New GOP Presidential candidate supports gay rights, pot legalization

Thu. April 21, 2011 6:39 PM by News Staff

gary johnson and allen st. pierre, executive director, norml

photo credit //
Washington, D.C. - Former Republican New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who supports gay rights and the legalization of marijuana, has announced he's running for President.

Johnson was governor of New Mexico from 1994 to 2003, when he was term-limited out. New Mexico residents called him "Governor Veto," since he vetoed more bills than all the rest of the previous governors combined. Since then, he's started the OUR America Initiative, a 501c(4) non-profit that promotes rational fiscal policy.

Last fall, Johnson attended a National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) conference. He strongly believes that prosecution of recreational pot users is a waste of money and time.

"By making it a legal, regulated product, availability can be restricted, under-age use curtailed, enforcement/court/incarceration costs reduced, and the profit removed from a massive underground and criminal economy," he said in a press release. "By managing marijuana like alcohol and tobacco – regulating, taxing and enforcing its lawful use – America will be better off. The billions saved on marijuana interdiction, along with the billions captured as legal revenue, can be redirected against the individuals committing real crimes against society."

Johnson was in the process of divorcing his wife, Dee, when she died of cardiovascular disease in 2006.

He is 58, has two grown children and lives in Taos, and spends his free time climbing mountains, skiing and bicycling. He's done the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii and the Bataan Memorial Death March, a 25 mile desert run in combat boots wearing a 35 pound backpack.