Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson showed up in the District of Columbia last week and brought down the house at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference by faking a “pot-induced” heart attack. This happened after former U.S. Representative Ann Marie Buerkle told the audience that stoners have a “1-in-5 higher” chance of suffering from cardiac arrest within the first hour of smoking weed.
Although Johnson’s humor may have been lost on some of those in attendance of Thursday’s event, his support of marijuana law reform in the United States is widely respected, especially when he offers some encouraging insight.
In a recent interview with The Daily Caller, Johnson predicted that 2016 will be the “tipping point” for marijuana legalization across America.
“You have 60 percent of Americans who want it,” Johnson said. “You’ll see California push it through in 2016, and then as many as 25 states will follow suit by passing laws through their state legislatures.”
These numbers are considerably higher than a report released last month by ArcView Market Research, which predicted that 18 states would operate recreational pot markets by 2020. Nevertheless, the consensus is that statewide pot reform is a trend that will gain a significant amount of momentum in the next two years – perhaps even forcing Congress to reconsider its stance on prohibition.
In the interview, Johnson said he believes that working class citizens should have the right to decide how they unwind after a long day at work.
“Who is anyone to begrudge you, as a human being, the right to take the edge off the day by having a drink, or smoking a joint. Really?,” Johnson said. “If you have issues you have to deal with, and weed helps you with that, then more power to you.
“I think that as a result of legalizing marijuana, we will become very enlightened as a country very quickly,” he continued. ”When it comes to the harder drugs being legalized, which we may see many years off, the first thing you’ll see is decriminalization. Would the world be a better place if we legalized all drugs tomorrow? Yes. But we are not going to do that.”
Interestingly, Johnson recently announced plans to run for president in 2016, and some even believe he has a fighting chance. In 2012, Johnson managed to secure nearly 1.3 million votes, a feat that no other alternative party candidate had achieved in well over a decade.