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Kasich: ‘Have to Think About’ Whether to Enforce Pot Laws on CO and WA

Ohio Governor and prospective presidential candidate John Kasich (R) said he’d “have to think about” whether to enforce federal drug laws in Colorado and Washington despite their legalization of marijuana in an interview set to broadcast on Tuesday’s “Hugh Hewitt Show.”

Kasich initially declared that he is “totally opposed” to marijuana legalization, but wondered, “what’s the implications of that [enforcing federal law against Colorado and Washington], Hugh? I mean, the state has voted for it, you know? I mean, on what grounds would you shut them down?”

Kasich then said, “I’d have to think about it. Here’s my great concern. First of all, you have a states’ rights issue. The people in those states have voted that way. The federal government’s decided to kind of look the other way. I feel very strongly in my state, I’m going to oppose, and they’re going to put something on the ballot to legalize drugs. I’m totally opposed to it, because it is a scourge in this country. Now I would have to give it thought as to — I probably would not from the standpoint that the states have gone forward to prove that. I haven’t thought about this. I’d have to give it a little thought.”

Kasich added, “in my state and across this country, if I happened to be president, I would lead — a significant campaign down at the grassroots level to stomp these drugs out of our country. We’re doing it in Ohio, in a variety of ways, through education, prosecution, and it’s an unbelievably serious problem. I don’t know if you saw the New York Times on Sunday. You know, the quiet death caused by heroin and no one pays any attention to it, these are horrific things.”

He also said that that, “you’ve got to understand the way that I make decisions. When a problem comes up, we look at it. I sit in the room with the best people that can help me to devise a solution. You know, one of the things about this whole business of running for president, or running for governor, running for everything, are all these hypotheticals. I don’t usually deal with hypotheticals in this job. I mean, in Ohio, as you know, we are in a significant recovery. We are addressing the problems — with drug addiction and mental illness, and the working poor, reforming our welfare laws, cutting taxes, growing jobs. You get ahead of yourself when you start thinking about how you’re going to do all these things, because I don’t know if you noticed this, Hugh. During a presidential campaign, you hear a lot of things that get said, but then when the person gets elected, you notice how little of what they said they were going to do, they do.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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