Former Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., opened up to a Gawker reporter about his marijuana use during an interview Monday. It took place ahead of the release of the Showtime documentary on Frank titled "Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank."

Frank was a member of the House of Representatives from 1983 to 2013, serving as the chairman of the Financial Services Committee. Frank has long been outspokenly liberal on a range of issues from gay marriage -- he came out as gay in the 1980s -- to marijuana use. 

Frank told Gawker interviewer Rich Juzwiak that he couldn't smoke pot because he was never able to inhale, not even with cigarettes. Pot brownies, on the other hand, are a treat he does enjoy.

His comments ran in contrast to a statement he made in 2012 saying that though he supported marijuana legalization, he was not an active user of the substance. "I did have a brownie once," he said, adding: "It made me sleepy."


The congressman's voting record on pot supports an interest in legalization. He has repeatedly introduced or voted for several key pieces of legislation to that effect, including a bill proposed in 2011 that sought to remove marijuana from the federal list of controlled substances. 

"I think, frankly, it contributes a good deal to the sense of unfairness among young people who are told they shouldn’t do this because it’s got all these negative effects, but then see older people engaging in all kinds of things that probably have greater impact on people," Frank said, as reported by the Hill in 2012.


The documentary on Frank, an official Tribeca Film Festival selection, opened to mixed reviews during its second release on Showtime last week.