14:14 GMT +319 December 2018
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    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte waits on stage to pose with other leaders for a group photo before the start of the ASEAN-Plus Three (APT) summit on the sidelines of the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Singapore on November 15, 2018

    'Enemy of Drugs' Duterte Says He Smoked Pot at ASEAN Meeting to Stay Awake

    © AFP 2018 / Lillian SUWANRUMPHA
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    The Philippine president is widely-known for his harshly negative attitude towards drugs and the controversial "war on drugs" that he is waging in the country. At one point, however, he championed the legalization of recreational marijuana.

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has surprised people with yet another shocking statement — he claimed to have smoked marijuana during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Singapore in November. Duterte said that he did so in order to stay awake during the daylong political event.

    READ MORE: Duterte Suggests Creating His Own 'Death Squads' to Combat Maoist 'Assassins'

    The Philippine president later backtracked on his statement, claiming that he joked about the whole ordeal, noting that people should have understood as much.

    "It was a joke, of course it was a joke, but nobody can stop me from just doing my style. If I want to joke, I will joke. Now, if you believe it, then you're stupid", Duterte said.

    Many netizens were infuriated by Duterte's joke, accusing him of hypocrisy, as he has repeatedly denounced drug use and launched a "war on drugs" in the country, which has claimed lives of thousands of people involved in drug production and distribution.

    Still, many more defended Duterte, noting that he has never opposed marijuana and even suggested legalizing it at one point.

    Some twitterians noted that the Philippine president should be more careful with his words.

    READ MORE: 'You Can Shoot Each Other': Duterte Offers Duel Between His Son and Opp Senator

    One Twitter user suggested that media's attention to Duterte's every word drives ordinary people crazy.

    Others found the whole "Duterte smoking pot" scandal amusing and developed the topic even further by extending it to other spheres of Philippine politics.

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    Tags:
    Twitter reaction, pot, marijuana, Rodrigo Duterte, Philippines
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