05/01/2012 07:16 EDT | Updated 08/13/2012 12:30 EDT

Christy Clark Marijuana Use: B.C. Premier All But Admits Smoking Pot In High School But Says She Won't Lobby Ottawa

VICTORIA - Premier Christy Clark has all but admitted she smoked pot in her high school days, but says that doesn't mean she's about to lobby the federal government to loosen Canada's marijuana laws.

Clark said Tuesday she attended high school in suburban Vancouver in the early 1980s and that students smoked pot regularly.

She said it was hard for students to avoid marijuana and it was something she did not completely ignore.

"I graduated from Burnaby South Senior Secondary in 1983 and there was a lot of that going on when I was in high school and I didn't avoid it all together," said Clark.

Since October, a coalition of health officers, police and academics has been lobbying the provincial and federal government to reform the country's pot laws.

Four former B.C. attorneys general and several Vancouver mayors have also asked the province to get involved.

But when asked whether she'll take a stand, Clark has deferred comment to Ottawa.

On Tuesday she said she's been reluctant to answer questions about marijuana use because doing so could pose parenting issues.

"When you grow up and leave your childhood aside, and you want to be a good role model for your kids. Those aren't great questions to have to answer," Clark said.

Her priorities as premier are creating jobs and helping families, she added. She will continue to leave questions about reform to the federal Conservatives, regardless of the high-profile British Columbians who are urging her to reconsider.

Opposition NDP Leader Adrian Dix has already said he smoked some pot in his youth, but, like Clark, said he wasn't a pothead.

NDP justice critic Leonard Krog said most British Columbians likely don't care that the premier has smoked marijuana, but surveys suggest the majority of residents favour relaxed pot laws.

"Most British Columbians, however, have made it pretty clear they would like to see decriminalization of marijuana possession, roughly 70 per cent," Krog said.

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