Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). (J. Scott Applewhite/ AP) Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). (J. Scott Applewhite/ AP)

Some reporters thought House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer had confessed to smoking pot during a news conference Tuesday– but a spokeswoman quickly moved to clear the air soon afterwards.

Hoyer (D-Md.) was expressing support for Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s decision to sign legislation decriminalizing recreation marijuana use, and in doing so, some took his remarks to mean he thought smoking weed was no big deal — lots of people have done it, he hinted, according to CQ Roll Call.

“I’m not going to ask for a show of hands. If I did, I could raise my hand,” CQ Roll Call quotes Hoyer telling reporters, as he raised his hand. “The use thereof, or the trying thereof. Inhaling or not. Experimentation.”

Whoa, dude. It sure seemed as if Hoyer had just placed himself among the growing circle of politicians (oh, hello, Mr. President!) who have admitted to getting high in their callow youth.

But wait! “Soon after the session with reporters, Hoyer spokeswoman Stephanie Young told CQ Roll Call her boss was not saying what it sounded like,” the news organization reports.  “‘Mr. Hoyer has not used marijuana. His point was that this issue affects many people, and he believes the Maryland General Assembly took the right step to decriminalize marijuana.'”