Newt Gingrich proposed the death penalty for marijuana in 1997, and yet he is one of the 100 million Americans who have smoked marijuana.
Over the weekend, struggling Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson reminded MSNBC viewers that GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich had once to called to punish some drug offenders with death.
“Newt Gingrich, in 1997, proposed the death penalty for marijuana — for possession of marijuana above a certain quantity of marijuana,” Johnson explained. “And yet, he is among 100 million Americans who’ve smoked marijuana.”
“I would love to have a discussion with him on the fact that he smoked pot, and under the wrong set of circumstance he proposed the death penalty for, potentially, something that he had committed. I have troubles with that,” he added.
Johnson, a former New Mexico governor who has advocated for marijuana legalization since 1999, is at least partially correct about Gingrich’s position.
As Speaker of the House, Gingrich introduced the “Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996.”
The bill would have required a “sentence of death for certain importations of significant quantities of controlled substances.” It would have applied to anyone convicted more than once of carrying 100 doses — or about two ounces — or marijuana across the border. Defendants would have had a window of 18 months to file their one and only appeal.
- GOP Presidential Candidate Levels Hypocrisy Charge At Newt Gingrich (huffingtonpost.com)
- “Newt Gingrich A Hypocrite For Supporting Death Penalty For Marijuana Smugglers, Gary Johnson Says” (sentencing.typepad.com)
- Gary Johnson: Newt Gingrich Supported Death Penalty For Marijuana Even Though He ‘Smokes Marijuana’ (mediaite.com)
- Our Obsession With LiLo Is Helping Newt (newser.com)
- Former Marijuana User Newt Gingrich Proposed the Death Penalty for Trafficking Marijuana in 1996 (slog.thestranger.com)
- Gingrich Rips U of Iowa Hecklers as ‘1%’ (newser.com)
- Late Night FDL: Newt Goes from Smoking Weed to “Smoke ‘Em All!” (lafiga.firedoglake.com)
- National Review : GOP Will ‘Blow It’ With Newt (newser.com)