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Gov. says pot is not a drug, 'it's a leaf'

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LONDON -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says marijuana is not a drug, a British magazine reported Monday. But his spokesman said the governor was joking.

Schwarzenegger told the British edition of GQ magazine that he had not taken drugs, even though the former bodybuilder and Hollywood star has acknowledged using marijuana in the 1970s and was shown smoking a joint in the 1977 documentary "Pumping Iron."

"That is not a drug. It's a leaf," he told GQ. "My drug was pumping iron, trust me."

Aaron McLear, Schwarzenegger's press secretary, said the governor made the comments in a lighthearted context, noting that his interviewer was Piers Morgan, one of the judges on "America's Got Talent." Morgan is a former British newspaper editor.

"The governor was doing an interview with the host of 'America's Got Talent,' the newest version of 'The Gong Show,' " McLear said. "I think it's important to keep that quote in the context of the environment where it was said."

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