Short Answer: John Kerry
Long Answer: If you like the job George W. Bush is doing as President, you should go ahead and vote for him. But if you ask HIGH TIMES, that's a bad idea. We think he lied about Iraq being a war of last resort, and that's too big a lie to let pass. Now, maybe you have faith in the President, and don't think he would lie about a war. Fair enough. But first, stop and think about America's other war, the one we're fighting (and losing) in Colombia, the one that targets and arrests cancer patients at gunpoint, the one that's filling our for-profit prisons, the one that's denying first-offense non-violent pot smokers college loans, the one we know to be nothing but a big lie, a lie that's grown bigger and bigger since Nixon first told it as part of his election campaign in 1968: The War on Drugs.
Let's say it plain: The War on Drugs is bullshit. And, to borrow a cliche, now more than ever the War on Drugs is bullshit. Every dollar the Bush administration has spent on television ads blaming pot smokers for 9/11, or paying Tommy Chong's rent, is one less dollar spent to secure a port, put body armor on a soldier, or hunt down Osama Bin Laden. This seems obvious, until you remember that the Drug War is not about reality, and it's not about winning. Everyone knows it can't be won, but it can continually sustain the Drug Warriors, people like Bush's Drug Czar John Walters, who consistently claims that marijuana is more dangerous than heroin.
In the 1980's, John Kerry exposed the hypocrisy of these Drug Warriors. While serving on the Senate's Foreign Relations Commission, he headed an investigation that turned up extensive evidence of drug deals involving the CIA and the Contra rebels in Nicaragua, evidence that pointed directly to the drugs-for-arms-for-hostages scheme at the heart of the Iran Contra Scandal. Kerry wasn't afraid to take on the dirty dealers who run our nation's corrupt Drug War, just as he took on the corrupt masters of war in the Pentagon after returning from duty in Vietnam.
And in the other corner, wearing the red trunks, we have GWB, who took the easy way out of 'Nam, supporting the war he would let someone else fight (with a little help from Daddy's friends). After securing W. a spot in the "champagne unit" of the Texas National Guard, Bush's father would go on to head the CIA during its freewheeling 70's days of military coups and international narcotics dealing, and was promoted to Vice President by the time the agency's Contra connection was exposed by John Kerry.
Meanwhile, Bush Jr. spent the first half of the 80's getting wasted (perhaps on some of his father's Contra coke), and the second half letting Daddy's rich friends bail him out of failed businesses, and make him managing general partner of the Texas Rangers. Now he's our President. Last year, 700,000 people were arrested for pot in the United States, and Bush's Justice Department continued to raid state-sanctioned medical marijuana gardens at gunpoint.
John Kerry has promised to end the raids on medical marijuana gardens, immediately, and will have a policy towards marijuana and other drugs that makes sense. The alternative, four more years of Bush, is a continuing disaster for the rights of pot smokers (and many other Americans). But don't take our word for it:
KERRY'S MARIJUANA EXPERIMENT
The Democratic presidential nominee speaks out in support of a groundbreaking proposal from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to grow marijuana for FDA-approved medical-marijuana research.
"I've met plenty of people in my lifetime who've used marijuana...about the same amount as some people drink beer or wine or have a cocktail. I don't get too excited by any of that."
John Kerry to Rolling Stone, September 2003
"There is no question that marijuana reform policies would be better served with someone else in office other than George Bush."
Keith Stroup, former director of NORML
"When it comes to the drug war, the Bush administration is a disaster."
Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance
"Kerry would stop the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raids on seriously ill medical marijuana patients as president. Kerry has previously said he favors federal legislation to allow people with cancer, AIDS, and other serious illnesses to have medical marijuana, with their doctors' approval.
Marijuana Policy Project, who graded Kerry A- on marijuana policy
"As a Senator, Kerry has been supportive of statewide medical marijuana reform efforts in his home state of Massachusetts. He praised legislation approved by the Massachusetts legislature in 1996 that sought to establish a medicinal marijuana therapeutic research program, and most recently, he wrote a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in support of a University of Massachusetts Amherst proposal to manufacture marijuana for FDA-approved medical marijuana research."
"When you look at what's happening on the front lines of the drug war under the Bush administration, the federal government has waged war against sick and dying people who use medical marijuana and those compassionate enough to help them. We need to unite and get George Bush out of office. We need to vote for John Kerry."
Dominic Holden , Seattle Hempfest