FOX / YouTube GOP Debate ignores marijuana

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson scored the zinger of the FOX / YouTube GOP debate when he said, “My neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than President Obama.” (It was the one question he didn’t answer first with “balance the budget”.) But one issue important to Gov. Johnson, Rep. Paul, and apparently the debate audience, marijuana, was all but ignored in the debate.

The debate, streamed live on YouTube, was the first to feature both Gov. Johnson and Rep. Paul, two candidates who have strongly denounced the “War on Drugs”. During breaks for the candidates, the coverage featured analysts who presented data from Google on search engine trends. One feature, a “word cloud”, showed the prevalence of terms used in the questions submitted by Americans for the candidates. As the debate entered the segment on “Social Issues”, the word cloud showed three words most prominently: gay, marriage, and marijuana. The analysts pointed out the “social conservative” / “libertarian” divide in the Republican Party.

Despite the popularity of marijuana among the queries no candidates were asked any questions pertaining to the “War on Drugs”. Candidates, especially Texas Gov. Perry, were grilled about border security, but no candidate or moderator mentioned how the “War on Drugs” has created massacre conditions just south of our border. Numerous candidates pledged their support of the 10th Amendment, for the rights of the states to make their own decisions regarding health care (“Obamacare”, they call it), yet no candidate or moderator mentioned how that would apply to sixteen states that have made a decision regarding medical use of cannabis. And the bookending issue of the debate – creating jobs – was discussed endlessly without any recognition of the industry created by medical marijuana and the huge potential of a domestic hemp industry.

But FOX and the Republicans didn’t ignore the “Social Issues” entirely. When a gay soldier serving in Iraq appeared by video to ask the candidates if they would roll back recent gains in recognizing the right of soldiers like him to serve openly, members of the audience openly booed and jeered. Support the troops!… unless they’re gay.

With our umpteenth petition to the White House once again leading the pack among all petitions submitted, it’s nice to remember that dismissing the call of millions of Americans for marijuana legalization is still a bi-partisan practice.

View full post on The NORML Stash Blog