(CNN) - Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson hasn't been shy about smoking marijuana in the past, but a new interview reveals that this past may not be so distant. In an interview with The Weekly Standard released Monday, Johnson admits that he smoked marijuana recently for medicinal purposes.
Johnson is an avid supporter of the legalization of marijuana and the revelation that it's a part of his past isn't a new one. When asked if he ever smoked marijuana, he referenced Bill Clinton circa 1992 to The New Republic in November, saying "I never exhaled." But The Weekly Standard prompted a response from Johnson that puts his use of marijuana within the last two years: "It's not anything I volunteer, but you're the only person that actually asked about it," he said, "But for luck, I guess, I wasn't arrested."
Johnson, a libertarian who governed New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, suffered pain resulting from a paragliding accident in 2005. "Rather than using painkillers, which I have used on occasion before, I did smoke pot, as a result of having broken my back, blowing out both of my knees, breaking ribs, really taking about three years to recover," he admitted.
Since past use of painkillers caused unpleasant side effects as well as difficult withdrawals, Johnson told The Weekly Standard that "someone" who cared for him gave him marijuana to deal with the pain, divulging that he used it from 2005-2008.
Gov. Gary Johnson is an atypical Republican who suggests cutting the defense budget by as much as 90 percent, stating that Iran's nuclear program isn't a threat to the U.S., and favoring abortion in most cases. He hasn't spelled it out his future intentions in so many words, and his political advocacy organization Our America Initiative, is a small obstacle to overcome, due to its tax status and ability to receive unlimited donations from both individuals and corporations. Still, he's the only rumored 2012 presidential candidate with an outspoken history of advocating for the legalization of marijuana, another fact that sets him apart from the rest of the GOP presidential pack of contenders.