Pot-Bashing Republican Lawmaker Arrested for Driving While High
Robert Watson, the pot-bashing minority leader of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, was arrested Friday at a police checkpoint in East Haven, Connecticut and charged with marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession and driving under the influence, the Associated Press reports.
Watson, a Republican who recently said it wasn’t worthy of legislators’ time to debate decriminalizing marijuana, smelled of alcohol and marijuana and failed sobriety tests when he was stopped by police. Officers found a bag of marijuana and a wooden pipe in Watson’s pocket. When an alcohol breath test was performed on the lawmaker, he blew 0.05%– well below the state’s 0.08% legal limit.
Rep. Watson raised eyebrows and ire in February when he gave a speech to the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce in which he said legislators had their priorities straight– “if you are a Guatemalan gay man who likes to gamble and smokes marijuana.” He refused to apologize to Rhode Island’s Guatemalan community.
Watson’s office released a statement denying he was driving under the influence. “Trace evidence of marijuana was discovered and I was charged with operating under the influence, a charge I vehemently deny,” it said.
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