War on Drugs

Rhode Island Politician Who Joked About Pot-Smoking Immigrants Facing Marijuana Charges


In February, the Republican Minority Leader in Rhode Island's House, Robert Watson, described his feelings about the state's General Assembly to a Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce group: "I suppose if you're a gay man from Guatemala who gambles and smokes pot, you probably think that we're onto some good ideas here." He later declined to apologize for the remark.

You already know what comes next: On Friday night, Watson, who has reportedly been dismissive of pot legalization in the past, was charged with marijuana possession and driving under the influence after being pulled over at an East Haven, Connecticut police checkpoint, according to The Boston Herald:

A police report on Friday's traffic stop said Watson smelled of alcohol and marijuana and performed poorly on sobriety tests. An officer found a bag of suspected marijuana and a wooden pipe in Watson's pocket. An alcohol breath test performed at the police station determined that Watson's blood-alcohol level was 0.05 percent, below the state's 0.08 limit…"Trace evidence of marijuana was discovered and I was charged with operating under the influence, a charge I vehemently deny," Watson said in the statement.