Marco Rubio takes the (political) 5th on whether he toked up

Poor Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Having been for the immigration bill before he was against it, the putative presidential candidate will not say whether he inhaled, exhaled or took a pass on smoking pot.

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This is funny and sad. When I first received my security clearance and had the usual interview, I was asked the marijuana question and said "sure, when I was in school, I toked a few" (and inhaled and exhaled). I asked the agent who asked the question whether that would rule me out. He laughed and said "everyone in school with you smoked pot, so if you denied it, that would have raised suspicions."

Now here comes Rubio, the information about whether he toked, smoked and smiled is classified as top secret. If bogarting a joint means holding it so long that nobody else can toke up, Rubio will try to bogart this answer so long that people will stop asking the question. That won't work. Just fess up, Sen. Rubio, and tell us the answer. What are you afraid of? Voters will not reject you because you admit you toked up once upon a time, and they will not reject you if you were the only kid in class who took a pass on pot.

But they might reject you because your latest position on immigration is different from your first position on immigration, and both are probably different than your next position on immigration. Politicians should trust voters to have the maturity to not vote for or against a candidate because he or she smoked pot, or did not smoke pot, as a youth.

My own view is that pot should be totally legalized, up to an ounce, and taxed. Don't you think we would pass debt-ceiling legislation much faster if the Senate majority leader and Speaker of the House were sitting with the president smoking a joint as they negotiated?

I can imagine it: "Barack, you are bogarting, pass it over."

"Harry, please don't blow smoke in my face!"

"John, take another hit, and give me a little tax increase."

Sounds like a better plan than what they've been doing in recent years, right? As for Rubio, come on, if he ain't tough enough to answer the pot question, how is he gonna deal with Vladimir Putin? 

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at brentbbi@webtv.net.

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