POLITICS

Sarah Palin: Legalizing Weed Is 'No Big Deal'

"I look on the national scene and think, wow, of all things to be fighting over and battling over."

Supporters of marijuana legalization may have an unlikely ally: Sarah Palin.

Breaking with many members of her party who oppose legalizing marijuana, the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee on Thursday said it is "no big deal" and argued that it should not be a controversial issue.

"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 told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

When Hewitt expressed disbelief that Palin's home state legalized recreational marijuana last year, she said the vote "didn't surprise me."

"We've got that libertarian streak in us," she said, explaining that Alaska, the most conservative state to legalize marijuana so far, already had lax marijuana laws, so it was a less divisive issue than in other states.

"I grew up in Alaska when pot was legal anyway. 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?" Palin recalled. "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."

Though she did not explicitly say that she supports legalizing marijuana, she has come out in support of decriminalizing it. In 2010, she told Fox News that marijuana is a "minimal problem."

“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,” she said.

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