve, the burden of proof is on them to justify these laws which are not authorized under the constitution.

    Johnson should know this or at least I would think so.

    1. Johnson should know this or at least I would think so.

      Political campaigns are not the arena fo that.

      If the libertarian establishment stopped preaching to the choir …. telling US what we ALREADY know … tribalism can be costly.

  26. In other words Johnson is nothing more than a self-interested pothead who wants weed legalized.
    Fuck him.

    1. You actually said something so fucking stupid IN PUBLIC?

  27. Johnson didn’t say that the government should keep drugs other than marijuana illegal. He said that he was not planning, as President, to try to change the fact that they are illegal. Then he went on to list reasons that they really shouldn’t be illegal anyway. It’s a delicate compromise, but this is politics, sometimes called the “art of the possible”. Sure, from a libertarian perspective, all drugs should be legal. But he knows the American people aren’t there yet, and won’t support him in November if he is seen as being too radical. Hence, his dance around the issue.

    I want Johnson to be in the debates, and to have a real shot at winning the election. He won’t get there by sticking to total libertarian purity in everything he says, and he knows it. I thought his approach of declaring his intentions limited to those more palatable to the American public, while still making arguments that might, over the long term, move what is palatable further in a libertarian direction, was a good one.

    1. That’s why the Libertarian Platform does NOT call for ANYTHING immediately or all at once.
      But the goobers live ij their won universe.

      Only a total moron would campaign on an issue that could not be achieved in his first term … to satisfy a pack of fanatics rejected by even 91% of libertarians (per Cato)

  28. That’s a politician for you, even a so-called Libertarian one. Why couldn’t he articulate the fact that when heroin was legally available–early 1900’s–there was no criminal justice problem associated with its use and addiction rates were declining as more people became aware that it was addictive. He should read Joseph D. McNamara’s papers on the subject.

    1. Know-nothings bloviating on things they know nothing about.

  29. “He has no chance or winning. None. So he compromised for nothing.”

    It is not for nothing.
    It is probably the biggest stage he has had as Libertarian.
    The libertarian fundamentalists and theorists, like me, know very well what he was saying was dancing around principled libertarian oratory.
    But the majority of his audience was not us, and it is the majority that will bring him up, or put him down before he gets a chance to say anymore.
    I give him a pass now, because as distasteful politics can be to a fundamental libertarian campaign, it is still freekin politics. This is the way that virtually all nascent, initially suspect, political movements have made their way to success. Libertarianism is just another governing philosophy in the marketplace of ideas; it may take some hucksterism to nose its way onto the political and public psyche stage.

    As libertarians, we know better, that if libertarianism became a powerful political force, no one would be forced into things they didn’t want, and no one could force others into things they didn’t want.
    But those ideas are foreign to the majority of people who have lived with being so forced. It is the first steps in connecting our intellectual philosophy to the populace’s emotional philosophy, so that they know it as well as we do.

    1. Bingo, but let’s not confuse libertarian fundamentalists and purists — who are pro-liberty — with the teeny-tiny anti-gummint faction who have no interest, no idea and no clue how to evolve a free society — which they neither want nor understand.. THEY are the severe threat to individual liberty,

  30. Gary Johnson was a great presidential candidate…

    ‘Then he got high, then he got high, then he got high…’

  31. It’s so cute that some of you still think you can vote your way to freedom. It’s like watching a small child play with a stuffed animal thinking it’s real.

    Do you know how I know I can’t trust a “libertarian” running for POTUS? BECAUSE HE’S RUNNING FOR POTUS! Come on people, you should all know better than this here.

    At the end of the day, this is why it’s all just a cycle humans are just doomed to repeat.

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  33. Gary’s program makes sense from one perspective: he knows he can’t that done during the four years he’s running for, so why fight about it during the campaign? I wish he had said a little more about the failed drug war, too, but I understand he is choosing battles that he can win.

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  35. Good lord. If I need to lay out the reasons why the legalization of heroin is a bad idea, then there actually is no starting point for conversation. Libertarianism is always a good starting and presumptive principle…but really?

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