Pubdate: Fri, 08 Sep 2000
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 2000 Associated Press


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) -- Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader on 
Friday advocated the legalization of marijuana as part of an overhaul of 
the nation's "self-defeating and antiquated drug laws."

Nader joined with New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a Republican, in 
criticizing the nation's "war on drugs" as a failed policy for fighting 
drug use.

"Addiction should never be treated as a crime. It has to be treated as a 
health problem," Nader said at a news conference where he was flanked by 
the GOP governor.

"We do not send alcoholics to jail in this country. We do not send nicotine 
users to jail in this country. Over 500,000 people are in our jails who are 
non-violent drug users."

Nader -- like Johnson -- supports lifting criminal sanctions for marijuana 
possession. For other drugs, such as heroin, he advocated "harm reduction" 
programs, such as methadone maintenance and needle exchanges, that focus on 
treatment of addiction and prevention of health problems from drug use.

Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush oppose legalizing marijuana, 
according to their campaign spokesmen.
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