Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich, born Newton Leroy McPherson (June 17, 1943) is an American politician, historian, author and political consultant. He represented Georgia's 6th congressional district as a Republican from 1979 until his resignation in 1999, and served as the 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. Gingrich was a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination.
In 1982, Gingrich wrote a letter supporting medical marijuana, a position he later abandoned. While serving in Congress, Gingrich introduced H.R. 4170, the Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996. The legislation would have required a court to sentence a first time drug importer to life in prison or a multiple-time offender to death.
In a November 2011 interview, Gingrich reaffirmed his support for giving the death penalty to some drug smugglers, such as cartel leaders, and said "we need to think through a strategy that makes it radically less likely that we're going to have drugs in this country". He commented that places with "very draconian" drug policies like Singapore have been the most successful at doing that.
- "Newt Gingrich's Letter Supporting Medical Marijuana". National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. January 26, 2012.
- H.R. 4170 (104th): Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996, GovTrack.us
- Newt Gingrich on drug laws (November 28, 2011), Yahoo