President Fords wife even stated that she might have tried marijuana herself had it been around during her younger days. Rosalynn Carter also spoke publicly about all 3 of her sons use of marijuana. Two years before the 1976 election Betty Ford had already discussed her children's use of Marijuana and the need to reform the nations harsh Marijuana penalties. These two women would be the last presidents wives ever to discuss the Marijuana topic in such an open manner.
Once President Carter lost the election in 1980 any chance of reform left with him sadly we have been unable to discuss this topic in an adult fashion mainly due to Ronald and Nancy Reagan initiating an hysterical drug warrior climate that still exists 19 years after the Reagan's left Washington DC for good.
During the 1960's when Ronald Reagan was California's Governor he popularized the image of marijuana users as draft dodging pro-communist Vietnam war protesters. He also claimed that long haired communists were using drugs to promote college campus unrest. When Reagan unsuccessfully ran against Gerald Ford during the 1976 GOP primary he declared that drug use itself was a communist plot. This mindless venom was used again in 1980 unfortunately they were successful this time and the Reagan's turned any chance for marijuana reform back 30 years(so far)with their Drug Warrior hate filled policy of zero tolerance, no-knock warrants, urine tests, mandatory minimum prison sentences , and 30% of the worlds prisoners they have truly made our country a Gulag nation.
A Partnership for a Drug-Free America ad said that anyone who buys marijuana is responsible for murders of police. By characterizing drug users as murderers, drug warriors promote a public climate that will tolerate any level of harshness against users. Even courts are affected by such rhetoric: "It is fair to conclude from federal sentencing trends of the past twenty years that where drug law violations were formerly treated in district courts like property crimes they are now treated like violent crimes."
President Ronald Reagan and his spouse Nancy Reagan announced that drug users were threatening America. As the perceived threat from communism dwindled, the president pumped up the perceived threat from drug users to justify authoritarian governmental actions that had earlier been justified as a response to the communist threat. Nancy Reagan declared, "If you're a casual drug user, you're an accomplice to murder." President Reagan called drugs "blood pollutants" and vowed, "We won't let people who are poisoning the blood of our children to get away with it."
Drug Warriors and Their Prey: From Police Power to Police State
Richard Lawrence Miller 1996
1976 was the first election that I was old enough to vote in and although I had registered Democrat I nearly voted for Gerald Ford. Afterall President Ford was pro-choice , pro-labor, and pro-equal rights furthermore he also wanted to decriminalize marijuana and cut military defense spending. I'm glad I wound up voting for Jimmy Carter and to this day I have never even considered voting for a Republican candidate for anything but I will say this much for Gerald Ford he was the only GOP president that I wouldn't have been ashamed to have voted for.
Intellectual honesty still existed in the Moderate Republican administration of Gerald Ford during the mid 1970's. I would imagine that he sure must have been horrified going to his grave last year seeing his party destroyed from within by religious fanatics and war mongering Neo-Con Fascists both of which are Reagan's true legacy which is the godfather of American Fascism. The tragedy that has surrounded the marijuana issue might have been averted if the moderate wing of the GOP hadn't lost control to the extreme wing nuts.
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