Rubio won't say if he has tried marijuana

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) would not say Monday whether he has ever tried marijuana, claiming “at this point it’s irrelevant.”

The potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate said he could not win by answering that question.  

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“If I tell you that I haven’t, you won’t believe me. And if I tell you that I did, then kids will look up to me and say, ‘Well, I can smoke marijuana because look how he made it. He did alright so I guess I can do it too,’” Rubio said during a question and answer after unveiling a number of education reform proposals in Florida. 

 “And the bottom line is that it is a substance that alters your mind. Now when I was 17 and 18 and 16, I made dumb decisions as is. I didn’t need the help of marijuana or alcohol to further that.”

Getting caught using drugs as a teenager can follow someone throughout life, Rubio said.

He said employers would not always disregard a drug conviction or arrest as a youthful indiscretion. It can also affect some people’s ability to get a law license, he said. 

“That’s the problem with that question,” he said. “So the answer to your question is, at this point it’s irrelevant.” 

Rubio recently injected himself into the marijuana legalization debate when he asserted it was hypocritical for Democrats to applaud CVS’s decision to stop selling cigarettes while at the same time supporting policies that make it easier to obtain the drug.

“Many of the same people applauding #CVS for not selling tobacco are ok with making it easier to buy and smoke pot. #makesnosense,” Rubio tweeted last week. 

President Obama has admitted to using marijuana in his youth. He recently called smoking marijuana a “bad habit and a vice” and compared it to smoking cigarettes. 

Former President Bill Clinton famously said he tried it but did not like it nor did he inhale.

Rubio has been an opponent of legalization but has expressed openness to a Florida state ballot initiative to legalize the use of the drug for medical purposes.