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Gary Johnson Supporters Robocall Colorado Democrats Over Marijuana Crackdown

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #756)

Colorado is a tightly-contested swing state. According to the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls, Republican challenger Mitt Romney holds a vanishingly narrow lead over President Obama of 47.8% to 47.6%. In a national election that appears to be growing tighter in the final weeks, Colorado could end up deciding who wins.

Gary Johnson
It is also a state where there are two reasons marijuana is at play as a political issue. Most significantly, it is the site of the Amendment 64 Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol legalization campaign, which maintains a shrinking lead in recent polls, and which has generated reams of media coverage in recent weeks. But it is also one of the medical marijuana states that have seen their dispensary systems threatened by heavy-handed federal interventions, which has generated ill-feeling toward the Obama administration in some quarters.

And it is a state where Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of neighboring New Mexico, is making a strong push, with marijuana legalization and marijuana policy as one of his strongest talking points. Johnson isn't included in those polls mentioned above, but when pollsters do bother to include him, as Public Policy Polling did last month and Politico did this month, he's bringing in about 5% of the vote -- and he takes three votes away from Obama for every two he takes from Romney. [Update: The latest PPP poll, released Monday, shows Johnson taking away slightly more from Romney than Obama.]

Democrats may have been hoping that turnout by supporters of marijuana legalization would help them cruise to victory in Colorado, but Johnson is doing his best to separate those voters from the Democrats who hope to own them. Johnson has been stumping feverishly on legalization, and his campaign has smartly used all the attention paid to the initiative to generate attention for his position and his candidacy.

Now, as David Sirota points out in an excellent analysis of pot and presidential politics in Colorado in Salon, things have escalated, with pro-Johnson robo-call ads identified with the Utah-based libertarian think tank the Libertas Institute going out to Democratic voters with a message that should be chilling for Democrats:

"Hello, fellow Democrat," a friendly male voice says. "Like you I was thrilled to vote for Barack Obama in 2008. In 2008, candidate Obama promised not to use the Justice Department to prosecute medical marijuana in states where it was legal. But the real Obama did just that, more than doubling prosecutions, putting people in prisons and shutting down medical marijuana facilities in Colorado. That's not the change you wanted on health freedom. But you can still be a force for hope and change by voting for Gary Johnson."

Could Gary Johnson peel off enough voters disenchanted with the Obama administration's medical marijuana stance and motivated by a chance to vote for marijuana legalization to throw the state, and just possibly, the national election, to Romney? We will know in less than two weeks.

(This article was published by's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


cow lover (not verified)

@Uncle Bob they both will fight it tooth and nail.  Romney is just the one who isn't trying to lie about it.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 4:04am Permalink
Mark Mitcham (not verified)

In reply to by cow lover (not verified)

Obama is more progressive than Romney on Drug Policy.

He did "change" the crack/cocaine sentencing disparity.  I don't see Romney touching that

with a ten-foot pole.  I urge you to take a big hit, and then vote for Obama, at least if you

live in a swing state and care about legalization.  There is a difference, as Romney himself

will tell you: "If you want marijuana legalized, vote for the other guy!"  Obama recognizes the

distinction between medical and recreational marijuana; Romney does not.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 5:29pm Permalink
HeyHo (not verified)

In reply to by cow lover (not verified)

Obama, Eric Holder, and the Drug Czar (I've forgotten his name!) have enough sense not to campaign against the legalization initiatives, especially in Colorado.  Romney doesn't even want to talk about it and got in media reporters face over it.  At least Obama set up online forums and said that legalization was a legitimate debate topic.  You will not get anything close to that response from Romney and he will put John Walters back as Drug Czar.

Mon, 10/22/2012 - 9:21pm Permalink
Phil McCanless (not verified)

Obama, our choomer-in-chief, smoked pot, but has raided more medical marijuana facilities in three and a half years than the Bushy wonder did in eight.  He is a complete hypocrite who cannot be trusted on this issue.  He has made it perfectly clear that he supports marijuana prohibition.  Gary Johnson has my vote and full support.  

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 6:06am Permalink
Colleen McCool (not verified)

Republocrats have forsaken the American Dream! AKA the oligarchy seeks to destroy our united spirit for self-government and have openly grown an authoritarian dictatorship in the land of the free.They may as well be one party their differences are so minuscule. They deserve the bird because they have deserted the American Dream, self-government. Give them the two middle fingers bird of peace everywhere you see them and vote Johnson/Gray.

It is really twisted that the American dream, the Founders' philosophy is now excluded from our debates and polls. A declaration is an affirmation. Independence means self-government. They could have called The Declaration of Independence, The Affirmation of Self-Government! Aha! The Founders were libertarian.

I admit there was dissension in the ranks even in the beginning, there were warmongers and authoritarians but look who won the debate back then!

I declare and so did the Founders the libertarian philosophy is what defines a true patriot. True patriots are libertarian. You might be. Take this 10 question quiz.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 10:33am Permalink
William Aiken (not verified)

If Obama loses Colorado due the marijuana issue in that state, I am certain that the press and pundits will analyze how amendment 64 played a role in his defeat. Such a development would raise the awareness of the public regarding marijuana prohibition and be a major payback to Obama for taking the support of drug reformers for granted.  While it appears that Romney may be worse than Obama on drug policy, in the end I don't see much difference between the two. At least you know what you are getting with Romney. Obama has paid no price for his back stabbing tactics...yet.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 11:39am Permalink
Doggs (not verified)

I wish Gary Johnson would have been included in the debates and taken more seriously by the voters than he is. I'm voting for Romney because as pointed out in other posts, you know what to expect. Meds will always be around and always available. The question is will it be above ground or below ground? 

   Ochoomer has done more damage in a few years than anyone before him. I'm very disenchanted with his following thru on heavy handed laws. Forget cocaine laws. We're talking about peoples medical and health conditions here. Neither side is willing to open their eyes and look at the overwhelming evidence for the positive effects of medical marijuana. They cater to a certain kind of constituency who only cares about punishing people for using a plant given us by G-d. The extreme right wing of religious zealots, should know better. With all of their scripture reading and carrying on about social issues, they sure don't live the word that has been written.

    I urge all Americans to stand up and be counted by writing to your representitives and telling them what we want. More personal freedom, more states rights, less government and more accountibility to the people who put them in their "exalted" office. They work for us, we should be grading them on their responsiveness to us as voters. If you don't make the grade, you're out on your can.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 5:48pm Permalink
Uncle Bob (not verified)

We run the risk that Romeny would win Ohio, and possibly the presidency.  Yes what Obama did went against what he promised to do... but the damage caused by that would be small potatoes next to what Romeny will do.  Romney will fight legalization tooth and nail (his own words), and he doesn't distinguish between medical and recreational use.  I know it sucks, but you have to pick the lesser of two evils.  The fledgling medical Marijuana industry emerging in 17 states and the District of Columbia would be stamped out in no time under Romney.  We'd be back to zero states having medical mj, and the crackdown would be 1000x worse.

We're talking about an uptight Mormon who has PROMISED to fight marijuana tooth and nail, grows visibily irate each time he is asked about the subject.  He takes this personally, and he would attack the medical marijuana industry head on no holds barred.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 12:03pm Permalink
Doggs (not verified)

I totally understand exactly what you are saying. I think that he is going to be very preoccupied with trying his hardest to put 23 million Americans back to work. I feel like medical marijuana is going to be a ways down on his list of things to address. There has to come a point where states have to take back their independance. The state of CO. really needs to grow a pair and start to "just say no" to Federal intervention. The states are addicted to Fed money for all kinds of things the state can do better or private industry can do for less. 

    This is certainly a mess isn't it? How did we as a nation allow ourselves to be ruled by lawyers? In the near future there is going to be a thing known as seasteading. There's going to be self suffecient platforms out past the 12 mile international limit in the ocean and you as an individual will be able to go live on one of these platforms with other like minded individuals. Most people can work from a computer terminal and others like me would be very happy running a business on the platform or working off my housing with sweat equity. I think that might be the answer. I want to live with other Libertarians in a peaceful atmosphere where I can be free to do as I please as long as I don't infringe on another. That's my 2 cents worth.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 7:05pm Permalink
baked (not verified)

Romney is a fanatic, and said he would fight marijuana "tooth and nail". He means it. From the article, The Wrath of Grapes, April 21 2012 by Timothy Egan of the New York Times:

 We know from a rare personal admission that Mitt Romney experienced a faint whiff of alcohol, a long, long time ago. “I tasted a beer and tried a cigarette once as a wayward teenager,” he said last November [2011], “and never tried it again.”



Mitt Romney, July 2012, New Hampshire. Graphic from NORML Facebook. See video and full quote. The initial question was about medical marijuana. It takes a 2/3 majority in Congress to override a Presidential veto. The U.S. is unique in this among Western democracies.


Thu, 10/25/2012 - 1:08pm Permalink
everything illegal (not verified)

That is what we will do as we cannot support either Obama or Romney.  To do so would go against everything we believe.

I believe all drugs should be legal, the whole issue should be made a health and educaitonal issue.  Our prison are bursting at the seams with drug offenders.  Many are not a danger when they go inbut many will be when and if they get out.

We need prisons for people we are afraid of not who we are mad at.

I spoke out on the MJ issue when Meth first came on the scene, saying leave MJ alone and meth won't become so popular.  No one listened and what do we have now. An epedimic of meth and many dying from the miss use of legal presctiption drugs.

Thu, 10/25/2012 - 2:50pm Permalink

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