05/07/2013 10:38 am ET

Rob Portman Smoked Marijuana, Used To Look Like A Hippy (VIDEO)

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) was reminded by BuzzFeed's John Stanton on Monday of what he looked like during the 1970s and 80s.

After flashing a picture of a Portman with flowing locks, Stanton said it made the Republican look kind of like a "dirty hippy" and made him wonder if the senator had ever smoked marijuana.

"Uhh, yes," Portman said sheepishly in response to Stanton's question at a BuzzFeed Brews event. "I think I've been asked that now, in 20 years, three times."

(Watch the video above, via BuzzFeed)

Portman, 57, now a champion of anti-drug causes, has admitted smoking at least once before. In 2005, he told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that it was something he regretted, and that he'd never bought or sold the drug.

His change of heart has since been evident throughout his political career. In 1996, Portman, then a congressman, launched the "Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati," a program that he described as an effort to make the war on drugs a local effort.

More recently, Portman has trained his sights on combating synthetic-drug abuse. In 2012, following a string of bizarre crimes thought to be catalyzed by synthetic-drug use -- including an incident in which a Miami man chewed the face of a homeless victim and was subsequently shot and killed by police -- Portman introduced legislation to change the Controlled Substances Act to cover such substances. While there was ultimately no conclusive evidence that the Miami suspect had used synthetic drugs, such as bath salts, prior to the episode, President Barack Obama's administration has since taken steps to crack down on them.



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