Cuccinelli: ‘It’s Appropriate’ for States to ‘Experiment’ with Legalizing Marijuana

By Melanie Arter | February 11, 2013 | 4:55 PM EST

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (AP Photo)

( – Virginia Attorney General Ken Cucinelli said Saturday that he thinks it’s “appropriate” for states to “experiment” with legalizing marijuana.

“Let’s see what happens in Colorado and Washington. I don’t want you to misunderstand that I’m running a legalize marijuana [campaign] ... But at the same time, I do think it’s appropriate, even in areas where we’re uncomfortable or don’t agree, to have states experiment,” Cuccinelli said at a monthly breakfast meeting of the Albemarle Republican Party.

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Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana in voter referendums in November, but the federal government has not decriminalized marijuana.

“What’s the federal government going to do? What are they going to do? How is this interaction between the states and federal government going to take place? And I don’t have a problem watching that,” Cuccinelli said.

“It’s a peculiar subject, but I do think it’s important that states try some things they think are appropriate, and whether the federal government approves or not. The rest of us watch and learn. I just said I’m ready to watch and learn – I’m not ready to do it, but I don’t want to just never, ever say never to the possibility in the future,” he said, explaining comments he made recently to University of Virginia students.

Cucinelli reportedly told the class that his views on marijuana legalization were “evolving.”

During Saturday’s breakfast meeting, Cuccinelli said as attorney general of Virginia he has to deal with the cases of methamphetamine addicts.

“Methamphetamines, meth has a one, first-time use, 95 percent addiction rate. It is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and the destruction that it reeks is just incredible, just incredible. And it may be that once you’re— one addiction is as bad as another, but my point in comparison was simply that it’s worth looking at,” Cuccinelli said.

“If we’ve got one dollar to spend in stopping the use of a drug, would it be marijuana or would it be meth? Well today, it would be meth, but let’s see what happens in Colorado and Washington,” he added.