Former New Mexico Gov. Gary JohnsonGary Earl JohnsonBiden broadened Democratic base, cut into Trump coalition: study New Mexico lawmakers send recreational marijuana bills to governor Judge throws out murder convictions, releases men jailed for 24 years MORE forcefully defended marijuana legalization Thursday afternoon at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
He decried the stigma attached to being arrested for a drug offense.
"It’s the arrest, it’s the incarceration. It’s personal responsibility, it’s individual freedom. Let me make decisions," he said loudly.
He also compared the prohibition on marijuana to banning other substances that he said were not harmful to society at large.
He noted that he has celiac disease — which means he cannot eat wheat — but said that that wouldn't justify prohibiting wheat consumption.
"It is poison, it is," he said. "But should it be against the law?"
Johnson made the comments the same day that the District of Columbia legalized possession of up to two ounces of the drug.