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Rather than pain killers than damage his body, the former Governor relied on a safer alternative, noting the risk "is in the prohibition of the plant, not the use of it".

The former New Mexico governor and likely 2012 Republican presidential candidate talks to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

By John McCormack

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson is admitting he smoked marijuana for three years–but not during a fit of adolescent rebellion, as is typical with most politicians’ confessions of this type. No, Johnson smoked weed from 2005 to 2008. And he’s probably running for president in 2012.

“But for luck, I guess, I wasn’t arrested,” the former governor told The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack. Johnson ran New Mexico from 1994 to 2002; then, in 2005, he broke many bones (including his back) in a paragliding accident. Painkillers had awful side effects, including withdrawal. So “someone” close to Johnson gave him some pot.

“For a typical presidential candidate, admitting to illegally smoking marijuana just a few years ago would be badly damaging,” McCormack writes. “But Gary Johnson isn’t a typical candidate. 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.”

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