The reality TV star turned activist running for president of Russia, Ksenia Sobchak, has stirred up a lot of controversy for refusing to fall in line behind a planned liberal boycott of the country’s election in March.
Now, Sobchak’s taken up another stance that could be seen as controversial: Marijuana should be legal. What’s more, she called weed less harmful than her country’s traditional inebriant of choice: vodka.
“I don't use it myself, but I don't drink vodka by the bottle either,” Sobchak was quoted as saying by Russian website lenta.ru on Monday. “I don't really understand why drinking vodka in enormous quantities is seen as normal in our country, but using marijuana is not, even though it has far fewer consequences, even from the perspective of crime statistics.”
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Vodka has long been seen as the source of a national health crisis in Russia. A study in U.K. medical journal The Lancet in 2014 found vodka to be a major contributing factor in adult Russians’ “extraordinarily high rates of premature death.”
Sobchak, who’s been described as “Russia’s Paris Hilton,” recently admitted in an interview that “yes, I’ve tried drugs,” but declined to elaborate.
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Political analysts say she hasn’t got a prayer of defeating President Vladimir Putin at the ballot box in March. And what’s more, she’s been criticized as a “caricature liberal candidate” by Alexei Navalny, the anti-Kremlin agitator who’s now pushing for a boycott of the election in an attempt to embarrass Putin and discredit the president’s inevitable re-election.
Just last week, Navalny again dissed Sobchak, who famously starred in a Russian reality show called "Dom-2," on Twitter, saying: “You can take the girl out of Dom-2, but you can’t take Dom-2 out of the girl.”
Cover image: Russian TV personality Ksenia Sobchak speaks to the media after submitting her documents to be registered as a presidential candidate at the Central Election Commission in Moscow, Russia December 25, 2017. (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin)