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Bill Clinton encourages states to ‘experiment’ with marijuana legalization

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A self-admitted marijuana dabbler himself, former President Bill Clinton on Sunday encouraged states to 'experiment' with legalizing marijuana, though he thinks the federal government should stay out of the issue.

"I think we should leave it to the states," Mr. Clinton said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," according to Yahoo News. "If the state wants to try it, they can. And then they'll be able to see what happens."

He also said that there's "a lot of evidence" supporting the medicinal use of marijuana, though he admitted there are still many questions on the drug and legalization yet to be answered. 

"This really is a time when there should be laboratories of democracy, because nobody really knows where this is going. Are there adequate quality controls? There's pot and there's 'pot'; what's in it? What's going to happen? There are all these questions," he said on the news program, according to Yahoo News.

During his 1992 presidential campaign, Mr. Clinton famously admitted to trying marijuana in the 1960s when he was studying at Oxford in England. "I didn't inhale, and I didn't try it again," he reportedly said.

Mr. Clinton's views on marijuana legalization have come a long way since he was president, when, according to the Marijuana Majority, his administration wanted to punish doctors for even discussing medical marijuana with patients. 

"These comments from a skilled politician who knows how to stake out positions that resonate with the majority of voters show just how far the politics of this issue have shifted in favor of legalization," said Tom Angell, spokesman for the Marijuana Majority, in an email to The Washington Times. "Whereas this issue was once seen as a political third rail, there's no question it has now emerged into the mainstream."

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About the Author

Jennifer Pompi

Jennifer Pompi is a general assignment reporter and afternoon slot editor for The Washington Times. Previously, she worked as an editor for AOL/Patch, covering hyperlocal news in Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties in Maryland. She can be reached at

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