Mainstream politics aside, fringe candidates have plenty to say on the issue of marijuana legalization. Backlash from progressive approaches to legalization are across the spectrum right now. We take the plunge and dive deep, talking with everyone from ALT-right to libertarians about their opinions on this topic.
The political junkies of America have taken over the casual discourse and the graphic filled mainstream bobblehead talk shows. It seems the most unqualified and formerly uncaring individuals now think of themselves as political guru’s. In this time of hefty political interest in the United States, I contacted the fringe 2020 presidential candidates and questioned them on marijuana related issues.
Sending emails to every single campaign that had officially announced that it was running, I did not discriminate in my emails. In the crop of emails: self proclaimed alt-righters; communists; socialists; libertarians; a woman, La Resa Edwards, who claims to be the messiah; people who resist Trump; and a man who legally changed his name to JO753. I had truly found the fringe after surfing too deep into the Internet’s waves like a teenager clicking random Youtube videos.
After an ungodly amount of emails, I was able to arrange four interviews; I did have one with JO 753, which fell apart due to my own incompetence. Off topic, I asked Vermin Supreme, the famous meme candidate, to do an interview via Twitter; he proceeded to follow me on Twitter, but didn’t do an interview. Also, got in touch with what I could only describe as the 4chan candidate, Mr. Nathan Norman, but he never sent back the questionnaire I sent in. Further, got in touch with the guy that sued John Oliver, Don Blankenship, but he also didn’t answer my questionnaire. Now that I think about it, the questionnaire must have been really poorly worded, but all that is neither here nor there or anywhere.
Democrat Robby Wells, a 51-year-old from Georgia, was the former head football coach at Savannah State University. Wells is the type of guy you just want to have a beer with at a sports bar, yet, sadly, this will never happen because he does not drink or smoke. Either way, I truly took a liking to him after a somewhat rushed phone interview; he had another interview right after mine.
Began the interview nervously with a bloated question, which basically amounted to what is your stance on marijuana?
“I will push for legislation in Congress to regulate and tax marijuana, take the money and make college education free for every American,” answered Wells. However, he later said that he would prefer if the states passed marijuana; he would like to see the states have more power.
Wells is in support of releasing non-violent drug offenders.
What would disqualify someone from release? Wells responded with the oddly specific example of, “selling alcohol to a minor on a playground.”
Would Wells be on board with the libertarian argument of legalizing all drugs?
“I am on board with marijuana, but not the other drugs,” said Wells. “Legal marijuana should be regulated in an all natural way.”
Should marijuana be marketed like alcohol?
“The free market should take over within the rule,” Wells said, which was an assumed yes. “There will be a major debate on that and the states should decide all that. We should not have monopoly in any business, I am for as little of regulation as we can possibly have…but I do believe the regulations have gotten out of hand.”
The last question for Wells was a Chris Christie argument—will marijuana use further cripple communities?
Wells answered with a simple fact, saying, “since the legalization of marijuana, the murder rate has gone down in Colorado.”
We talked about some college football, and that was it. Short conversation, indeed.
While in Pensacola, Florida, the ride tide was pulling my lungs out of my body. Despite my condition, I had an interview with Libertarian Adam Kokesh. Thankfully, he was also coughing like a madman with the plague. However, we both managed to keep our lungs inside our chest cavities.
Talking to Kokesh is to talk to a man of principle. He knows his values and sticks to them with consistency. Kokesh, who is from California and served as a Marine, was an active participant in the Iraq Veterans Against The War (an advocacy group of formerly-active military personnel), and has been arrested multiple times for his political activism.
Kokesh began the interview with an opening statement: “a part of me dies inside every time I am introduced as a presidential candidate; you have to be a psychopath to want that kind of power…the first thing I will do as president is resign and create 50 independent states…my election will be a referendum on if the federal government should exist.”
After this statement the interview went in a rocky direction; I completely misunderstood Kokesh’s position on politics. But, eventually, we got back on topic once Kokesh made another statement: “The government should not be allowed to tell to a citizen on their private property what they can and cannot put in their bodies,” he said. “It becomes silly to control other people’s body chemistry.”
Furthermore, this 50-nation system akin to the Articles of Confederation system would be temporary; Kokesh believes in the abolishment of governments only if local communities wish to come together and form a government themselves. Also, he is a firm believer in volunteerism. Despite our mutual understanding, the conversation was a rambling mess on both ends.
Should medical marijuana be provided freely to citizens who need it?
Kokesh said that if a local community denies someone access to medical marijuana, that is a crime, but once government gets that small, it will be unlikely for that denial to happen. Kokesh sees the paradigm shift that has occurred in the United States regarding weed; his finest example of that is Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer proposing a federal cannabis legalization bill. “That would be amazing,” he said. “It’s an interesting sign of the times, a Senator that sat in the US Senate for so many years, watched people’s lives being destroyed, and didn’t care. But now it is politically expedient.” Perhaps Kokesh assumes that if all government is localized, it will follow this paradigm and make marijuana fully legal.
What is Kokesh’s solution for the drug war?
“The drug war is only possible in the first place because of the concentration of power in the federal government,” Kokesh said. “There is not one solution to the drug war. The Internet is making the drug war unviable.”
Similar to Wells, Kokesh wishes to free all non-violent drug offenders from prison. Unlike Wells, Kokesh would not use government to regulate at all; he said that businesses will keep drugs to safe standard in their self interest. Also, indifferent to Wells, Kokesh does want to impose his will or personal preference in regards to what should be done with potential marijuana taxes if local communities choose to collect taxes.
Lastly, I asked Kokesh about the potential of marijuana lobbyists, and how corporations like Marlboro are buying into marijuana.
“I am concerned…I know we are going to suffer in the development of a free market in cannabis because we have a corporate system,” he said. “Lobbyists have the unfair advantage to destroy small businesses. I see this [marijuana business] going along the lines of the wine industry…a lot of specialization. There are a lot of small vineyards, and small production operations. And I think with drone technology and the Internet, it will make it possible for people to specialize in their production. There will be the Marlboro of cannabis, the cheap boxed wine of cannabis, and that’s fine for the people who want that, but there will be a balance between that and those who want something unique.”
Kokesh had aunique statement on marijuana use: “having been lied to by the government for so long about cannabis, the substance has taken on this magical property; you can’t smoke weed and not realize that the government is full of shit. Not all human beings are political nerds like me.”
This may have something to do with where Kokesh’s weed brain goes.
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Possessing a single lung (not literally), I had returned home from Pensacola, ready to interview 23-year-old Libertarian candidate James Jobe. True, Jobe is not old enough to run for President—candidates must be 35 years or older—and he officially dropped out of the 2020 race in the weeks following our conversation. In 2016, he ran on a Harambe-based platform, but let the kid dream.
When talking to Jobe, he is serious about the issues, but he knows he won’t or can’t legally win; he’s using his voice to push for issues he believes in. With all that, the interview as an awkward affair. Jobe is a supremely nice guy, but sometimes personalities don’t click. However, we got through and discussed some interesting marijuana topics. Our Google Hangout discussion lasted 45 minutes.
Jobe had a math test coming up; he was concerned about that. Regardless, we chatted about the drug war.
“The war on drugs needs to end, it is a war on drug users, a war on personal freedom, and it has created a dangerous black market where cartels are making all this money and the state is getting none of it,” said Jobe. “To me, the solution is to legalize all drugs…you may say that makes it easier for people to get drugs, and it does, but some solutions don’t have easy answers…you have to look at the pros and cons. Another thing to consider is that cigarettes kill thousands of people a year.”
We moved onto marijuana regulation—when or if marijuana becomes federally legal.
“You worry about companies engineering products to be addictive, and you don’t want to see that happening with marijuana,” Jobe said. “I am not an expert on drug regulation by any means, but we have to be careful with what is going into peoples’ bodies.”
The conversation was moving rapidly, point to point; Jobe believes marijuana should be legalized by the federal government, not the states. “The goal should be [having marijuana] legal everywhere,” Jobe said. “States like Alabama won’t legalize it.”
Relatable to Kokesh and Wells, before I asked Jobe about the release of non-violent drug offenders, he had a bold response: “[non-violent drug offenders] need to be freed, it is the principle…a system of reparations needs to be put in place for these people, and I am not just talking about marijuana offenders, I am talking about all non-violent drug offenders…there needs to be some sort of new bureau to figure out if certain drug offenders should be released.”
Jobe thinks that the current system should not be jailing the drug user, it should be offering rehab as an option.
What ought to be done with the new taxes from marijuana?
“It should go toward what it needs to be allocated for,” Jobe said. “The taxes shouldn’t go towards any specific thing.”
We switched to the potential and actual health risks of marijuana.
“There is a large sense in the youth that nothing bad will happen if you take marijuana, and that is not true,” said Jobe. “Smoking anything is not good for your lungs. There is stuff in the cannabis that is not good for your body, but it won’t destroy your life, it is largely non-addictive. There are bad things—you can take a look at the medicinal aspects, which there are a lot of—my doctors are looking into CBD for me; medical marijuana is important. The way you consume it is also very important, I have read that edibles are the safest way to consume it.”
Is more research needed on marijuana?
“Marijuana being a Schedule 1 drug is very problematic because everyone wants to legalize it, but you can’t do research on it,” said Jobe. “The bare minimum is that there needs to be more research. Leaving it as a Schedule 1 is the worst thing the government can do.”
Would Jobe have an issue with marijuana being marketed like alcohol?
“No, as long as it is factual,” Jobe said.
What about marijuana in the public space?
“A concern is about driving under the influence…some people say that I drive better when I’m high, but if you look at the statistics, it does have an effect on how you drive and it can be dangerous driving while high,” said Jobe. “I think as long you are not acting intoxicated, it is OK tobe high in public.”
How high is too high?
“They have been developing a weed breathalyzer of sorts,” Jobe said. “But, I don’t have a quantitative answer on what that limit should be.”
Should drug use be normalized?
“I don’t think so, but the conversation needs to be changed from ‘oh god, I got caught using the drug, I’m going to prison,’ to ‘oh god, I’m using the drug and destroying my body,’” Jobe said. “The focus should be on them [the user] getting help.”
Finally, we spoke in regards to marijuana lobbies and corporations.
“If the laws allow for corporations to buy marijuana, of course they’ll get involved in legislation,” said Jobe. “That would happen with anything; yes, they will lobby. This is one of the arguments as to why we should legalize it because we don’t want this big corporate rule over cannabis, but I don’t really take that stance…I have a general problem with big business in general; I think corporations are running our country in a large way…these companies are just all about profit. Small business needs to be given a chance to thrive…I don’t want marijuana in the hands of big business. Keeping it out of the hands of Marlboro and Coca-Cola would be a good thing.”
La Resa Edwards
With bated breath, I waited for an email response from the self-proclaimed MESSIAH, La Resa Edwards. The response came from a representative of Edwards, stating that her schedule was busy; she would answer a questionnaire at a later time. So, I waited longer.
A month later, an email from “Humanity’s Only Peacemaker Leader” arrived with very large blue lettering in arial font. Attached to that email was a PDF file that is partially transcribed below. It is a call-and-response between me and Edwards, the single, African mother of three.
“Mr. Vills, A few tidbits to consider…although written in english, my words are translated from God’s unlimited number language, which tends to sound “insensitive.” But believe it or not, God specifically designs his information to cross all social barriers, which increases comprehension and ensures fact acceptance. So please don’t take offense to anything. Let’s begin.”
Do you think it is time to end the drug war, or is it a needed conflict?
“God sent me here to fulfill a few tasks, and one is teaching people how to comprehend reality,” said Edwards. “When most people comprehend reality, we are on our way to heaven (God’s future). In heaven, most people are intelligent. And intelligent people do not engage in exponential physical time decrease (war). Trust that the absence of metaphysicality has always been humanity’s only real problem.”
Would the federal legalization of marijuana help end or minimize the drug war?
“Never, please refer to previous question for clarity,” said Edwards.
Do you think ex-post-facto law should be enacted for non-violent drug offenders?
“Absolutely, or there should be a hell of a lot more people locked up,” Edwards said. “In other words, if a small drug distributor (criminal) is locked up, the great drug distributor (the federal government) must also be locked up.”
What is your position on medical marijuana research?
“Marijuana is timely (valuable) because it doesn’t need an entire earth-year to reproduce,” said Edwards. “So, not only should medical marijuana research be considered, it should be expanded to everyday use.”
Is the legalization of recreational marijuana a state issue?
“Why are there issues about marijuana?” Edwards inquired. “It’s a human right, and in heaven, every model citizen is responsible enough to manage their own limitations.”
Is marijuana a societal danger?
“No more than salt, sugar, alcohol, nicotine, etc,” said Edwards. “Always keep in mind: yesterday’s average hopelessly lost highly encourages (cultivates) stupid puny human weakness (Some People Have to Work). So, every substance is dangerous right now.”
Do you take a Libertarian approach to legalization and regulation of all drugs?
“Greater than likely, any legal and regulated “approach” to marijuana after July 2011 began with me,” said Edwards.
What is your position on decriminalization and legalization of recreational marijuana?
“Support my candidacy!” Edwards exclaimed. “And as God’s future president, I guarantee recreational marijuana will be legal, socially accepted, and all non-violent marijuana offers exonerated with possible federal support.”
Do you see a future of marijuana lobbies and interest groups in Congress?
“It’s retarded that special interest groups are legal…you know that right?” said Edwards. “All intelligent people know that taking money to harm citizens (the American Way) is really prostitution (clearly illegal and ass backward). Besides, let’s face it, if it’s a dirty whore, why trust it? Am I right? No lobbies exist in God’s future because money has nothing to do with forward. That being said, I absolutely see special interest groups in yesterday’s marijuana future. But be clear! Backwardness is due to undiagnosed brain diseases that have been pandemic for well over one million physical earth-years.”
What are the metaphysical properties of weed?
“For God’s future record, my mental capability allows me to frequent tomorrow before anyone else,” said Edwards. “Getting there first gives me time to think and know. So, always trust me (fit leader). Metaphysical properties exist outside. Physicality: explaining why countless unseen realities are yet to be discovered. For example, memory, instinct, and telepathy are all meta-physicalities (unseen). I personally vouch that not only does marijuana hold multiple beneficial physical properties, but also holds multiple beneficial metaphysical properties, one possibly being a way to help qualified hosts connect with God, amen.”
What is elemental force exchange and how does weed decrease it [Edwards’ own question]?
“David, my friend, time is all that ever matters; this question is by far your best,” Edwards said. “Every millisecond transports elements like carbon and oxygen throughout blueprint earth’s great unseen area. And every millisecond, plants and animals are supposed to contribute to the great carbon exchange (God’s signature). Unfortunately, the mental retardation of clearly unfit leaders allow widespread saturate of the unseen area where unprocessed elements don’t become free radicals accelerating various unseen realities. Marijuana naturally produces faster than trees and other plants. So, we have no other choice but to take a strong look at widespread marijuana cultivation as the fastest natural way to decrease high levels of radical carbon, possibly decreasing accelerated elemental force exchange and, theoretically, storms, earthquakes, nuclear threats and other human extinct factors. Praise God!”
Why did you take up smoking at 39 years old [Edwards’ own additional question]?
“I was introduced to marijuana as a small child,” said Edwards. “So, I don’t want you to think I was 39 [years old] when I first smoked. By ‘smoker,’ I mean someone who smokes every day. I was able to accomplish a few outstanding goals as a clean and sober adult. So, like most non-marijuana smokers, I used to view smokers as low lives or crackheads. But I dated a rich smoker after my divorce, and I found smoking marijuana every day is really pretty expensive. I was 39 when I finally moved from mid to ‘loud.’ The THC levels of loud enhance my realtime God connection, which is why I smoke every day.”
Edwards concluded by saying that she is preparing an unprecedented lawsuit against the United States Constitution and federal government.
“Accept that what you now know as reality is limited to the less than four-percent cognitive brain function of a stupid puny human,” Edwards said. “If you find it hard to trust my words, it’s only because you believe you know. Without me, your rapid death chance is 100-percent. Frequent Instagram, @bssplitter; Twitter, @bssplitter1; and peacemaker4pres.com to remain most current in God’s information.”
For unknowable reason, Edwards’ PDF file was all over the place: the font, capitalization, underlining, italics, and color of font kept changing. Claiming to be THE MESSIAH is both unusual and not inherently unique. Since Jesus Christ, people have claimed to be the Messiah.
What is unique, however, is the interviewed adding their own questions to the interview. Peace be with you, I guess.
David Vills is just another guy on the Internet who happens to be savvy at interacting with characters of all sorts. Vills is a writer, music producer, and video editor that spends his free time smoking weed while watching random content in order to appease the demons that control his mind. Vills’ favorite strain is Mango Kush, and he likes to smoke out of bowls; this is important information. He’s on Twitter@VillsDavid.