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Pot Shots 

Trail Mix: Marijuana as a campaign issue, and Spokane gets a debate

click to enlarge Can Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson benefit from the #NeverTrumps?
  • Can Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson benefit from the #NeverTrumps?

'Makes People Stupid'

Mitt Romney, the Republican Party's 2012 presidential standard-bearer, has made it clear that he can never support DONALD TRUMP, his party's presumptive nominee for president, as a result of the real estate mogul's business practices and inflammatory remarks. Romney, who has actively sought to recruit an independent challenger to Trump, has made it clear that one candidate who seems like a natural alternative for disaffected Republicans might be a no-go because of a difference of opinion regarding marijuana.

GARY JOHNSON is a former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico who has secured the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination. He's consistently called for reducing the size of government and is polling relatively well.

But in an interview on CNN, Romney said he needed to get to know Johnson better before he could support him. In particular, Romney said he was uncomfortable with Johnson's support for legalizing pot, saying "marijuana makes people stupid."

"As someone who has used marijuana, I do not agree with that," responded Johnson in a separate interview on CNN. In the interview, Johnson pointed out that there has not been a single documented death from medical marijuana, which he said competes with potentially lethal prescription painkillers. He also argued that legalizing marijuana will lead to less substance abuse. (JAKE THOMAS)

Debate in Spokane

BILL BRYANT, a former Seattle port commissioner and current Republican candidate for governor, has insisted on not taking a stance on DONALD TRUMP's candidacy. Instead, Bryant has repeated that he wants to focus on the issues as he tries to unseat Gov. JAY INSLEE.

In August, Bryant and Inslee will finally have a chance to discuss important issues in Washington. The two have agreed on a debate set for Aug. 17 in Spokane.

Bryant has criticized Inslee's leadership in allowing the state Department of Corrections to commit an error that released prisoners early. He's also blamed Inslee for mishandling Western State Hospital, for traffic jams and — because Bryant is a charter school advocate — for not signing a bill to save charter schools, even though Inslee's inaction allowed the bill to become law anyway.

But Bryant appears to be fighting an uphill battle. Inslee, seeking a second term, has raised more than three times the money that Bryant has. According to an April Elway Poll, 48 percent of Washington voters surveyed preferred Inslee, while 36 percent supported Bryant. (WILSON CRISCIONE)

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