Gary Johnson Picks Judge Jim Gray As Running Mate
Joe | Apr 30, 2012 | Comments 0
Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is currently running for the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President of The United States and has picked pro-legalization former Judge Jim Gray as his running mate.
I had the honor of interviewing Judge Gray last year for a magazine article and I can think of very few people better suited to join Governor Johnson on his run.
“I saw the heartbreaking results of drug prohibition too many times in my own courtroom,” the Judge told me last year. “I saw children tempted by adults to become involved in drug trafficking for $50 in cash, a lot of money to a youngster in the inner city, or almost anywhere else. Once the child’s reliability has been established in his roles as a lookout or “gofer,” he is soon trusted to sell small amounts of drugs, which, of course, results in greater profits both for the adult dealer and his protégé. The children sell these drugs, not to adults, but to their peers, thus recruiting more children into a life of taking and selling drugs. I saw this repeated again and again. But like others in the court system, I didn’t talk about it.”
This all led to a change in his philosophy. “It was a gradual process,” he said. “But I actually remember the first time in which I decided I would have to step forward and go public about this issue. I was on the bench enforcing another judge’s sentence in a criminal case of a bad man who had raped, beaten up and stolen money from prostitutes, and he was receiving such a light sentence that he would be released, after being given credit for time served, after only another week or two. When we were finished, he gave out a war whoop of happiness when being taken back into lockup. And why not, because he had won. So I remember thinking at the time that the truth was that we were spending so many criminal justice resources on non-violent drug offenses that we didn’t have the money or other resources to concentrate on violent criminals like this fellow. Hence the realization that ‘The tougher we get on non-violent drug offenses, literally the softer we get on every other type of offense.’ This is untenable — and stupid!”
If Gary Johnson wins the Libertarian nomination he and Judge Gray will be on the ballot in 49 states, and if they can get 5% of the vote in 2012, the Libertarian candidate for President in 2016 can get $90 million in federal funding.
While a long shot to win the Presidential race, the Johnson/Gray ticket will do much to raise awareness on critical issues of individual liberty and marijuana legalization.