- Associated Press - Friday, March 7, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino said Friday he smoked a couple of joints in college - but that was last time he used marijuana.

The Westchester County Executive was asked by a reporter if he ever tried marijuana when his inaugural campaign stopped by the state Capitol. The question has become commonplace for political candidates and Astorino just kicked off his campaign against Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday.

Asked to expand on his initial response of “yes, a long time ago,” the 46-year-old politician jokingly asked if the reporter was trying to make him into Cheech and Chong before giving a more expansive answer.

“When I was in college, smoked a couple of joints. That’s the last time,” said Astorino, “and I did inhale.”

Astorino also says he would possibly be open to legal medical marijuana in New York state if it were strictly controlled.

“What I do not want is dispensaries all over New York state where people can just walk in and walk out with a nickel bag,” he said.

Astorino is against legalization of marijuana as in Colorado and he criticized Cuomo’s plan to allow medical marijuana for patients at 20 hospitals as something that was rushed out without discussion.

Cuomo has acknowledged he smoked marijuana in his youth.

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