“Lots of people are going to jail for minor infractions and it ruins their entire life,” the “Late Show” host said.
Kasich, who is running on a tough-on-drugs platform, supported the recent defeat of an Ohio initiative to legalize the drug.
He argued that America is facing “a huge drug problem,” nodding at high rates of prescription pill and heroin addiction.
“I want to be clear I’m not arguing for legalizing heroin,” Colbert interjected.
“We don’t want to tell our kids don’t do drugs, but by the way this drug is okay,” Kasich said.
“Isn’t that what alcohol is?” Colbert said to loud applause from the audience.
After Kasich admitted that he had himself smoked pot before, Colbert said he would have been prevented from holding elected office if he’d been caught in the act.
Watch the full interview below.