Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official McConnell faces conservative backlash over Trump criticism MORE (R-Ky.) hinted to a local Kentucky television news station that he smoked marijuana in college.

Paul made the admission as part of an attempt to show that as he pushes to loosen penalties for drug offenses, he still thinks drug use should be discouraged, especially among youth.


“I think [drugs] are not a good idea,” Paul told WHAS Friday in a wide-ranging interview.

“ I think marijuana is a problem for our kids and I think it's a mistake for kids to be smoking even marijuana. Even though it may not kill you I don't think it's good for you,” he said.

Pressed on the issue of his own drug history, Paul appeared to acknowledge drug use, four years after avoiding questions on it.

“Let's just say I wasn’t a choir boy when I was in college,” Paul said, “and that I can recognize that kids make mistakes, and I can say that I made mistakes when I was a kid.”

Paul, who is considering whether to run for president in 2016, was quick to point out that the last three presidents have admitted to smoking marijuana, WHAS said.

Paul said he wants policies to strike a better balance between punishing drug users for doing something that is clearly harmful and overstating the problem.

He has teamed up with Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) to push legislation to reform drug sentencing to be more fair.

For example, Paul singled out mandatory minimum sentencing as a common problem.

“If your kid was caught selling marijuana or growing enough that it's a felony conviction, they could be in jail for an extended period of time, they also lose their ability to be employable,” Paul told the TV station. “So I want to change all of that. I want to lessen the criminal penalties on it.”