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    Posted May 14, 2012 by
    San Diego, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Election 2012: Your stories

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    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Longtime Democrat and former Obama supporter gailpowell shot these pictures of a March 4 rally for GOP presidential contender Ron Paul at the University of California, San Diego. She explained her inner struggle to change parties and back Paul: 'I like that Ron Paul tells the feds to let the states decide about medical marijuana. Yes, I still support him now that he is no longer campaigning. I will always be for him, on principle.'
    - jmsaba, CNN iReport producer

    I haven't yet voted in a caucus or a primary but I'm about to switch my party preference from Democrat to Republican just so I can vote for Ron Paul in the Presidential primary.

    This is something I do not take lightly. My mother-a dyed-in-the-wool political activist & Democrat would not approve of this! But I attended the Ron Paul Town Hall meeting at the UCSD campus this past Friday, May 4th & I know in my heart that it is the right thing to do.

    My son & I went up to the beautiful La Jolla campus because we wanted to see & hear for ourselves exactly what the Ron Paul Revolution is all about. My 18-year old is not particularly political but he once worked at the campus bookstore & wanted to say hi to some friends. I used that pretext to bring him along for some political enlightenment a la Ron Paul.

    First of all, the eggheads & computer nerds that attend UCSD (not a diss, but a fact--I am an alumni of Muir College.) were all out in force at this function that took place on expansive Warren Mall. The San Diego Union/Tribune said that 3500 attended but the Youth for Ron Paul organizers who put the event together told me they estimated 6000 showed up.

    Whatever the number, Ron Paul gave his standard one hour stump speech, speaking without notes. It was impressive to hear him speak in person & Paul noted that he has received a lot of support from college students & on campuses around the nation.

    While my son & I got lost in his rant about the Federal Reserve and paper money, we did get that the USA should not be living beyond it's means & relying on deficit spending. Sound money just makes sense.

    Paul got himself a large round of applause when he decried the DEA throwing a UCSD student into jail & then forgetting about him for 5 days! Shameful! I know that the campus has been traumatized by that action & additionally, the Texas doctor criticized the War on Drugs too! Amid admiring cries of "President Paul," he railed against the "the war on drugs (as) much more dangerous to our liberties than the drugs themselves."
    As for medical marijuana, Ron Paul wants the feds to stop messing with what he calls "a state's rights issue." This is music to the ears of medical marijuana proponents such as myself, since we believe that the regulation of this herb is not something the federal government should be busying itself with.

    I loved Ron Paul's stance on foreign policy. He is against war & wants to stop America from being the aggressor overseas. Paul declared that we alienate the world with our aggressive behavior & endorsed a foreign policy based on "not bombs & intimidation but friendship & trade." He said it's time to eliminate the sanctions against Cuba because "the Cold War is over."

    In order to vote for this great patriot, I need to change my political party registration by late May since the California Presidential primary will only allow a selection of candidates from your party designation.

    Not a problem. The Texas congressman,is the only Republican still challenging part-time La Jolla, beach-dwelling resident Mitt Romney--the expected GOP presidential nominee. Ron Paul was on a California tour that took him to UC Davis (near Sacramento) and Cal State Fullerton, (near Los Angeles) before his UC San Diego appearance.

    Paul attracts a young, loyal, libertarian-oriented following. He has been termed our modern-day "bargain-basement Jefferson" by pundits who may not realize the depth of devotion many intelligent young people have towards the iconic Texan.

    Even if he hasn't a chance of winning the Republican nomination, support & votes for him in the primary elections will cause the Republicans at their summer convention to defer to Paul. Perhaps some of the Ron Paul notions that many Republicans consider so audacious, like Paul's call to "End the Fed" & repeal the Federal Reserve Act might not make the platform. But his calls for peace & an end to a belligerent foreign policy should hopefully attract bipartisan support.
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