Newt: George Washington Would Violently Punish Pot Smokers

By Luke Walker 01/04/12

Republican candidate Newt Gingrich reiterates his hardline drug views in the wake of Iowa.

Newt Gingrich.jpg
A violent nemesis for drug-users? Photo via

2012 presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich further clarified his ultra-hardline soft drug views today. During a news conference after his embarrassing Iowa defeat, he was pressed on three separate occasions about his drug policies, including his views on the failing drug war and on federal drug laws and their relation to state sovereignty. Gingrich repeatedly reiterated his stance of having zero interest in exploring drug legalization or decriminalization of any kind. It would seem he still favors the mass execution approach to drug offenses. When asked by a resident of New Hampshire, the next primary state, how he thought the founding fathers would respond to marijuana use, Gingrich replied, "I think Jefferson or George Washington would have rather strongly discouraged you from growing marijuana and their techniques with dealing with it would have been rather more violent than our current government." That's the renowned hemp grower George Washington, right? In response to one question Gingrich did soften his position slightly, suggesting that prevention might also be a practical alternative to capital punishment: "I think the best thing is to get young people not to do drugs and then you won't be dealing with criminals that you just described."

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