The following interview was conducted by Phil Defer, a French student who has been interviewing US presidential candidates for his forum.
1. Could you introduce yourself in a few sentences ? ‘
I am a leader for medical rights here in the USA and I have written two books on drug policy reform.
2. How was your political engagement born ?
I helped write and pass California’s historic medical marijuana law and then was arrested for passing a law the police did not like.
3. What personal way drove you to compete for the presidency of the United States ?
The sorry legacy of George W. Bush.
4. Can you tell me some key points about your program, the main ideas ?
I am a one issue candidate who believes this is no more about Marijuana than the Boston Tea Party was about Tea. Our struggle today is for true liberty from tyrannical governments.
5. How do you view the upcoming campaign, can you give us some elements about what it represents in term of hardships, opportunities… in the US system, and what about your strategy ?
This election is a complete mess with anything as a possible outcome.
6. Political fiction : It’s January, the 20th, 2009. You have just been elected president ! What are your first steps, your priorities ?
My first step, within minutes of being sworn in as President, would be to issue Executive Order 13420 which would immediately defund the DEA and all laws against marijuana.
7. What are America’s biggest internal problems today, and what are your answers ?
America is saddled with an illegal, unconstitutional, power-hungry oligarchy of thugs.
8. Same question for America’s external problems.
9. More specifically, what do you think should be done on Iraq and national security ?
10. What about environment ?
Allow private citizens to sue giant corporations when their pollution enters your land or body.
11. What about your political (institutions), social, economic and societal (civil rights, abortion, homosexuality…) positions ?
I support free choice and a policy of non-intervention by the government.
12. What should be America’s relationship with the rest of the international community ?
America needs to learn some manners and respect for it’s neighbors, especially the French, because of all they did to help us achieve our independence for Britain.
13. Political fiction, again. You’re at the White House. Iran just acquired nuclear weapons, with abilities to launch them to Europe’s doors. It now threatens to launch one on Tel-Aviv if the Israelis don’t evacuate the territory under 48 hours. As the Commander in Chief, what do you do ?
Let Israel defend herself. With over 200 nukes, Israel does not need intervention by the USA.
14. What assessment do you make of George W. Bush’s presidency, and on which points will you be inspired or distance yourself from him ?
George W. Bush’s presidency is the lowest point that America has ever sunk to and both Bush and Cheney should be impeached.
15. Could you tell me about you day of September the 11th, 2001 ?
My biggest fear at the time was that the US government was involved in 9/11 and would use the attack to gut civil rights and the rule of law. I regret that my initial assessment has proven to be correct.
16. What are, according to you, the 21st century’s greatest stakes, and how to face them ?
Our steady loss of liberty and civil rights is what worries me the most.
17. We were all marked by historical events. What are yours ?
All of us suffer from the continuing consequences of a Drug War that cannot be won and only helps the bad guys.
18. What is your “vision of America” ?
My vision, like other Libertarians, is to secure real liberty through limiting government and allowing the free market and private citizens to run society.
19. Since I’m French, how do you view this nation, this country, what do we inspire to you, notably our new president Sarkozy ?
Americans are largely ignorant of the glorious history of France or the bravery of the French underground in the face of Nazi occupation. My own view of France is that it is one of the most anti-cannabis countries in Europe and so I have always avoided traveling there. I don’t see that Sarkozy has any intention of changing that.
20. More specifically, what did you think when President Chirac strongly opposed Bush on the issue of the war in Iraq ?
I have gained enormous respect for Chirac’s courageous and inspired leadership.
21. Which historical presidents, persons, dead or living, inspire you the most today ?
22. In private, what do you like to do ?
I took some time off a few years ago to ski nearly 2 million vertical feet. That’s pushing hard all day for over a hundred days, in conditions varying from blizzards to minus 28 below, I managed to ski some of Canada’s steepest terrain, without a single injury or serious fall.
23. Do you have a motto in live, and if yes what is it ?
Go big, or go home.
24. Finally, why YOU more than another one at the presidency ? Please give this interview’s readers an infallible argument.
I am the only candidate for President who has a proven track record of helping to write and pass pro-freedom legislation. I even went to jail after passing the new law to uphold patient’s rights that were recognized by our new law.
25. Free question, if you want to add anything…
My apologies to our French friends for the crude and uncivilized behavior of our president and government. America can and will be a civilized place again, once we put all the Neo-cons out to pasture and lock up the thugs from the Bush administration.
UPDATE: PaulieCannoli, from whose page I got the interview, stated the following in comments: “Whoops! This is a preliminary version of the answers and is being redone. I was not aware of that at the time when I posted this on my blog. I will publish an updated version when it has been finalized and made available. This turned out to be a preliminary version and I should not have published it, especially ahead of the interviewer. I was unaware that it was an unfinished product. The final version will go into more detail, and correct some possible wrong impressions based on overly hasty preliminary answers.”