Sarah Palin Just Called Marijuana Legalization "No Big Deal"

November 20th 2015

Kyle Jaeger

As the marijuana legalization movement marches forward, it has attracted some unlikely supporters. But the latest and perhaps unlikeliest of all is former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

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In an interview Thursday, Palin told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that legalization was "no big deal" and added that she didn't think it should be a controversial issue in the first place.

"I look on the national scene and think, wow, of all things to be fighting over and battling over, especially when it comes to medical marijuana. I think, 'Hmm, this is just not my baby,'" Palin said.

When Hewitt brought up the fact that Alaska legalized recreational marijuana last year, Palin said that it "didn't surprise me." Alaska has a "libertarian streak," she explained, and so while the state ranks among the most conservative to legalize in the U.S., it still makes sense that Alaskan voters would support a recreational marijuana ballot.

"I grew up in Alaska when pot was legal anyway," Palin said. "It was absolutely no big deal."

"I mean you didn't smoke it because your parents would strangle you. And if you were a jock and you were, you know, a Christian going to youth group, you just didn't do it, right? And I still believe that. But when it comes to picking our battles, for many of us in Alaska, legalization of marijuana just was never really a bright blip on the radar screen."

Two years before she became John McCain's running mate for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, Palin had admitted to having smoked marijuana once, which was legal under Alaska's liberal drug laws.

Now, Palin didn't voice her support for federal legalization outright on Thursday, but the interview appeared to reveal a shift in her stance since 2010, when she told Fox News that she thought the substance ought to be decriminalized. Across the country, opinions about marijuana are reshaping as states continue to legalize. A recent Pew poll found that 58 percent of American adults support legalization.

"If somebody's gonna smoke a joint in their house and not do anybody any harm, then perhaps there are other things our cops should be looking at to engage in and try to clean up some of the other problems we have in society," Palin said.

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