- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sen. Marco Rubio outright refused to answer any questions about his past marijuana use — whether he smoked or whether he didn’t — calling the query a no-win situation that would isolate voters, no matter which way he responded.

“Here’s the problem with that question in American politics,” Mr. Rubio said, in an interview with ABC and Yahoo News’ Politics Confidential. “If you say you did, suddenly there are all these people saying, ‘Well, it’s not a big deal, look at these successful people who did it.’ On the other side of it, if you tell people that you didn’t, they won’t believe you.”

Mr. Rubio, one of the GOP’s most talked-about candidates for the White House in 2016, said he made the decision to dodge marijuana use questions after publishing his memoir, “American Son.” In it, he admitted he “wasn’t a very good high school student” and brought home grades that could barely be considered even average.

“Someone came up to me and said, ‘You know, I enjoyed your book, but I want you to know, my son came up to me and said he doesn’t have to get good grades in high school because look at Marco Rubio, he didn’t do well in high school and look how successful he’s been,’ ” Mr. Rubio said, Politico reported.

Mr. Rubio said he didn’t want the same scenario created over marijuana.

And besides, the bigger marijuana message was this, he said: “I don’t want my kids to smoke marijuana, and I don’t want other people’s kids to smoke marijuana. I think there’s no responsible way to recreationally use marijuana.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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