Over at Drug War Rant today Pete was praising Gary Johnson, who looks like he’ll be running for the presidential nomination in the Republican Primaries. I thought I’d quickly check out the other names in the hat, and see where they stand on drugs…we have a few tokers, some preaching, a smattering of hypocrisy, and a straight edger. Here’s the list, in alphabetical order:

Michele Bachman

Although crazy-eyed Michelle voted against funding the Merida Initiative (funding for Mexico’s war against drug trafficking), she’s been pretty quiet on the issue of legalization or not. Given her “small government” stance on abortion and same sex marriage, I imagine that the same logic applies to drug use.

Haley Barbour

Again, quiet in his pronouncements. One thing that stood out in his rhetoric..he “fought the scourge of illegal narcotics with a vengeance”. I love that. All fire and brimstone. We never get fire and brimstone in UK politics. Shame.

Mitch Daniels

Mitch was actually arrested in 1970 for marijuana possession (apparently he had enough to fill two size 12 shoe boxes). He received a $350 fine and no jail time. He believes justice was served, and he learnt his lesson. If he’d been convicted under today’s drug laws, he probably would have been kicked out of college, lost eligbility for student aid, and maybe even faced a charge of possession with intent to supply.

Newt Gingrich

(Release, Nice People Take Drugs)

Newt smoked marijuana in the ‘60s, but that doesn’t make drug use right. He believes in capital punishment for international drug traffickers.

Gary Johnson

Gary’s got to be the hero, and the only possible choice for any legalization proponent. He smoked marijuana for a medical condition between 2005 and 2008 and believes that cannabis should be legalized, because it’s the sensible thing to do.

Mike Huckabee

Inconsistent, would be the easiest way of summarizing Huckabee’s approach. In an interview with Meet the Press in December 2007 he boasted about his tough on drugs stance: “[Mitt Romney] said that I reduced methamphetamine sentences in Arkansas. Truth is I signed a bill in 1999 that doubled those sentences. We did not reduce them. Our sentences were four times harsher than they were in Massachusetts.” Although in a few months earlier in September 2007, treatment must have been the message ‘du jour’ as he was quoted as saying  “We’ve incarcerated so many of the people who really need drug rehab more than they need long-term incarceration” He also brings a touch of the Preacher to his pronouncements:  “How can we change a drug-addicted culture? Do we say, “if these people weren’t poor, or if they only knew what drugs did, then they wouldn’t be doing this?…we must come to see that our core problem is not a lack of education but a lack of righteousness.”

Sarah Palin

Of all the possible former tokers, I wouldn’t have picked Palin.  She smoked cannabis when it was legal in Alaska but didn’t like it and doesn’t smoke it now. She wouldn’t support legalization because she worries about the message it would send to her kids.  I don’t know… all of these politicians who tried pot and didn’t like it…what’s with that?  The only person I’ve ever met who tried pot and didn’t like it was my step mum, and she was a witch.

Tim Pawlenty

Tim “who he?” Pawlenty hasn’t said much on drugs yet.  He’s proud of introducing “tougher penalties for meth offenders” and believes “Most crime is drug-related” Meh.  Bo-ring.

Mitt Romney

Mitt has also been quiet, but supports the US efforts to promote civil war in South America, for its own good of course. “Our partnership with Colombia contributes to our security and our quality of life—sowing stability in a critical region and helping keep deadly drugs of our streets.”

Donald Trump

I have to say, this surprised me.  Donald has “never taken drugs of any kind, never had a glass of alcohol. Never had a cigarette, never had a cup of coffee“. Apparently his brother died as a result of alcoholism, and told him never to drink or smoke. He paid attention. I wonder if he’s got a straight edge tattoo under that flowing mane of hair?

Sources: Andrew Sullivan, On the Issues, Drug War Rant

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