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article imageGary Johnson fakes a heart attack at CPAC

By Alex Allen     Mar 1, 2015 in Politics
During a panel discussion at CPAC, 2012 presidential candidate Gary Johnson faked a heart attack to counter an argument about marijuana creating a higher risk for heart attacks.
This year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was held last week and one could certainly conclude that there's a strong libertarian movement among conservatives and Republican Party members. With the libertarian-leaning Rand Paul winning the event's presidential straw poll for the third year in a row and several social issues that have previously gone unmentioned among most conservatives being brought up for discussion, it's clear to see that the Republicans and conservatives are looking to change things up a bit, especially with the 2016 presidential election just around the corner.
One of the issues that conservatives and Republicans seem to be changing their views on this year is marijuana. While conservatives have, for the most part, been against marijuana in the past, a poll from this year's CPAC shows 26 percent supporting, at the very least, the legalization of medicinal marijuana and an astonishing 41 percent in favor of legalizing pot for recreational use.
There were, of course, still some at the event who are against legalizing marijuana, however. Among these strong social conservatives was Anne Marie Buerkle, commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. During a panel discussion, Buerkle was suggesting that marijuana leads to a higher chance for heart attacks. Just as Buerkle made her point, Gary Johnson, a former New Mexico governor and 2012 Libertarian presidential candidate who was also on the panel, grabbed his chest, fell to the ground and began faking a heart attack.
While he got a few laughs from the crowd, Buerkle wasn't too impressed. "You know, I think the governor has had great fun with his humor, but it isn't funny that we're putting our kids and the future of this country at risk," she said. She continued by saying that it wan't funny and that it's something "we as Americans have to pay attention to."
Johnson has undoubtedly been somewhat of a "black sheep" among conservatives in recent years. He briefly ran in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries before deciding to leave the party and run as a Libertarian. This year, he has been very critical of Rand Paul, who is often considered to be a libertarian-leaning conservative. He recently mentioned that Paul is not a libertarian on many fronts, including abortion, immigration, marriage equality and marijuana. Of course, he also adds that Paul is likely the closest thing to a libertarian that could potentially win the Republican nomination in 2016.
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