Make Dope Smoking Easier to Decrease Heroin Use, Says GOP Prez Candidate

September 1, 2011 - 5:05 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who is now seeking the Republican presidential nomination, argues that if the government would facilitate marijuana smoking in this country it would decrease the use of heroin.

Johnson favors the legalization of marijuana and decriminalization of other drugs, including heroin.

He also believes that if state governments would like to do so, they should be able to open marijuana stores and sell marijuana directly to the people--although he would prefer that once marijuana is legalized that the government in his state of New Mexico stay out of the business of selling it.

“I espouse legalizing marijuana,” Johnson told CNSNews.com in an Online With Terry Jeffrey interview. “Control it, regulate it, tax it.”

Doing so, he argued, would lead to a decrease in the use of heroin, which he believes should be decriminalized so addicts can access the drug in controlled quality and quantity so they do not overdose as they attempt to get over their addiction.

CNSNews.com asked Johnson: “You believe the facilitation of marijuana smoking in the United States by the government will diminish the amount of heroin consumed in the United States?”

“Yes, I do,” said Johnson.

“I think there will be a lot less heroin crossing the border as a result of having legalized marijuana. That is my contention,” said Johnson.

Johnson did say he believes people taking heroin are doing some harm to themselves and others around them but that he believes this harm will be diminished when heroin is decriminalized and addicts are treated as people with a health problem rather than as criminals.

“So, you do think the consumption of heroin in and of itself is harmful to the person who consumes it. It is harmful to his family?” asked CNSNews.com.

“As I do a lot of things, like too many Coca Colas,” said Johnson.

In addition to saying he favors the legalization of marijuana and decriminalization of heroin, Johnson also told CNSNews.com that he favors legalized same-sex civil unions and legalized abortion up the the point at which the unborn baby is viable outside the mother's wombs.

Johnson was elected to two terms as governor of New Mexico as a Republican--in 1994 and 1998.

He did not participate in the Republican presidential candidates debates’ in New Hampshire and Iowa earlier this summer, nor did he participate in the Republican presidential straw poll in Ames, Iowa last month.

Many recent polls of the Republican presidential primary field have not listed Johnson as a candidate. An Aug. 24-25 poll by CNN, which interviewed 467 Republicans, and had a margin of error of +/- 4.5 points, did list Johnson as a candidate. In that poll, he received the support of 2 percent of the respondents, tying him with former Godfather CEO Herman Cain, and putting him ahead of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who each got 1 percent.

(Texas Gov. Rick Perry led in that CNN poll with 27 percent, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 14 percent, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at 10 percent, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota with 9 percent, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani with 9 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 6 percent, and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas with 6 percent.)

(For a transcript of the part of CNSNews.com’s interview with Gov. Johnson in which he discussed his views on drugs click here.)