Jay Inslee, a Democrat running for president, says he would "consider" legalizing psychedelic mushrooms

By Emily Tillett

/ CBS News

Legal marijuana in 2019?

Climate-conscious candidate for president Gov. Jay Inslee did inhale — but didn't necessarily like it. Inslee, praising the quality of marijuana grown commercially in his home state of Washington, said that while he tried to smoke pot a "couple times" back in the 1960's, he admits that he "did not find it particularly helpful or useful."

"That was the length of my experience in that regard," Inslee told CBS News Radio's Steve Dorsey.

Despite his short-lived encounter with cannabis, Inslee said that "it's time for the nation to legalize marijuana."

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"This has been a very successful enterprise in Washington in legalizing marijuana and I would recommend it," he added. Inslee, pointing to low numbers of youth use and criminality in the industry, said the state has raised "several hundred millions of dollars in revenue which can be used for health care which can be and are used for our schools" as a result of the legal marijuana trade.

Inslee is the latest in the 2020 Democratic field to support similar legislative action in decriminalizing marijuana. Sen. Cory Booker, with the support of several of his 2020 rivals, reintroduced a bill in February to legalize marijuana nationwide and expunge federal convictions for possession or use of the drug.

A CBS News poll in 2018 found 68 percent of Democrats support marijuana legalization, with 60 percent of Americans overall supporting legalization, up from 40 percent in 2011. Ten states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and several state legislatures are currently considering their own laws.

Inslee said that the legalization has been helpful to law enforcement officials because they are now have more time to do "higher-priority law enforcement and work."

Asked if he would ever legalize psychedelic mushrooms as a means to treat medical issues like PTSD and depression, Inslee said he would "consider it" but that he hadn't had a chance to think about it.

"I do believe that our war on drugs has had all kinds of torrid effects," said Inslee, adding lawmakers should "always be open to consideration to issues."

While steering clear from using drugs, Inslee said he does have the occasional drink. The 2020 contender called himself "very much a fan and aficionado of the best beer and wine in the country, which also comes from Washington state."

Listen to Dorsey's full interview with Inslee here:

First published on April 11, 2019 / 12:03 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Emily Tillett

Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital

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