NEW YORK - Newly installed New York Gov. David Paterson has admitted he used marijuana and cocaine while in his 20s.
Paterson admitted during an interview with a New York television station he tried cocaine "a couple of times" and marijuana "probably when I was about 20," Newsday reported.
Paterson, 53, is the latest politician to admit to drug use in his younger days. Both ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer and his Democratic primary challenger, Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi, were asked in a 2006 debate if they had ever smoked pot -- and both said yes, the New York publication said.
Paterson also defended stays at Albany hotels paid with his state-issued credit card, saying he did so at the behest of Spitzer when early morning meetings were scheduled and his normal 20-minute commute was too long.
Meanwhile, his recent revelations about adultery have not hurt Paterson's popularity, Siena Institute Poll spokesman Steven Greenberg told Newsday. In a poll released Monday, the institute found 58 percent of voters of those polled view Paterson favorably, compared with 10 percent who see the new governor unfavorably.
The telephone survey of 620 registered voters, conducted March 17-21, has a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.
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