Yesterday, I was in Santa Fe for the start of the legislative session and the Tea Party rally. Overall, the rally was very good and I commend them for bringing people from all over the state to make their voices heard before the Legislature and Governor.
Among the speakers at the rally was former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. Among other things like fiscal restraint etc., he talked about his position on legalizing drugs. This drew some derisive hisses and catcalls from the crowd that I think were unfortunate. And, while 95% of the crowd either cheered or were at least respectful, some in the crowd made for an awkward scene. This is not the first time Johnson has received a mixed reaction for his legalization message from Tea Partiers.
I just don’t understand this. Gary Johnson — with the possible exception of Ron Paul — is the single most fiscally-conservative candidate likely to run for president in 2012. He SHOULD be a tea party rock star regardless of what you think about the drug issue.
More importantly. Under the Tea Party’s professed (and my actual) reading of the Constitution, the drug war as is now being fought by the Federal Government is blatantly unconstitutional. This is because drugs are not mentioned in the document, so this is rightfully the province of the states. Also, there is the precedent of alcohol prohibition which required an amendment to the Constitution. Shouldn’t the same be done if the feds are going to ban all drugs?
Lastly, and perhaps most ironically, the issues of marijuana and ObamaCare are inextricably linked now due to the Raich case which was decided a few years ago by the Supreme Court. When the anti-ObamaCare lawsuits hit the Court, one of the biggest arrows in the Administration’s quiver is bound to be this case which clearly gives the federal government control of what medicine Americans have access to.
Anyway, regardless of your views on drug prohibition, next time Gary Johnson speaks, don’t give him a hard time.