Governor Schools Class On His Drug Stance

Governor Schools Class On His Drug Stance
Posted by FoM on April 26, 2000 at 15:47:46 PT
By Gilbert Gallegos, Tribune Reporter
Source: Albuquerque Tribune
 Gov. Gary Johnson took his drug legalization message -- call it Drugs 101 -- to a more academic audience: a class full of University of New Mexico seniors enrolled in History 492.   And while not everyone in the class appeared to buy Johnson's drug-legalization argument, Johnson said he felt comfortable that the students were open-minded to his ideas.
  The UNM class, known formally as "A History of Drug Wars in the United States," is the product of Johnson's much-publicized views on legalizing some drugs.   History Professor David Farber taught the seminar this summer, and invited Johnson to be a guest lecturer on Monday.   "My hat's off to them and the time they've devoted to this subject," Johnson said after his foray as a first-time college instructor. "They can be real advocates for the education that has to go along with this subject."   Johnson started his speech by telling the students that he softened his position on drugs this week to only advocate the legalization of marijuana and not heroin. He said he has a more realistic chance of convincing people that making marijuana legal would lead to less crime, fewer overdoses and a more healthy community.   Audrey Thibodea said she had a difficult time believing that concept -- especially for hard drugs like heroin -- as she researched the heroin problems plaguing northern New Mexico towns like Española.   But Thibodea said Johnson's message is starting to resonate with her, even if he's now limiting it to marijuana. She said if Johnson's right, a community like Española can redirect money from putting drug-users in prison to finding help for addicts.   "I think you're slowly convincing me toward reducing the harm . . ." Thibodea told Johnson. "It does make sense."   Johnson has preached his push for legalizing drugs on both local and national stages, speaking to diverse groups ranging from a Santa Fe private school to Libertarian policy wonks who agree with Johnson that the federal government's war on drugs has failed.   The UNM students glazed over the effectiveness of the war on drugs, and focused instead on whether Johnson's radical views that legalization is the answer to many of society's problems has any merit.   One student, for example, said he may agree with Johnson's legalization message, but his problem is whether kids would get easier access to drugs.   Another student, who said he was "on the fence" as far as legalizing heroin, nevertheless took Johnson to task for backing away from the heroin issue if that's what he believes in.   Others picked apart foreign-policy concerns, raised questions about the future of organized crime and legal implications of drug legalization.   Johnson's response: "That's why a course like this ... that's why your awareness of this goes a long way." Published: April 26, 2000© The Albuquerque Tribune. Related Articles & Web Site On Governor Gary Johnson:Governor Gary Johnson's Home Page New Mexico Drug Policy Foundation Sold on Drug War Backs Off on Drugs Minutes To Air Johnson Drug Views Cuts Drug Censorship Minutes To Air Johnson Drug Views - Original Article Articles On Governor Gary Johnson - Over 220 News Items: 
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Comment #2 posted by freedom fighter on April 28, 2000 at 18:35:01 PT
is my man!
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Comment #1 posted by SilentBob on April 28, 2000 at 02:42:34 PT
Keep up the good work Governor
Once again the Governor is the man. Other polititions should strive to have the balls that he has. 
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