Politics
5:55 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Rep. Watson: I was not under the influence

PROVIDENCE, RI – House Minority Leader Robert Watson is disputing the account offered by East Haven, Connecticut, police of his arrest last Friday.

During a speech on the House floor, Watson accused the police of orchestrating his arrest after realizing he was a state representative. Police say Watson smelled of marijuana and had trouble with field sobriety tests.

Watson says he did not smoke marijuana that day and was not under the influence.

"I dispute the representations, the caricature that's depicted in the police report that would have people believe I was incapable of standing on my own two feet, that I was incapable of speaking, that I was incapable of listening to communications," says Watson.

Watson says he possessed what he called a trace amount of marijuana because he has used the drug for back pain. During a caucus Tuesday afternoon, all nine other House Republicans unanimously backed Watson to remain their minority leader.

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