- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a 2016 presidential candidate on the Democratic side, says he has smoked marijuana two times but that it “didn’t quite work” for him.

“I coughed a lot,” he said in an interview with Yahoo News’ Katie Couric. “I smoked marijuana twice — didn’t quite work for me.”

“It’s not my thing, but it is the thing of a whole lot of people,” he said. “And if you want to make the argument that maybe marijuana is less harmful to health than tobacco, I think you’d probably be making a correct argument. Some may disagree, but I think it’s probably true.”

Mr. Sanders said those in law enforcement, though, see it as a “gateway drug” that can lead to others like cocaine and heroin.

“What I can tell you is this — we have far, far far too many people in jail for nonviolent crimes, and I think in many ways the war against drugs has not been successful, and I think we ought to rethink that,” he said.

Mr. Sanders said that when he was mayor of Burlington, they didn’t arrest very many people for smoking marijuana.

“Colorado, some other states have legalized it. In Vermont, [we] decriminalized it,” he said. “I want to take a look at how that is going before I make a final opinion.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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