- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 14, 2019

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would not mind a sitting president using marijuana, the New York Democrat said in an interview Wednesday.

“Yeah, I don’t care,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez answered a question about whether she would approve of a president who smokes pot.

“It’s fine with me,” the freshman lawmaker told TMZ. “You’re not hurting anybody.”

Marijuana is prohibited under federal law, but most states have legalized the plant for medicinal or recreational purposes.

Several bills pending on Capitol Hill would end the government’s marijuana prohibition if passed, and Democratic presidential hopefuls including Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California have recently advocated for federally legalizing the plant if elected.

“I’m glad that we’re moving toward a more just position as a party and that we’re moving to legalize marijuana — but not just legalize marijuana, but to really make up for the damages done by the war on drugs and the people that were unjustly incarcerated by the war on drugs,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said during the interview.

“There are plenty of people who drink,” continued Ms. Ocasio Cortez, a 29-year-old former bartender. “They’ll go out to happy hour … They’ll go out, have one, two, three — how is that different?”

Thirty-three states have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana to varying degrees, including 10 where adults are permitted to use the plant for recreational purposes.

The author of the most ambitious federal marijuana reform bill proposed in the Senate, Mr. Booker said during an interview earlier this month that his plans for the presidency involved “changing our drug laws” and “ending prohibition against marijuana.”

More recently, Ms. Harris made waves following a Monday interview in which she said she smoked marijuana in college.

“I believe we need to legalize marijuana,” Ms. Harris, a former prosecutor, said during the segment. “We have incarcerated so many, and particularly young men and young men of color, in a way that we have not for the same level of use (among) other young men.”

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