It’s a question politicians are asked all the time: have you smoked weed? Sen. Marco Rubio won’t say.
When asked on Monday whether he’s toked up by Fusion’s Mariana Atencio, the Florida Republican and possible 2016 presidential contender refused to answer, suggesting he didn’t want to imply he’s OK with kids using marijuana.
“I’ll tell you why I never answer that question,” he said at a Miami event, sponsored by National Journal’s Next America project. “If I tell you that I haven’t, you won’t believe me. And if I tell you that I did, then kids will look up to me and say, ‘well, I can smoke marijuana because look how he made it.’”
The question isn’t just pertinent to Rubio’s personal background. Florida voters will decide on a constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana at the polls this November.
The senator did not weigh in on the ballot measure (he hasn’t closed the door to it), but advised minors to stay away from the drug.
“I know I’m sounding like a 42-year-old dad, but here’s the problem,” he said. “You can make mistakes at 17 that will be with you the rest of your life, OK? … People won’t get hired because of that stuff.”
Rubio, however, isn’t ready to say.
“The answer to your question is: at this point, it’s irrelevant," he told Atencio.
Jordan Fabian is Fusion's politics editor, writing about campaigns, Congress, immigration, and more. When he's not working, you can find him at the ice rink or at home with his wife, Melissa.