‘I never exhaled’: Former GOP governor admits to recent pot-smoking

By David Edwards
Monday, December 6, 2010 17:12 EDT
google plus icon
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

A former Republican governor of New Mexico has admitted that he smoked pot as late as 2008.

It’s no secret that Gary Johnson, who was governor from 1994 to 2002, is an advocate for marijuana legalization. In a recent interview with The New Republic, Johnson joked, “I never exhaled.”

In an interview published Monday, Johnson revealed just how recently he inhaled.

“It’s not anything I volunteer, but you’re the only person that actually asked about it,” Johnson told The Weekly Standard‘s John McCormack. “But for luck, I guess, I wasn’t arrested.”

During a 2005 paragliding accident, Johnson fell 50 feet when his sails got caught in a tree. He used the drug for the next few years to manage pain from his injuries.

“Rather than using painkillers, which I have used on occasion before, I did smoke pot, as a result of having broken my back, blowing out both of my knees, breaking ribs, really taking about three years to recover,” Johnson said.

“In my human experience, it’s the worst pain I’ve ever felt,” he added.

Johnson said that he had used legal painkillers in the past but had trouble with side effects and withdrawal.

After the accident, Johnson was given marijuana by “someone” that cared for him.

McCormack noted that the former governor’s past weed habit isn’t likely to hurt him should he run for president.

“He’s a libertarian prophet crying out for the Republican Party to ‘get back to the religion of the pocketbook,’ and spreading his message takes precedence over appealing to Republican primary voters,” McCormack wrote. “His personal marijuana story may even help him spread the word. And marijuana legalization may, in fact, be a much easier sell to Republican primary voters than Johnson’s positions on national security, foreign policy, and social policy.”

For example, Johnson suggested that the defense budget may need to be cut as much as 90 percent.

“I don’t want to be irresponsible regarding this. I just have this sense that we’re just spending way too much,” he said.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.