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Texas Gov. Perry defends states' right to legalize marijuana

Published On: Jan 23 2014 04:28:43 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 24 2014 12:57:57 PM CST
Rick Perry 10
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -

Gov. Rick Perry is defending Colorado and Washington's legalization of marijuana as a states' rights issue - and says he wants to keep minor drug offenders out of jail.

But the Republican added he doesn't see Texas legalizing pot.

U.S. News and World Report quoted Perry at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland saying: "We certainly would never jump out in front of the parade."

Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said the governor's comments came while touting Texas drug courts, which offer treatment instead of jail time for non-violent marijuana offenders.

Asked if that meant Perry supports decriminalizing marijuana statewide, Nashed would only say "he's very much for rehabbing and a diversionary program."

Some Texas counties already simply issue tickets for possession of small amounts of marijuana, making no arrests.