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Bill Clinton says attitudes toward legalizing marijuana loosening

Dec. 4, 2013 at 6:44 AM   |   Comments

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who admitted he tried marijuana when he was younger, says attitudes toward legalization are loosening up.

"The drug issue should be decided by people in each country, based on what they think is right," Clinton said during an interview Tuesday with Fusion TV. "We have a process in America for doing it that's being revisited state-by-state. And Latin America is free to do the same thing."

"It's obvious that attitudes are changing and opening up," he said.

Clinton also said he didn't think legalizing marijuana would eradicate gang violence or that drugs such as cocaine should be treated the same as marijuana.

"It's also too complicated to say that if you legalize it, you wouldn't have any of these armed gangs trying to exercise a stranglehold over whole communities and lives," Clinton said during the interview at his home in Chappaqua, N.Y. "Or that we could actually get away with legalizing cocaine and then the criminals would go away."

Clinton, who embraced a tough-on-crime approach during his presidency, was lampooned for saying he didn't inhale when he tried marijuana during his youth when asked about it during his 1992 presidential campaign.

"And when I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it, and didn't inhale, and never tried it again," he said.

"I didn't say I was holier than thou, I said I tried," Clinton told Fusion TV. "I never denied that I used marijuana. I told the truth; I thought it was funny."

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