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Gary Johnson: A Libertarian candidate for American Presidential elections

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Gary Johnson. Image source Wikipedia
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A new participant in the race

  • Gary Johnson joins the elections with Clinton and Trump.
  • He served as the Republican governor of New Mexico
  • Johnson will have another former Republican governor, William Weld of Massachusetts, as his vice-presidential running mate.

May 302,106: Today, Libertarian Gary Johnson, won his party presidential nomination. His candidacy draws attention of Americans who have unfavorable opinions about the Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Recent polls show the 63-year-old Johnson, who served two terms as the Republican governor of the southwestern state of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003 before becoming a Libertarian, winning about 10 percent of the vote nationally against Trump and Clinton in a hypothetical three-way match in November’s national election.

Also at the Libertarian convention in Orlando, Florida Sunday, former Massachusetts governor William Weld was chosen to run as Johnson’s vice presidential candidate.

Third-party presidential candidates in the U.S. have not fared well in the quadrennial elections, often times fading when people get closer to making their decisions about whom they will vote for. If Johnson were to maintain his 10 percent level of support nationally, it is unlikely he would win any of the country’s 50 states.

But his vote total could affect the outcome in some individual states, especially since more than half of Americans in recent political surveys say they view both Trump, the brash billionaire real estate mogul, and Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of state, unfavorably. U.S. presidential elections are not decided by the national popular vote, but rather in state-by-state votes, with the biggest states holding the most importance in the outcome.

Gary Johnson for presidential election 2016. Image source Wikipedia
Gary Johnson for presidential election 2016. Image source Wikipedia

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson speaks to a delegate at the National Libertarian Party Convention, May 27, 2016, in Orlando, Florida.

Johnson’s candidacy comes at a time when many Americans say they are disenchanted with the national government, a view that fueled the surge of Trump, who has never held elective office, to the top of the crowded Republican field that included a host of current and former senators and governors. Johnson would have to reach 15 percent support nationally in five polls to be included in three presidential debates scheduled for the weeks leading up to the November 8 election.

In the U.S., Libertarians favor individual rights, challenging what they say is the “cult of the omnipotent state,” a view that could attract some voters to Johnson.

Johnson, as the Libertarian presidential candidate in 2012, won one percent of the vote when President Barack Obama won re-election to a second term over Republican Mitt Romney.

Libertarian adherents are holding their national convention in the southern city of Orlando, Florida, where Johnson wants the party to nominate another former Republican governor, William Weld of Massachusetts, as his vice-presidential running mate.

When Bill Clinton won the U.S. presidential elections twice, Ross Perot, a technological corporation executive, was the most serious third party presidential candidate. He won 19 and 8 percent of the national vote but no individual state.

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  • DanielTourtillott

    I’ll be voting against trump and hillary.
    Its time for real change and true representation.
    #feelthejohnson2016

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Drug Use Among Teens Down in The U.S. But Vaping Still On The Rise

The vaping explosion is a big worry, however. Health officials say nicotine is harmful to developing brains.

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In this April 11, 2018, photo, an unidentified 15-year-old high school student uses a vaping device near the school's campus in Cambridge, Mass. Health and education officials across the country are raising alarms over wide underage use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. The devices heat liquid into an inhalable vapor that's sold in sugary flavors like mango and mint — and often with the addictive drug nicotine. VOA

Twice as many high school students used nicotine-tinged electronic cigarettes this year compared with last year, an unprecedented jump in a large annual survey of teen smoking, drinking and drug use.

It was the largest single-year increase in the survey’s 44-year history, far surpassing a mid-1970s surge in marijuana smoking.

The findings, released Monday, echo those of a government survey earlier this year. That survey also found a dramatic rise in vaping among children and prompted federal regulators to press for measures that make it harder for kids to get them.

Experts attribute the jump to newer versions of e-cigarettes, like those by Juul Labs Inc. that resemble computer flash drives and can be used discreetly.

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Customers puff on e-cigarettes at the Henley Vaporium in New York City. VOA

Trina Hale, a junior at South Charleston High School in West Virginia, said vaping — specifically Juul — exploded at her school this year.

“They can put it in their sleeve or their pocket. They can do it wherever, whenever. They can do it in class if they’re sneaky about it,” she said.

Olivia Turman, a freshman at Cabell Midland High School in Ona, West Virginia, said she too has seen kids “hit their vape in class.”

The federally funded survey released Monday is conducted by University of Michigan researchers and has been operating since 1975. This year’s findings are based on responses from about 45,000 students in grades 8, 10 and 12 in schools across the country. It found 1 in 5 high school seniors reported having vaped nicotine in the previous month.

After vaping and alcohol, the most common thing teens use is marijuana, the survey found. About 1 in 4 students said they’d used marijuana at least once in the past year. It was more common in older kids — about 1 in 17 high school seniors said they use marijuana every day.

Vaping, teeth,e-cigarette, cigarettes
Nicotine vaping on rise among US teenagers: Survey. Pixabay

Overall, marijuana smoking is about the same level as it was the past few years. Vaping of marijuana rose, however.

More teens, however, are saying no to lots of other substances. Usage of alcohol, cigarettes, cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, heroin and opioid pills all declined.

Experts say it’s not clear what’s behind those trends, especially since the nation is in the midst of the deadliest drug overdose epidemic ever.

“What is it that we’re doing right with teenagers that we’re not doing with adults?” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a federal agency that funds the Michigan study.

One leading theory is that kids today are staying home and communicating on smartphones rather than hanging out and smoking, drinking or trying drugs.

Vaping, teeth,e-cigarette, cigarettes
In this Feb. 20, 2014 file photo, a customer exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at a store in New York. A growing number of e-cigarette and vaporizer sellers have started offering college scholarships as a way to get their brands listed on university websites. VOA

“Drug experimentation is a group activity,” Volkow said.

What about vaping? “Vaping mostly is an individual activity,” said David Jernigan, a Boston University researcher who tracks alcohol use.

The vaping explosion is a big worry, however. Health officials say nicotine is harmful to developing brains. Some researchers also believe vaping will make kids more likely to take up cigarettes, and perhaps later try other drugs.

Also Read: New Survey Shows Rise of Nicotine Vaping Among US Teenagers

So far that hasn’t happened, surveys show. But the Juul phenomenon is recent, noted Richard Miech, who oversees the Michigan survey.

If vaping does lead to cigarette use among teens, that may start to show up in the survey as early as next year, he added. (VOA)