Former Governor Says Problem With Marijuana is Prohibition

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson thinks the biggest problem with marijuana is that it is illegal.Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson thinks the biggest problem with marijuana is that it is illegal.CANNABIS CULTURE – Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson thinks the biggest problem with marijuana is that it’s illegal.

Appearing on Fox News, the libertarian-minded Republican said outright that marijuana should be legalized and that prohibition is the real problem.

“Ninety percent of the drug problem in the United States today is prohibition related, not use-abuse related,” he said. “That’s where our concentration ought to be, on that 10% abuse. If marijuana were legalized, we would have less overall substance abuse. With regard to all the other drugs, first and foremost we should look at harm reduction strategies and that starts fundamentally with decriminalizing the use of drugs.”

Johnson’s pot comments start at 2:56 in the video below.

Johnson is a long-time advocate of drug prohibition reform, and admitted in a 2001 interview with Reason Magazine that he was once a “chronic marijuana smoker”.

Like a lot of other people, I’ve smoked marijuana. It is what goes on in this country. At the time [the early 1970s], I thought it was a mind-expanding experience, just like a lot of kids and a lot of adults do. Most people who smoke marijuana do it in a way similar to having cocktails in the evening.

In the same interview, Johnson was asked, “if 75 percent of people don’t think [marijuana]should be criminal, why is it such a taboo topic?”. His answer was interesting:

I don’t have the answer. When you ask people, “How many in this room believe that smoking marijuana within the confines of your own home, doing no harm to anybody except arguably yourself, how many think someone belongs in jail for that?,” 90 percent of the room raises their hand to say no, people shouldn’t go to jail for that.

Then you ask how many believe people should go to jail for selling marijuana. Eighty percent of the room believes people should go to jail for selling marijuana. That’s the disconnect. People think it’s OK to do it as long as you are not doing any harm to anyone, but it’s not OK to sell it. But how are you going to get it? They don’t understand who the pusher is. The pusher is just a user who sells a little bit based on their own habit. Nobody is going to the police department and saying, “This person sold me drugs, and I want them arrested.” Everybody is getting arrested because they sold to an undercover agent.

While governor, Johnson claimed to follow his own “Seven Principles of Good Government”:

1. Become reality driven. Don’t kid yourself or others. Find out what’s what and base your decisions and actions on that.

2. Always be honest and tell the truth. It’s extremely difficult to do any damage to anybody when you are willing to tell the truth–regardless of the consequences.

3. Always do what’s right and fair. Remember, the more you actually accomplish, the louder your critics become. You’ve got to learn to ignore your critics. You’ve got to continue to do what you think is right. You’ve got to maintain your integrity.

4. Determine your goal, develop a plan to reach that goal, and then act. Don’t procrastinate.

5. Make sure everybody who ought to know what you’re doing knows what you’re doing. Communicate.

6. Don’t hesitate to deliver bad news. There is always time to salvage things. There is always time to fix things.
Henry Kissinger said that anything that can be revealed eventually should be revealed immediately.

7. Last, be willing to do whatever it takes to get your job done. If you’ve got a job that you don’t love enough to do what it takes to get your job done, then quit and get one that you do love, and then make a difference

Johnson was elected for two terms, the maximum allowed in the State of New Mexico, and was considered one of the most successful governors in the Union during the late 1990s. In the Fox broadcast, Johnson was asked if he was planning on running for president. He didn’t rule it out, but said it would be “terribly inappropriate” to discuss the subject so soon after Obama’s election.



  1. Anonymous on

    I can’t stand fox news.

  2. str8upstoner on

    My name is Justin I am 29 years old and a recovering Methamphetamine addict I first tried Meth when I was 14 yrs. old with my best friend and his mom both of whom told me not to worry it won’t do anything. Well they couldn’t have been more wrong for the next ten years I(and my family)struggled with an overwhelming addiction that hurt not only me but everyone who truly cared for me,I would do anything to get it, selling my parents stuff, stealing money from them,stealing from stores,ripping people off you name it I probably did it or came real close. So now 5 yrs off of a debilitating addiction I’ve decided to share my saving grace with all of you, CANNABIS saved my life, turned me into a productive member of society and saved the relationship I now have with my family. I now use Cannabis in my daily life not to get stoned(except at night before bed) but to self medicate for my ADHD as well as treating my addiction to Meth. Cannabis truly is a gift from god without it I would be dead or in prison. I really think there should be a place were truly addicted people could go to be treated for there hard drug addiction with Cannabis what do you guys think?

  3. bob on

    I wholeheartedly agree with Johnson, but why didn’t he do anything about decriminalization while he was in office? If I remember correctly, it was two weeks before he handed the keys over to his successor, that he decided to make his opinion known.
    New Mexico doesn’t have the most stringent pot laws in the nation, but we could still do better.
    Marijuana is a part of our state’s culture and has been so since before our admission in 1912.
    I applaud our current Governor for having the courage to forge ahead with Medical Marijuana and the state’s department of health for their ongoing efforts.
    I also applaud Mr Johnson for standing up. Just wish he had done so when he wasn’t a lame duck.


    Most, if not all violence streaming from the drug war could be drastically reduced maybe even eliminated if drugs were legalized and taxed, bringing the united states of America monetary gain rather than the brutally violent drug cartels that are at war over territory at this very time. Having been raised in one of the most violent neighborhoods in New Mexico in the late 1980’s and 1990’s, Los Padillas which is located in the south valley of Albuquerque, I have personally witnessed violence and brutality due to prohibition of drugs and the effect it has on our communities. At a young age I witnessed drive by shootings, stabbings, robberies, and brutal beatings. all due to the drug trade at that time. In some perspective I believe that just this discussion on this topic is a start to the end of an over whelming problem not only for the U.S.A. but the whole world in general, but just full blown legalization of all drugs is not only unlikely at this time but also very scary to most Americans.
    Not only would legalization put a stop to most violence it would help our national economy on many levels for instance, instead of spending Millions of dollars on many man hours trying to stop the illegal substances from entering our nation, which to be very blunt is not working and never really has. Instead of spending Millions on many man hours trying to stop the illegal buying and selling of narcotics, that has not even came close to happening. Instead of spending Millions on housing, feeding, and medical attention which includes treatment for these drug offenders, that really dont want it. Instead of spending millions on prosecuting drug offenders and not only prosecuting but defending drug offenders, because face it most drug offenders qualify for public representation which by our constitution, we are entitled to free public representation. Instead of spending millions of U.S. Dollars on programs such as probation and drug court, which only keeps these people off drugs while attending costly programs; so we think. As a nation we could be regulating were these certain chemical compounds come from. Regulating certain iliicit industreies entitles us to examine and distribute only clean and pure amounts upon approval. Citizens who so chose to participate in the drug culture would not only be taxed on all of these chemicals which would generate massive amounts of revenue but, as a nation we would also control the resources of which these substances came from; thus putting a complete and final stop to these insanely brutal, and violent drug cartels that seem to be controlling the world wide drug trade as we know it.
    overgroW the cituation………..FREE MARC EMERY (P.O.W.)