We’re nineteen days away from the most important marijuana election in our nation’s history. You may have also heard we’re choosing the next person who sets the government’s agenda, installs the department heads, and picks the judges who’ll govern the federal response to ongoing state marijuana legalization.
Far too many of you think that president can be former cannabusiness CEO and New Mexico governor Gary Johnson or former folk-rap singer and physician Dr. Jill Stein, candidates who vigorously support marijuana legalization. You can take pride in voting Green or Libertarian!
This article’s word count limits me from explaining the electoral history, game theory, and voter polling that prove your only presidential choices are a) bad choice, b) worse choice, and c) improve worse choice’s chances. (Don’t hate; self-educate. It ain’t the players; it’s the game. Click those links. Challenge your thinking.)
Finished reading? OK, then let’s move forward, accepting the reality that either the Democrat or the Republican will be the next president. If you still think either Stein or Johnson could actually win 270 Electoral College votes – you needn’t read any further. Enjoy some kittens.
You Will Not Approve of Evil! You Just Won’t Impede It
You know either the Democrat or the Republican will sit in the White House come January. But you won’t enable an alleged serial-killing, rape-enabling, security-imperiling, war-mongering, pathologically-lying, bankster-owned puppet of the global elite, and you won’t enable an alleged contractor-stiffing, sexually-predatory, nuke-happy, religion-banning, pathologically-lying, white supremacist-supported incompetent reality-TV douchebag, either. You’ve got to live with your conscience, you insist.
But conscience is that voice in your head that tells you to do the right thing when you don’t want to. Conscience is what makes you exercise self-discipline when doing what makes you feel good would harm others.
Believe me, I know where you are coming from. I get why these are the two most-loathed presidential candidates ever and why you’d consider them equally terrible choices. But that’s impossible. Somehow, in some way, one of those candidates is worse for you and/or the rest of us, even if it’s only by 0.001 Buchanan Units on the Terrible President Matrix.
Edmund Burke once observed, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Hate the concept of “lesser of two evils” all you want, but your conscience should dictate that doing nothing to stop the greater evil so you can feel good casting an impotent protest vote is itself an act of evil.
If You Really Support Bernie Sanders, You’d Heed His Advice
If you’re a Bernie Sanders supporter voting for Gary Johnson, then you’re not voting based on ideology, you’re voting against Bernie’s agenda. The differences between the two on a whole host of issues couldn’t be more stark. For instance, on minimum wage, Bernie wants $15, Gary wants wants $0. On health care, Bernie wants public option, Gary wants it all-privatized . On corruption, Bernie wants Citizen’s United overturned, Gary wants even fewer campaign finance restrictions.
Jill Stein aligns more closely with Sanders’ Democratic-Socialist ideals, to be sure, but that’s even worse. While Gary conceivably pulls voters equally from both sides, Jill isn’t going to attract many disaffected conservatives with her left-of-Sanders platform.
Out of over 511,000 elected offices in America, Greens won just over 2/11ths of 1/10th of 1 percent of them. Greens are 93 elected officials in 6 states, where 71 of those are in California. The most powerful Green nationwide is (and will remain) the Mayor of Marina, California.
That’s the Green Party groundswell that’s been building since the original Ghostbusters was in theaters. After 32 years of work, they give you a vaccine undermining 9/11-investigation skeptic who’s hovering around 3 percent in the polls.
Libertarians do slightly better nationwide, with 2/7ths of 1/10th of 1 percent of all offices, if you count officials registered to vote as, but not necessarily running as, Libertarians. They’ve got 14 mayors and lower officials in 35 states nationwide.
That’s the Libertarian Party revolution that’s been brewing since the original Willy Wonka was in theaters. After 45 years of work, they give you an absent-minded climate-change skeptic who’s hovering around 6 percent in the polls.
Better Candidates for Marijuana Who Also Won’t Be President
But maybe you weren’t a Bernie supporter. Maybe despite all probability and evidence, you really do believe the two party candidates are equally evil. Maybe you live in a “safe state” – one likely to pick A or B so overwhelmingly your vote doesn’t matter anyway. Maybe you’re a one-issue voter who wants to show them you support a pro-legalization candidate.
If any or all of these are the case, why limit your choices to Jill Stein and Gary Johnson?
Maybe you like Jill Stein’s because you want to vote for the first woman president, but not the Democratic choice. Then vote for Lynn Kahn, who pledges to “Stop the war on drugs… Eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing… Release all non-violent and low-risk offenders… [and] Stop funding for-profit prisons.”
Maybe it’s Jill Stein’s progressive policies, more than marijuana alone. Then you could vote for Terry Wheelock. He plans to “Demilitarize law enforcement…. end institutionalized racism…. Expand women’s rights…. protect the rights of ALL LGBT people…. Keep the internet neutral… and decriminalize drug addiction, and legalize medical marijuana… and personal use.”
Maybe you appreciate Gary Johnson’s belief in limited constitutional government. Then the Constitution Party’s Darrell Castle is your man. “I favor the de-criminalization of marijuana as both a liberty and a moral issue,” says Castle. “It is immoral in my view to take people’s liberty because they possess this substance. This would free the police, the police budgets, and create much space in our prisons.”
Maybe Gary Johnson’s quirky nature and libertarian view on social issues appeals to you, but his more hard-line government-slashing ideas don’t. Then the Transhumanist Party’s Zoltan Istvan deserves your vote. He advocates your “right to do anything to your body so long as it doesn’t harm others” and would “End costly drug war and legalize all drugs”. Like Johnson, Istvan looks to the far future. Istvan notes how robots will eventually replace nearly all human work, so we should all get free money from the government.
Perhaps you need a candidate like Johnson and Stein who’s paying attention to industrial hemp. Chris Keniston believes that “individual states should decide whether and how to legalize [marijuana]” and supports “removing barriers to hemp agriculture.”
Or maybe you support Johnson or Stein only as the “lesser of four evils”, but you really long for a radical candidate who’ll offer bold, dramatic changes in our drug laws. You could go with James C. Mitchell, who would not only “decriminalize [all] recreational drugs”, but he would have federal health clinics dispensing “medical marijuana to be available free.”
Or go one step further with Colorado’s Scott Smith, who says, “the legalization of marijuana went well… Our state now makes money on marijuana.” Smith’s provocative plan “would crush the economics… that makes drug lords rich” by “legalizing the use of drugs, and putting the government in charge of producing and selling [cheap] drugs.”
Or take the ultimate radical step in third-party voting: write-in me, Russ Belville, for President. I am pledging to legalize marijuana nationwide, with no personal possession or cultivation limits for everyone 18 and older, establishment of farmers’ markets and pot lounges, and untaxed pot shops that must give you a free quarter-pound on your birthday.
You might as well. Three weeks from tomorrow, I’ll have exactly as many Electoral College votes and just as much power to enact my campaign promises as Stein, Johnson, Kahn, Wheelock, Castle, Istvan, Keniston, Mitchell, and Smith will have combined. At least I’ll smoke you out while we complain about the awful president you didn’t try to stop and whatever terrible thing they did this week.