International Cannabis Business Conference

Marco Rubio on Why He Opposes Marijuana Legalization

Rubio on Pot: "I don’t think there’s a responsible way to recreationally use marijuana."

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tends to repeat himself. In 2014, he said," I don't think there's a responsible way to recreationally use marijuana." Two weeks ago he said virtually the same thing: "There is no responsible way to smoke marijuana repeatedly. There’s nothing good about it."

If you parse the latter statement, there's one word that's different: "repeatedly." So now, in Rubio's view, there may be a responsible way to use marijuana as long as you don't do it "repeatedly"? He continued:

'There’s no positive impact to using marijuana. Now, if there’s a medicinal use – if you can go to the FDA and prove that it helps with medicine, that’s fine. Then turn it into medicine.'

It already is, in 23 states. In fact, Florida will be voting on whether to legalize medical cannabis in November. Don't expect the Republican presidential candidate to support it.

Rubio won't divulge if he ever smoked marijuana. When asked that question by ABC's Jonathan Karl, Rubio was predictably evasive:

'Here's the problem with that question in American politics: If you say that you did, then suddenly there are people out there saying, "Well, it's not a big deal. Look at all these successful people who did it." I don't want my kids to smoke marijuana and I don't want other peoples' kids to smoke marijuana. I don't think there's a responsible way to recreationally use marijuana. On the other side of it, if you tell people that you didn't, they won't believe you."

"If you didn't, you can just say that you didn't," Karl followed up.

'I understand it's a question that people think they need to ask, but the bottom line is I don't think people should smoke marijuana. Marijuana is illegal under federal law. That should be enforced. I understand that states have decided to legalize possession under state law, but the trafficking and the sale of these products is a federal crime.'

"Right now that's not being enforced," Karl countered, at which point, Rubio went into full anti-drug mode:

'Look, we live in a country that already has problems with substance abuse, ok? We already see the impact that alcoholism is having on families, on drunk driving, on all sorts of things. And now we're going to add one more substance that people can use? And here's the other argument: When something is legal, implicitly what you're saying is it can't be all that bad. If it's legal it can't be bad for you. The bottom line is I believe that adding yet another mind-altering substance to something that's legal is not good for the country. I understand there are people that have different views on this, but I feel strongly about this.'

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.