The GOP Presidential debate taking place on June 13th in New Hampshire and to be broadcast by CNN will not feature a candidate who was in the first debate, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.

In fact, Congressman Ron Paul will be the only bright spot on the dais that night. He will stand alongside enemies of medical marijuana Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney, along with 4 others. Invites were sent out to 6 other people, including Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani, who haven’t even announced running. Yet Gary Johnson can’t score an invite?

Since Ron Paul is going to be there, Johnson’s drug legalization views can’t be the reason for his snub, and his campaign says CNN didn’t give a reason. Since the CNN website gives a list of criteria for debate invites, I have to think Governor Johnson failed to get 2% in a certain poll; or he ticked off someone at CNN.

Some may think it doesn’t matter, but the vast majority of those watching the debates are going to be GOP primary voters. They can easily block Johnson and Paul, shutting down the dialogue that needs to take place about The War on Drugs.

It means new media like The 420 Times will have to work that much harder to get Gary Johnson and Ron Paul’s message out there. That’s the beauty of the Internet: the mainstream media no longer has a monopoly on information. It can be shared with anyone.

Joe Klare